Recent Developments

    • Family Resource Management
    • Housing and House Furnishings
    • Human Development

Family Resource Management

Employees’ personal finance problems result in high cost to employers

Research by the Military Family Institute concludes that direct and indirect costs to the Navy for poor personal financial behaviors of workers range from $483 to $683 per worker per year (Luther, Garman, Leecy, Griffitt & Gilroy, 1997), an annual total of $208 to $297 million. Estimated annual cost to the entire Defense Department is $1 billion. The cost to employers to provide comprehensive personal finance education for workers ranges from $75 to $455. The return on investment is at least three-to-one, perhaps as much as nine-to-one. Virginia Tech’s outreach Personal Finance Employee Education program sponsored a national conference in November 1997, bringing together employers and providers of information, education and services, and featuring the latest research, position papers and model employer programs. Check the web for info on the 1997 and the 1998 PFEE conferences.

Source: Presentation by E. Thomas Garman, Virginia Tech, at the 1998 Financial Education Seminars sponsored by The Conference Board (May 5, 1998)

Contributed by: Janice Holm Lloyd, Family Resource Management Specialist, N.C. State University

Housing and House Furnishings

Consumers are willing to pay for energy efficiency

The willingness of housing consumers to demand and pay for energy efficient features is a long-debated issue in the building industry. The March/April 1998 issue of Home Energy contains an article that focuses on this issue. The author cites a number of surveys that indicate that consumers are beginning to demand more from their housing in terms of energy efficient and healthy house features. The data indicate that consumers are willing to pay a considerable amount for these additional features, particularly if given a guarantee for their effectiveness and savings.

Source: Allen, D.R. (1998). Do Consumers Buy Energy Efficiency? Home Energy.15(2). 28-32.

Contributed by: Sarah D. Kirby, Ph.D., Housing Specialist, N.C. State University.

Forty-six percent of the housing units in the United States had central air conditioning in 1995. There are regional differences, however. In the South, almost 70 percent of the year-round occupied units had central air. Approximately 50 percent of the year-round occupied units in the Midwest had central air conditioning. The West and Northeast had 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively. For more information about the characteristics of housing in the United States review the Section 25: Construction and Housing of the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1997.


Contributed by: Sarah D. Kirby, Ph.D., Housing Specialist, N.C. State University.

Human Development

AIDS risk is higher for those over age 50

A report by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says people age 50 and older who contract AIDS are less likely than younger people to be diagnosed early, making treatment more complicated. The report says that part of the problem is that older people may not think they are at risk and that doctors may be reluctant to talk to older patients about HIV/AIDS. Another possible explanation may be that symptoms of AIDS may be similar to other illnesses thought to be associated with age.

Source: Rice, Susan D. 1998. Centers for Disease Control: AIDS risk higher for those over 50. Aging Today 19:2, 6.

(This is the study cited in the news article: Stall, R. and Catania, J. 1994. AIDS risk behaviors among late middle-aged and elderly Americans: The National AIDS Behavior Surveys. Archives of Internal Medicine 154:1, 57-63.)

Contributed by: Luci Bearon, Ph.D., Adult Development/Aging Specialist, N.C. State University.

Since 1990, the composition of American households and families has remained relatively stable

Reports of the continuing rapid decline of the traditional American family are greatly exaggerated, according to the United States Census Bureau’s Current Population Reports on Population Characteristics (April 1998). From 1970 to 1990, married-couple households with children did decline sharply from 40 to 26 percent of all households, but since 1990 decline has been slower (e.g., a decline only to 25 percent in 1997).

Source: United States Census Bureau’s Current Population Reports on Population Characteristics (April 1998).

Contributed by: D. Wayne Matthews, P.h.D., Human Development Specialist, N.C. State University.




Back to table of contents ->