Parental Debt and Child Well-Being: What Type of Debt Matters for Child Outcomes?

Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Allison Dwyer Emory, Kasey J. Eickmeyer, Maureen R. Waller, and Daniel P. Miller
August 2021

Child support arrears may have a negative impact on child well-being. In this study, the authors considered different types of debt owed by parents and the impact of debt on their children. Child support arrears are often a large amount of the debt owed by parent. Arrears have been shown to have negative consequences on those who owe them such as poor mental health, high stress, and lack of employability. These stressors extend to children. To combat this issue, the program should consider policies to prevent accrual of arrears in the first place and reduce already-accrued arrears.