- 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'
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