Problem: Gender Role and Financial Problems

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Factors Predict Financial Problem Among College Students:
A Gendered View
Leila Falahati
1
, Laily Paim
2
, Maimunah Ismail
3
, Sharifah Azizah Haron
4

1
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, UPM 2
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, UPM 3
Department Professional Development and Continuing Education, UPM 4
Department of Resource Management and Consumer Studies, UPM Abstract. The paper aims to determine factors that predict financial problems between male and female Malaysian college students. Using the stratified sampling method, 2,340 college students at six public and five private colleges were studied. A self-administered questionnaire was used as the data collection method. Multiple regressions were obtained to determine which predictors had a significant effect on financial problems among male and female students. The results reveal that in order of rank spendthrift attitude, secondary socialization agents and conservative attitude are the main determinants of male and female students’ financial problems. Although for male students financial socialization has a negative effect on financial problems, it is not significant among female students. Keywords: Gender differences, Financial Problem, Financial socialization, Money Attitude, 1. Introduction

The extent to which financial behavior has effect on one’s present and future life is important to financial educators, particularly as the study of gender differences is limited. In order to understand gender differences in financial behavior and outcomes, the way in which males and females understand money must be examined. College students may be considered as a high risk group based on economic stability and consequently, well-being, due to their propensity to borrow to find their college education. Recent college graduates carry a considerable debt load and financial problems at the time when they are just beginning to work in careers at beginning salaries (Leach, Hayhoe, Turner, 1999). Financial problem as direct output of negative financial behavior has been a topic of interest among financial researchers. The term financial problem generally refers to a mismatch between financial resources and demands (Kerkmann, Lee, Lown, & Allgood, 2000). Several studies indicated that positive financial behavior such as financial planning and budgeting are the main component of one’s financial satisfaction (Fitzsimmons and Wakita 1993; Garman and Forgue 2006; Xiao 2008) and conversely the frequent financial problems are a symptom of economic insecurity. Whereas a great body of research has focused on the factors predict financial behavior of people in the Western context, research in a non-Western context is still relatively sparse. The present study is an effort to enhance the literature by examining the effect of several factors on financial behavior outcomes in a non-Western context, that is, Malaysia.

Malaysia is considered a multiethnic country with Malay, Indian and Chinese ideology, and a multicultural society with a mixture of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. Nevertheless the common characteristic of the three ethnic groups is patriarchal and moderately traditional, where men are socialized to undertake the role of the breadwinner in the family and women that of caregivers (Lim, Teo, Loo, 2003). In such manner women are socialized to be uninformed concerning money and men are more involved in financial practices due to traditional gender role expectations, which may lead to gender disparity in attitudes 183 2011 International Conference on Sociality and Economics Development IPEDR vol.10 (2011) © (2011) IACSIT Press, Singapore to money and the financial behavior during adulthood (Newcomb & Rabow, 1999). Malaysia has experienced rapid economic development over the last five decades, which has brought intensive changes for young Malaysians, such as expansion of financial...
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