Are Financial Well-Being and Financial Stress the Same Construct? Insights from an Intensive Longitudinal Study

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Abstract

Since the 2008 economic crisis, research on financial well-being has grown exponentially. Most of the studies have investigated the predictors of financial well-being, but there is still no consensus on the conceptualization of financial well-being itself. As of yet, little is known about the relationship between subjective financial well-being and subjective financial stress. Some scholars believe those two constructs are two sides of the same coin, while others consider them to be two different phenomena. The current study aims to contribute to disentangling the construct of financial well-being from the construct of financial stress. We conducted an intensive longitudinal study, collecting data for 14 consecutive days from 158 emerging adults. Participants had to report their level of financial well-being and financial stress each evening. Findings suggest that the two constructs are not coincident for the following reasons: they exhibit low-to-moderate associations at both the within- and between-level and they were not similarly affected by the same predictors. Furthermore, we showed that subjective financial well-being and subjective financial stress fluctuate considerably from one day to the next. Further research is needed to determine the source of this daily variability.

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Sorgente, A., Zambelli, M., & Lanz, M. (2023). Are Financial Well-Being and Financial Stress the Same Construct? Insights from an Intensive Longitudinal Study. Social Indicators Research, 169(1–2), 553–573. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-023-03171-0

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