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Author: McCloud, Laura
Resulting in 5 citations.
1. Dwyer, Rachel E.
Hodson, Randy
McCloud, Laura
Gender, Debt, and Dropping Out of College
Gender and Society 27,1 (February 2013): 30-55.
Also: http://gas.sagepub.com/content/27/1/30.abstract
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Sage Publications
Keyword(s): College Dropouts; College Education; Credit/Credit Constraint; Debt/Borrowing; Gender Differences; Student Loans

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

For many young Americans, access to credit has become critical to completing a college education and embarking on a successful career path. Young people increasingly face the trade-off of taking on debt to complete college or foregoing college and taking their chances in the labor market without a college degree. These trade-offs are gendered by differences in college preparation and support and by the different labor market opportunities women and men face that affect the value of a college degree and future difficulties they may face in repaying college debt. We examine these new realities by studying gender differences in the role of debt in the pivotal event of graduating from college using the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. In this article, we find that women and men both experience slowing and even diminishing probabilities of graduating when carrying high levels of debt, but that men drop out at lower levels of debt than do women. We conclude by theorizing that high levels of debt are one of the mechanisms that sort women and men into different positions in the social stratification system.
Bibliography Citation
Dwyer, Rachel E., Randy Hodson and Laura McCloud. "Gender, Debt, and Dropping Out of College." Gender and Society 27,1 (February 2013): 30-55.
2. Dwyer, Rachel E.
McCloud, Laura
Hodson, Randy
Gender, Debt, and Dropping Out of College
Presented: Denver CO, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2012
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): College Degree; College Education; Debt/Borrowing; Dropouts; Gender Differences; Student Loans

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Access to credit has become critical for many young Americans to complete a college education and embark on a successful career path. Young people thus increasingly face the trade-off of taking on debt to complete college or forgoing college and taking their chances in the labor market without a college degree. These trade-offs are significantly gendered by gender differences in college preparation and support, and by the different labor market opportunities women and men face that affect the value of a college degree and future difficulties they may face in repaying significant college debt. We examine these new realities by studying gender differences in the role of debt in the pivotal event of dropping out of college in the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. We find that women and men are both more likely to drop out of college when carrying high debt, but men drop out at lower levels of debt than women. We conclude by considering whether high levels of debt have become one of the mechanisms that sort women and men into different positions in the structure of social stratification.
Bibliography Citation
Dwyer, Rachel E., Laura McCloud and Randy Hodson. "Gender, Debt, and Dropping Out of College." Presented: Denver CO, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2012.
3. Dwyer, Rachel E.
McCloud, Laura
Hodson, Randy
Youth Debt, Mastery, and Self-Esteem: Class-Stratified Effects of Indebtedness on Self-Concept
Social Science Research 40,3 (May 2011): 727-741.
Also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X11000299
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Academic Press, Inc.
Keyword(s): Credit/Credit Constraint; Debt/Borrowing; Earnings; Economic Changes/Recession; Educational Attainment; Household Income; Pearlin Mastery Scale; Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) (see Self-Esteem); Self-Esteem; Self-Perception; Socioeconomic Status (SES); Stress; Student Loans

Young adults at the turn of the 21st century came of age in a time of unprecedented access to credit but slowed growth in earnings, resulting in a dramatic increase in indebtedness. Debt has been little studied by sociologists, even though it is increasingly important in financing both attainment and a middle-class lifestyle, especially for youth in the transition to adulthood. We study the consequences of indebtedness for young adults’ sense of mastery and self-esteem as stratified by class. Young adulthood is a crucial developmental period for mastery and self-esteem, which then serve as a social psychological resource (or deficit) into the adult years. Research suggests that young people have divergent perspectives on debt: some focus on credit as a necessary investment in status attainment, while others worry that readily available credit invites improvidence that can erode the self-concept as debt encumbers achievement and future consumption and increases a sense of powerlessness. We find that both education and credit-card debt increase mastery and self-esteem, supporting the hypothesis that young people experience debt as an investment in the future, and contradicting the expectation that debt used to finance current spending will lower mastery and self-esteem. Our expectation that debt effects are accentuated for those of lower- and middle-class origins but blunted for those of upper-class origins is supported. We find, however, that the positive effects of debt appear to wane among the oldest young adults, suggesting the stresses of debt may mount with age. We conclude that further study of the long-term consequences of debt will be essential for advancing contemporary stratification theory and research.
Bibliography Citation
Dwyer, Rachel E., Laura McCloud and Randy Hodson. "Youth Debt, Mastery, and Self-Esteem: Class-Stratified Effects of Indebtedness on Self-Concept ." Social Science Research 40,3 (May 2011): 727-741.
4. McCloud, Laura
Climbing or Drowning? Consumer Credit and Intergenerational Mobility
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 2010
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University
Keyword(s): Debt/Borrowing; Educational Outcomes; Financial Assistance; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Mobility, Economic; Parental Influences; Parental Investments

