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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R32Q2G

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A Longitudinal Study of Subjective Age in University Students: Money Matters Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
financial stress
university students
subjective age
expecting parental financial support
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fang, Shichen
Supervisor and department
Galambos, Nancy (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Maroto, Michelle (Sociology)
Hoglund, Wendy (Psychology)
Galambos, Nancy (Psychology)
Wiebe, Sandra (Psychology)
Department
Department of Psychology
Specialization

Date accepted
2014-09-26T14:07:12Z
Graduation date
2014-11
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This longitudinal study explored intraindividual change across four years in 190 Canadian university students’ (M age = 18.36; 60% female) subjective maturity, as indicated by their comparative subjective age (CSA; how old one feels relative to his or her chronological age). Students completed paper-and-pencil or web-based questionnaires five times across the first four years of their postsecondary education, beginning in the first month or two of their university experience. Multilevel modeling was used to investigate trajectories of CSA, and possible between-persons predictors (expecting parental financial support, parental autonomy support, whether they had left their parents’ home, financial stress) of two growth parameters (their CSA at baseline as well as rate of change over time in CSA). Financial stress was also investigated as a within-person predictor to learn whether its deviations from baseline covaried across time with CSA. Contrary to the hypothesis of a downward linear trend across four years in CSA, the rate of change was not significant. Expecting more parental financial support was linked to a younger CSA at baseline, but parental autonomy support and whether the student had left home were not related to CSA at baseline or to change over time. Financial stress was a significant time-varying covariate of CSA; at times when students reported increases in financial stress from baseline, they also reported a younger CSA compared to times when they reported decreases in financial stress. Findings suggest that financial expectations and experiences matter for university students’ subjective age, in line with a maturity gap perspective which proposes that delays in achieving adult status (e.g., financial independence) are associated with feelings of immaturity.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R32Q2G
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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