Abstracts Winter 2018

Winter 2018, Vol. 22, No. 1

A Comparative Study of an Abbreviated and Extended Youth Financial Education Program

Kimberly Watkins, University of Alabama, Adenola Osinubi, University of Georgia, Kenneth J. White, Jr., University of Georgia, Tammy Williams, University of Georgia, Michael G. Thomas  Jr., University of Georgia, John E. Grable, University of Georgia


The need for financial education continues to be warranted due to low financial knowledge scores, high bankruptcy rates, large levels of household debt, and other negative outcomes associated with poor financial management. Researchers and educators have advocated for financial education programs and interventions for youth to decrease the likelihood of poor financial management behaviors in adulthood. The purpose of this paper is to present findings showing that weeklong extended financial education camps and an abbreviated version of those camps can be used to increase financial knowledge and confidence among youth. Using a specially designed financial education curriculum for middle-school-aged youth, the researchers condensed a 5-day, 6-hour-per-day schedule into a 4-day, 1-hour-per-day program. A pre-assessment was given to participants to measure each participant’s financial knowledge and financial confidence. At the conclusion of each camp, participants were asked to answer the same questions in a post-assessment. Results were used to measure differences in financial knowledge and financial confidence scores. Findings from the post-assessments showed that participants who attended the abbreviated session exhibited higher financial knowledge scores. There was also a significant increase in financial confidence among participants in both camps. FULL TEXT


Conceptualizing Health and Financial Wellness: Using Facilitated Discussion to Collect Input from Professionals

Elizabeth Kiss, Kansas State University, Suzanne Bartholomae, Iowa State University, Carrie L. Johnson, North Dakota State University, Barbara O’Neil, Rutgers University, Yilan Xu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Michael Gutter, University of Florida


Determinants of health and financial security are complex. Individuals and families must often weigh decisions about their health against considerations of their financial resources, and vice-versa. Financial wellness and capability influence consumers’ health outcomes both directly and indirectly. This article documents a facilitated discussion at the 2018 Biennial Conference of Family Economics and Resource Management Association (FERMA) that bridged the domains of health and personal finance. Organizers summarized connections between health and financial stress, well-being, and wellness, and discussed definitions of health literacy and financial literacy. Attendees shared perspectives about how consumers’ financial wellness and capability influence their education and outreach activities and consumers’ health outcomes. They also worked together to create integrated models of health and financial wellness that could increase the number of Americans who are healthy and financially well at every stage of life. Insights will guide future scholarship focused on intersections of health and financial wellness. FULL TEXT


The Effects of Demographic Characteristics on Financial Well-Being

Claudia J. Heath, University of Kentucky, Jakub Mikuška, University of Kentucky, Martie L. Gillen, University of Florida


Data measuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ’s Financial Well-Being Scale were gathered from a representative sample of Kentuckians during spring 2016. Psychometric properties of the five items were tested using principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. The effects of individual demographic characteristics on the Financial Well-Being Scale were tested using a structural equation model. Five of the Financial Well-Being items loaded strongly on a unidimensional factor that explained 57% of the item variance in the exploratory factor analysis. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the model fit the data well (α = .866). Of the seven demographic variables, four were statistically significant predictors of financial well-being: household income and age were positive predictors, while household size and being female were negative predictors. Race, marital status, and education were not statistically significant after controlling for the effects of other variables. Overall, the demographic variables explained 25.4% of the variance of financial well-being. FULL TEXT


Exploring the Relationship Between Sustainability and Personal Finance Practices

Kenneth J. White, Jr., University of Georgia, Megan McCoy, Kansas State University, Kimberly Watkins, University of Alabama


Society’s awareness of sustainability has seen a substantial increase in recent years. There is a striking similarity between sustainability and personal finance practices. Both areas involve managing resources to provide optimal consumption today while ensuring resources are available for future generations. This study sought to examine how sustainability is associated with young adults’ financial behaviors by (a) exploring how young adults’ environmental attitudes translate to their attitudes and behaviors regarding their personal finance practices, and (b) examining the relationship that trust and confidence in leadership has on young adults’ financial attitudes and behaviors. The results of this exploratory study suggest there are positive correlations between pro-environmental sustainability attitudes and personal financial attitudes and behaviors. Additionally, an inverse relationship between trust in organizations’ leadership and financial attitudes and behaviors were found. Results from each of the models are useful in understanding relationships between attitudes toward sustainability and personal finance attitudes and provide implications for educators and financial services providers. FULL TEXT


Impacts of Delivering Finance Education Using Online Videos

Amanda Christensen, Utah State University, Andree’ Walker, Utah State University


This article examines the benefits of using online videos for Extension educational outreach. In the digital age, as face-to-face engagement with Extension programming decreases, Extension professionals can still deliver research-based, reliable information to communities in new and engaging ways. Nineteen personal finance videos were created and posted to online platforms such as Extension’s YouTube and Facebook pages on topics such as budgeting, credit management, savings, personal allowance, holiday spending, tips for newlyweds, and so forth. The videos had 12,955 views in all 50 states and 27 countries. The positive impacts discussed show how Extension can successfully adapt peer-reviewed material and remain a relevant source of trustworthy information in the digital age. Implications for Extension are also discussed. FULL TEXT


Impacts of Youth Financial Literacy Education Through 4-H TRY Teams

Stacey S. MacArthur, Utah State University, Amanda H. Christensen, Utah State University, Zurishaddai Garcia, Utah State University, Margie Memmott, Utah State University, Paul Hill, Utah State University, Emy Swadley, Utah State University


Research shows one of the issues with financial education is creating curricula that appeal to the interests and needs of learners (O’Neill, Xiao, Bristow, Brennan, & Kerbel, 2000). It has also been shown that youth thrive with a peer-to-peer teaching approach to personal finance education (Garcia et al., 2017). Utah 4-H and Fidelity Investments® collaborated to teach youth financial literacy through a peer-teaching experience. A unique technology component called Scratch was used to reinforce financial concepts. Results show that youth participants increased knowledge and agreement of financial concepts as a result of participating in the program. A program description about the Money Mentors program, use of TRY Teams (Teens Reaching Youth), results and impacts, and important implications for Extension personal-finance education are discussed. FULL TEXT


Navigating Decisions on Degrees, Debt, and Employment Prospects

Rita W. Green, The University of Memphis


This article uses a reality-based scenario to illustrate pertinent considerations when making decisions about college, costs of pursuing a degree, and financing options. There is a need to educate students and parents about ways to evaluate the costs of a degree, expected salary from a chosen profession, and student loans that are often used to finance a college education. Resources like the financial aid toolkit can be used to train financial educators so they are prepared to help students and parents make wise choices on the path to realizing the dream of a college degree. FULL TEXT


Teaching Consumers to Understand and Estimate Health Care Costs

Jesse Ketterman Jr., University of Maryland Extension, Maria Pippidis, University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Virginia Brown, University of Maryland Extension, Bonnie Braun, University of Maryland


Consumers are confused about health insurance. According to Consumers Union (Quincy, 2012), consumers struggle with health insurance decisions because of low health insurance literacy and the complexity of products. This results in consumers struggling to understand and estimate health care costs. Cooperative Extension Systems from two states developed an educational program with modules that seeks to reduce confusion, increase capability, and increase confidence when choosing and using health insurance. The module reported here is designed to help consumers understand types of health care expenses, know where to go for information about health care expenses, and use tools to help estimate out-of-pocket health care costs. FULL TEXT