Stalling at the Starting Line: First-Generation College Students’ Debt, Economic Stressors, and Delayed Life Milestones in Professional Psychology

Melanie M. Wilcox, Kipp R. Pietrantonio, Aisha Farra, Danielle N. Franks, Patton O. Garriott, Emily C. Burish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Economic precarity is a serious concern in psychology education and training and is experienced to a greater degree by the students of color and students from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. The present study examined differences in economic precarity and likelihood of delaying lifemilestones in a sample of firstgeneration (n = 74) and continuing-generation (n = 249) doctoral students and graduates in psychology. Results demonstrated that first-generation students reported greater credit-related stress, personal and professional financial stressors related to graduate school, and a greater likelihood of delaying life milestones than their continuing-generation peers, after controlling for SES. In addition, credit-related stress and graduate school financial stressors were related to delaying life milestones. No significant differences between first-generation and continuing-generation students were observed in student loan borrowing, general stress, or financial distress. Findings highlight the unique economic precarity of first-generation students in professional psychology and demonstrate the importance of disentangling SES and first-generation status in this population

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Economic precarity
  • Financial stress
  • First-generation college students
  • Psychology training
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)

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