Consumer credit attitudes, knowledge and use by high school juniors and seniors in Rio Blanco County, Colorado Public Deposited

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  • The purpose of this research was to study teenagers' consumer credit attitudes, knowledge, and use. More specifically, the objectives were (1) to determine the relationships between the variables attitudes, knowledge, and use, and (2) to compare the use of credit with the independent variables sex, income, employment, spending, saving, and parents' income level. The researcher administered a questionnaire to high school juniors and seniors in a rural area of Colorado to obtain a sample of 181 students. The questionnaire consisted of (1) a series of positive and negative statements about credit to determine attitude, (2) a test for knowledge about credit, and (3) questions regarding use of credit and demographic information. Of the 181 students, 52 percent were males and 48 percent were females. Average age was 17 years, with 47 percent of the students being juniors, and 51 percent being seniors. Two percent did not give grade level. The students reported a mean income of $26.19 per week with the primary source of income coming from employment outside the home. Eighty six percent of the students had a job the previous summer. The students spent an average of $12.88 per week, presumably leaving a sum which could be saved. Only 22 percent reported that they hadnot saved any amount during the previous year. Further education and an automobile were the most frequently reported goals for saving. Credit attitude scores ranged from an unfavorable score of 12 to a favorable score of 47 with a mean attitude score of 30. The most favorable score possible was 51. Unfavorable attitudes were held by 36 percent of the students, 30 percent held neutral attitudes, and 34 percent held favorable attitudes toward credit. The students liked credit for its convenience and use in emergencies. They disliked paying the bills when they came due and were wary of the ease of over-spending. Of a possible perfect score of 34 on the knowledge test, the students' scores ranged from 10 to 30, with a mean score of 22. The students had received their knowledge of credit from a variety of sources, including both formal and informal education. Parents were cited as a source of knowledge by 87 percent of the students.. Only 36.5 percent reported learning about credit in the classroom. Eighty three percent of the students reported having used some form of credit with parents' store charge accounts being the most used form. Credit was used an average of twice per month by the students. Of the types of credit cards used, the parents' gasoline credit card was the most frequently used. Affirmative responses were given by 39.8 percent of the students when they were asked if their parents approved of their use of credit. Nine hypotheses in the null form were tested with the rejection level set at .05. Hypotheses not rejected at the .05 level included: (1) no relationship between attitudes and use of credit, (2) no relationship between knowledge and use of credit, and (3) no relationship between use of credit and the variables sex, income, employment, savings, or parents' level of income. A positive relationship was found between knowledge and attitude toward credit. A significant positive relationship was also found to exist between teenage use of credit and spending.
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