Relationship of credit attitude and debt to self-esteem and locus of control in college-age consumers

Mary Beth Pinto, Phylis M. Mansfield, Diane H. Parente

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


College-age consumers are one of the groups most highly targeted by credit card marketers, While some college students use their credit cards wisely, others are unable to control their spending. The objective of this study was to investigate differences in attitude toward credit cards and the psychological factors of self-esteem and locus of control among college students who possess one or more credit cards. Attitude was operationalized to include three underlying components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. We separated credit users into subcategories based on amount of installment debt. Convenience users were defined as those consumers who paid the credit-card balance in full each month. Installment users were classified as consumers who carried a balance month-to-month. Convenience users were compared to mild and heavy installment users to assess significance of differences in attitudinal and psychological factors. There were no significant differences in the psychological factors across the credit-card user groups. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference on each of the attitude components (knowledge/beliefs, affect, and behavior) across user groups; convenience users, mild installment, and heavy installment users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1418
Number of pages14
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number3 II
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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