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

In my dissertation, I use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine how parental indebtedness, measured across the life course, impacts the ability of their children to attain social mobility. In the first phase of this research, I transform the parent data in order to look at debt holding across age. I then use developmental trajectory analysis to assign parents to groups based on the amount of existing consumer debt balances they carry at each age data is collected, including parent’s income at each data point as a risk factor of their consumer indebtedness. I find that 7 distinct groups of debt holders among the parents: 1) those with consistently insignificant or no consumer debt, 2) those who start adulthood with considerable consumer debt and initially repay only to amass large amounts later in life, 3) those who start adulthood with considerable consumer debt they repay late in life, 4) those who start adulthood with considerable consumer debt they repay mid-life, 5) those who start adulthood with considerable consumer debt they repay early in adult life, 6) those who start with no consumer debt but amass some at midlife they later repay, and 7) those who consistently carry significant amounts of consumer debt across their lives. I conduct thorough descriptive analysis of each group to identify likely risk factors to understand why parents emerge in the various groups.

In the second phase of this research, I link parent data to their young adult children to assess the impact parental indebtedness has on their children’s social mobility. Because consumer debt can be used as a mechanism to both invest in children and to drain fiscal resources that could be invested in children, I initially examine the impact of parental indebtedness on financial investment in their young adult children. I find that young adult children whose parents hold significant amounts of consumer debt in later life (groups 2, 6, and 7) are much more likely to receive financial support from their parents. These parents are more likely to support their young adult children by paying their children’s bills, financing their education, and letting them live at home than are children whose parents consumer carry little debt when their children become young adults. My findings suggesting that some parents likely incur consumer debt as a means of investing in their young adult children. I next examine the impact parental indebtedness has on their young adult children’s financial behaviors. I find that young adults whose parents have consistently low debt (group 1) are unlikely to become consumer debtors themselves during young adulthood and that young adults whose parents have consistently high consumer debt (group 7) are very likely to hold sizeable consumer debt balances early in life. I also find, however, that young adults with parents who, in their own young adulthood, followed a trajectory compatible with the life course hypothesis (groups 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) have indistinguishable debt patterns. Because important distinctions of consumer behavior did not emerge until later ages among their parents’ cohort, these findings still support my hypothesis that carrying debt is a somewhat socialized behavior. My dissertation finally examines how parental indebtedness impacts educational outcomes. Preliminary findings suggest that young adults whose parents hold significant amounts of debt in later life (groups 2, 6, and 7) are more likely to attend college than children of parents who have consistently low consumer debt (group 1), but that only children of parents who repay their own debts mid-life and re-emerge as consumer debtors (group 6) matriculate faster than the children of low debtors (group 1) when enrolled.

Bibliography Citation
McCloud, Laura. Climbing or Drowning? Consumer Credit and Intergenerational Mobility. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 2010.
5. McCloud, Laura
Family Debt as Investment in Young Adult Children
Presented: Chicago IL, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2015
Cohort(s): NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): College Degree; Debt/Borrowing; Educational Attainment; Family Resources; Parental Investments

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

One result of the democratization of credit is that consumer loans, particularly credit card loans, became available to the majority of American households. Despite the salience of this financial resource, stratification researchers have yet to conceptualize consumer credit as a valuable resource parents use to facilitate children’s status attainment. Using data from the 1979 Cohort and the Young Adults sample of the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth, I explore how parents' histories of indebtedness influence status attainment in their young adult children. I find that young adults largely advantage from their parents' consumer debt during early adulthood. The children of parents who historically carry high consumer balances are more likely to enroll in college and graduate with a Bachelor's degree. Conversely, I find that young adults whose parents do not carry consumer debt over time are significantly less likely to enroll in or graduate from college. While I find young adults benefit by having parents who historically carry high consumer debt balances, I am hesitant to conclude that the influence is overwhelmingly advantageous. Because the young adult children of high debt parents are more likely to amass high debts themselves, the advantages they see in early adulthood from their parents' consumer debt use may be jeopardized by having to repay their own debts in later life.
Bibliography Citation
McCloud, Laura. "Family Debt as Investment in Young Adult Children." Presented: Chicago IL, American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2015.