Much has been written in the popular press on credit card use and spending patterns of American college students. The proliferation of credit cards and their ease of acquisition ensure that students today have more opportunities for making more credit purchases than any other generation of college students. Little is known about the relationship between students' attitudes towards materialism and their use of credit cards. A study was conducted at three college campuses in the northeastern part of the United States where a total of 1,022 students were surveyed. Students' attitudes toward use of credit and their credit card balances were evaluated relative to their scores on Richins and Dawson's Materialism Scale (1992). Our findings suggest no significant difference between those individuals scoring high versus low on the Materialism Scale in terms of the number of credit cards owned and the average balance owed. Individuals high on materialism, however, significantly differed in terms of their uses for credit cards and their general attitude toward their use.
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