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Reducing Young Adults’ Financial Stress, Debt Levels at Heart of New UA, UC Davis Research Funded by NIAAA (November 1, 2011—Tucson, Ariz.)—How do financial stress and compromised parent-adolescent relationships during adolescence affect financial health and substance abuse in young adults? A new four-year $876,801 grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will help researchers answer the question. Research participants include the University of Arizona’s McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families; the UA’s Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Finance, Education and Research; and UC Davis. The new research will contribute to an understanding of alcohol-related problems, prevention and treatment, and to programs and policies that can reduce financial stress and debt levels during young adulthood. “An important predictor of alcohol problems in both adolescence and young adulthood is compromised parent-adolescent relationships. Another predictor is financial stress, which may be particularly relevant during times of economic downturn. But very little is known about the dynamics of financial stress and its association with alcohol problems in adolescence and into young adulthood,” says McClelland Director Stephen Russell, Ph.D., who is the Fitch Nesbitt Endowed Chair in Family and Consumer Science and the principal investigator on the grant. Four waves of data from the ongoing National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health—called Add Health—will be used to examine the potential long-term effects of family financial stress and parentchild relationship quality in adolescence on young adult family relationships, financial stress, and alcohol problems. Russell is joined in the research by co-principal investigators Joyce Serido, Ph.D., an assistant research professor with the Take Charge America Institute in the Norton School at the UA; and Katherine Conger, an associate professor in the Human and Community Development Department at UC Davis in California. Serido’s research expertise includes financial stress and well-being and the financial coping behaviors of young adults. Conger is an expert on effects of economic hardship on families and individuals. The Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families. Research from this catalyst for cross disciplinary research addresses questions important to the development and well-being of contemporary

children, youth, and families, with the goal of improving basic understanding to enhance the lives of the people of Arizona and the world. It is part of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Finance, Education and Research. Dedicated to improving the money-management skills and financial confidence of consumers of all ages, the Institute creates research-based educational outreach programs that raise financial literacy and help consumers make informed financial choices in today’s complex markets. The Take Charge America Institute is part of the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health). Researchers have followed a nationally representative sample of adolescents (who were in grades 7-12 in the U.S. during the 1994-95 school year), into young adulthood using four in-home interviews. Interviewees were 24-32 years of age during the fourth wave of interviews. Add Health combines longitudinal survey data on respondents’ social, economic, psychological and physical well-being with contextual data on the family, neighborhood, community, school, friendships, peer groups, and romantic relationships. The study offers unique opportunities to look at how social environments and behaviors in adolescence are linked to health and achievement outcomes in young adulthood. The fourth wave of interviews expanded the collection of biological data in Add Health to understand the social, behavioral, and biological linkages in health trajectories as the Add Health cohort ages through adulthood.