The Impact of debt and financial stress on health in Northern Irish households

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    We analyse data collected from a survey of Northern Irish low-income households experiencing varying degrees of financial hardship and examine how debt affects health and health-related behaviours. Our results indicate that the subjective experience of feeling financially stressed has a robust relationship with most aspects of health including ability to self-care, problems performing usual activities, pain problems and psychological health. In contrast, neither the size of the debt, the type of debt nor the number of different lenders add any extra explanatory power. Additionally, our results indicate that the pathway from financial difficulties to worse health runs through worse diets and increased consumption of cigarettes and drugs. This research is timely as household
    debt burdens will soon surpass the high levels seen at the time of the financial crisis and the introduction of welfare reform in Northern Ireland will put additional strain on low-income households.



    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages15
    Pages (from-to)458–473
    JournalJournal Of European Social Policy
    Journal publication date01 Dec 2017
    Early online date17 Sep 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2017

      Research areas

    • Debt, financial stress , health.

    ID: 122488385