Early Family Financial Stress and Adulthood Quality of Life: An Investigation of the Mediating Process

Monday, July 14, 2014: 8:00 PM
Room: Booth 53
Oral Presentation
Yi-Fu CHEN , Sociology, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Chien-Ju CHOU , Sociology, National Taipei University, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Past research has shown the salient influence of early family financial stress or poverty on behavior adjustment and quality of life during adolescence and young adulthood (Conger & Elder 1994; Conger, Conger, & Monica 2011). On theoretical level, both family stress model (Conger et al. 1994) and life history theory (Belsky, Schlomer, & Ellis 2011) address that early adversity operationalized by low family SES, unstable family environment, and unpredicted social environment in late childhood and early adolescence contributes to involvement in crime and delinquency, excessive use of substance, and risky sexual behavior in late adolescence and early adulthood. However, little is known about the factors mediating the early adversity and later adjustments.

To address this question, current study is set to investigate this early-later link using a prospective panel study, Taiwan Youth Project (TYP). Using data spanning across 8 years (from age 13 to age 20), in this paper we plan to answer two research questions. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with tests of mediation will be used in data analysis and hypothesis testing.  First, to establish the early-later link, we will explore the association between family financial stress at age 13 and happiness, self-report health, and depressive mood at age 20. Second, based on Côté’s idea of identity capital (Côté 1996, 2002), we explore two possible factors (family cohesion and self-esteem) during adolescence that mediate the aforementioned early-later link. The results of current study can help developmental researchers better understand the mechanisms of the long-term effect of early adversity.