Dr. Cathie Hughes Publishes Research Paper on Credit-Worthiness and Biopsychosocial Wellbeing

April 2nd, 2019

Credit-worthiness, as defined by financial institutions credit scoring systems, classify people according to categories of risk.  For many sectors of society, decision metrics and scorecard implementations are determinants that serve as a financial gateway to access the most basic human needs for safety and well-being.  For those with no credit or credit scores less than excellent, escalating negative circumstances lead to adverse life events associated with financial stress, widening socioeconomic disparities, and worsening biopsychosocial conditions. The impact of credit-worthiness on financial wellbeing and the negative psychological constructs of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness were explored through quantitative research with a focus on improving these factors through a credit restoration intervention.  A quasi-experimental research design was employed to survey seventy-two participants before receiving the intervention and after an initial phase of the intervention process.  Findings showed a positive difference in the subjective well-being of the psychological constructs and corroborated the need to expand awareness of the impact of credit-unworthiness across a wide range of socio-demographic strata including veteran and military families and suicidal behavior.  A recommendation is made to conduct a follow-up longitudinal study to address two national issues, epidemic suicide rates, and credit reporting reform legislation.  A longitudinal study could benefit several other issues facing this nation including population health, wellbeing, and other social determinants of health.  Further analysis can inform Well-Being and Credit Restoration that contribute to current social issues of significant concern. Well-being is an interdisciplinary field of study that has important implications for psychology, health, economics, public policy, and society.  Credit restoration is both a construct and intervention and is part of an interdisciplinary, collaborative, continuum of care which can positively contribute to reducing debt and the financial stress and psychological indicators associated with indebtedness.  A follow-up enhanced research design will accommodate a longitudinal study consisting of a pre-test and three posttests and a Credit Restoration Score© measuring client progress over twelve months.

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