Study Says Spending Habits Relate to History of Childhood Divorce

The Journal of Consumer Affairs recently shared the results of a study connecting a history of divorce with children’s spending habits in adulthood. The study purports that for children who experienced divorce at young ages, they may seek comfort outside of the home, including purchasing items and shopping to fill a need. It has long been documented that going through a divorce can have significant impacts on the lives of all people involved, but this study is one of the first in its kind to see what kind of non-relationship effects might linger in a person’s life.

Divorce was not the only factor that led to spending in adulthood. If children identified that they were born out of wedlock or felt deprived of attention and affection, they were also more likely to experience compulsive buying behavior in the future.

The negative impacts of lack of resources available to a child of divorce might be another contributing factor for negative spending habits in adulthood. The stress caused by tight financial situations might keep children from learning important financial lessons to carry them through, and might lead them to seek comfort and stability outside the home. When the children grow up, this can translate into negative spending habits, like impulsive buying.

The study was conducted with 327 undergraduate students to complete anonymous surveys about their experiences. Many who admitted to compulsive buying behavior also listed lack of affection as a leading factor in their childhood, which paves the way for future research to explore this connection.

Going through a divorce is not easy for any family, but hiring experienced counsel can make the transition easier by informing you about what to expect and how to prepare your children for the changes in your life. If you’re contemplating divorce, reach out an Illinois attorney today for advice.

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