The Development, Evaluation, and Validation of a Financial Stress Scale for Undergraduate Students

Financial stress is commonly experienced among college students and is associated with adverse academic, mental health, and physical health outcomes. Surprisingly, no validated measures of financial stress have been developed for undergraduate populations. The present study was conducted to generate and evaluate a measure of financial stress for undergraduate students. The newly developed scale and measures of demographics, general stress, and health were completed by 177 undergraduates. The reliability, validity, and factor structure of the new scale were evaluated. Results indicate good reliability and validity, suggesting that the measure can be used in research and in applied settings to assess financial stress. Possible implications are discussed.