The Role of Financial Resources in Resilience and Positive Personal Qualities of College Students

Ozlem Karairmak* and Rahsan Sivis**
**Özlem Karaırmak, PhD. Kocaeli University, Faculty of Education, Kocaeli, TURKEY
** Rahşan Siviş-Çetinkaya, PhD. Uludağ University, Faculty of Education, Bursa, TURKEY

Problem Statement: Turkey is a country which has undergone serious economical hardships for a long time. A large number of individuals are affected negatively by economical conditions. Economical difficulties could provoke psychosocial problems. Struggling with financial problems is an additional burden for university students, which may lead to academic, emotional and social difficulties in their lives. On the other hand, resilience is a sign of adjustment to challenging life conditions. It is vital for individuals to be able to adapt to adversity. Adverse life events can be a single life event, such as being exposed to natural disasters, or chronic life conditions, such as living in poverty. Certain positive personality-related variables could help individuals to cope with psychosocial problems. Self worth, positive affect, life satisfaction, optimism and hope were selected as positive personal qualities.
Purpose of Study: The present research particularly focused on comparing resilience between two groups of college students with either adequate or limited financial resources. We assumed that the students with adequate financial resources would be more likely to report greater resilience and other positive personal qualities than students with limited financial resources. We also predicted that the educational background of students’ parents and students’ financial resources would be linked. It can easily be assumed that having adequate financial resources is already an advantage and makes individuals personally stronger. However, providing culture-specific empirical evidence for the assumption is one of the main purposes of the study.
Methods: Participants were 496 Turkish college students (339 females, 157 males) aged 18-26 (M= 21.35, SD=1.50) with limited and adequate financial resources. Participants were administered a set of measures in order to determine their resilience, self esteem, positive and negative affect, life satisfaction, optimism and hope levels. The instruments were Turkish versions of the Ego-Resiliency Scale, Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the Life Orientation Test (LOT) and the Dispositional Hope Scale (DHS). A demographic data sheet was also given in order to determine participants’ financial status and their parents’ educational background.
Findings and Results: The parametric results revealed that university students with adequate resources had higher resilience, positive affect and self-esteem scores than those with limited resources. The students with adequate financial resources reported greater life satisfaction and less negative affect. However, there was no group difference in terms of hope and optimism scores. The non-parametric analyses indicated that the educational background of the parents and financial resources of students were found to be significantly related.
Conclusions: Students with adequate financial resources had higher resilience, positive affect, life satisfaction and self esteem scores than those with limited financial resources. Parental education is likely to determine the level of financial resources among college students.
Keywords: Resilience, financial resources, college students, personality.