A new study has found children’s behavior problems linked to parent’s credit card debt and other types of unsecured debt.

Children's Behavior Problems LinkedUnsecured debt may cover medical bills and credit cards, and tends to be more expensive than secured debt such as mortgage and car loans. It generally comes with higher interest rates and a shorter payment period.

This type of debt may trigger more stress in parents, which may affect their parenting and children’s behavior.

The study was conducted by Lawrence M. Berger, a professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His team asked mothers of approximately 9,000 children aged 5 to 14 about their children’s behavior. They then looked to see what type of debt the parents had, and how high it was. 

Parents with unsecured debt tended to have more debt in general. Fewer behavior problems were reported by parents with secured debt such as mortgages or student loans. This may be because this type of debt is associated with securing assets.

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