Generation Debt


Dr. Rachel Dwyer, Department of Sociology
Rank at time of award: Associate Professor
Dr. Randy Hodson, Department of Sociology
Rank at time of award: Professor


In summary, the study of debt and its effects throughout the life course is, sadly, an increasingly important topic for the social sciences.  Many aspects of people’s lives may be influenced by debt, such as education, health, and family formation.  The NLS studies are among a tiny handful of sources for such data.  The analyses will follow standard models used to study these well researched outcomes, and, indeed, they must follow relatively accepted models in order to establish debt as an important independent factor beyond current models.  We are confident that this research project will yield important insights for demographic models of social change, that it will produce papers with a high likelihood of acceptance in refereed journals, and that funding agencies will continue to look upon this research as innovative and of high priority. 

Publications resulting from this seed grant    

Editor-Reviewed Articles

Dwyer, RE. 2018. “Credit, Debt, and Inequality,” Annual Review of Sociology 44:237-61.

Dwyer, RE.2016.Student Work and Paying for College: How the Jobs Crisis Affects College Affordability, in (ed.) A Gedenkschrift to Randy Hodson: Working with Dignity (Research in the Sociology of Work, Volume 28)Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.129 -153.

Peer Reviewed Articles

2016. Tsai, Ming-Chang, Rachel E. Dwyer, and Ruey-Ming Tsay. “Does Financial Assistance Really Assist? The Impact of Debt on Wellbeing, Health Behavior, and Self-Concept in Taiwan.” Social Indicators Research 125:127-147.

2016. Dwyer, RE, L Neilson, M Nau, and R Hodson. “Mortgage Worries: Young Adults and the U.S. Housing Crisis.” Socio-Economic Review 1-23. PMCID: PMC6112614

2015. Nau, M, RE Dwyer., and R Hodson.  Can’t Afford a Baby? Debt and Young Americans.  Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 42:114-122. PMCID:PMC5231614

2014. Hodson, R, RE Dwyer, L Neilson. Credit Card Blues: The Middle Class and the Hidden Costs of Easy Credit. The Sociological Quarterly 55(2):315-340. PMCID:PMC4707673

2013. Dwyer RE, Hodson R, McLoud L. Gender, Debt and Dropping out of College. Gend Soc. 2013 Feb 1;27(1):30-55.  PMCID: PMC3633219