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Överskuldsättningens ansikten: En studie av vägar in i och ut ur ekonomiska svårigheter
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Social Work.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
The faces of over-indebtedness : Pathways into and out of financial problems (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to increase the understanding and awareness of what the pathways into and out of debt problems can look like, why people get into bad debt situations, how problems are handled and how they are perceived.

The empirical data is based on semi-structured narrative interviews with 32 people who can relate to a debt settlement in three ways, either by just having applied for a debt settlement, finding themselves in the midst of a debt settlement or being debt-free since a few years back. The material is analyzed in terms relating to the processes, strategies and impact factors surrounding debt problems and debt settlements.

Debt problems can either happen slowly and gradually or arise suddenly and unexpectedly. The causes may be an interaction between individual and structural factors. Both coping strategies and influencing factors can change over time and depend on where in the debt process one is. The results show that the coping strategies vary from active to passive, from open to closed, where the determining factors are mainly how one was treated/ received, one's health, age, sense of shame and guilt, social relationships, as well as the causes of debt. 

The results show how there is interplay between individual and structural factors in terms of causes, but also in the strategies and approaches expressed. The coping strategies are influenced and changed with the time scale over the debt process. Women have a risk to a greater extent than men to suffer from debt problems without having spent any money, but instead by acting as co-signer or guarantor.

The conclusion is that debt problems do not just affect a certain group of individuals, but that anyone can in principle be affected by excessive debt. What becomes clear is that there is not only one but several ways into and out of debt problems in which both individual and structural factors are important. Although there is a way out of excessive debt problems through debt relief law, results show that the solution extends over time and has far-reaching consequences for both individuals and society.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linneaus University Press , 2011. , 334 p.
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 69/2011
Keyword [en]
over-indebtedness, debt-settlement, coping strategies, gender, social work
Keyword [sv]
överskuldsättning, skuldsanering, copingstrategier, kön, socialt arbete
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-15130ISBN: 978-91-86983-13-0OAI: diva2:451803
Public defence
2011-11-18, IKEA-salen, Hus N, Linnéuniversitetet, Lückligs plats 3, Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-11-10 Created: 2011-10-27 Last updated: 2012-01-19Bibliographically approved

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Sandvall, Lisbeth
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