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Guest Editor
Jennifer L. Hunter, Ph.D., University of Kentucky
Assistant Extension Director Family and Consumer Sciences and Extension Professor

This special edition of The Forum for Family & Consumer Issues is dedicated to widely disseminating the scientific body knowledge shared at the 2018 Family Economic and Resource Management Association (FERMA) Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The FERMA conference is a biennial meeting which focuses on uniting professionals with subject matter expertise in the broad fields of consumer economics and family finance, as well as to expand the effectiveness of the family economics and resource management field. This special edition of THE FORUM highlights the breadth of knowledge and scholarly work shared as part of the conference. Each paper is briefly described below.

Financial well-being is a measure of an individual’s level of financial security and financial freedom. Heath, Mikuška, and Gillen tested the effects of an individual’s demographic characteristics, such as age, household income, household size, and marital status, on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Financial Well-Being five-item scale. This article brings awareness to the use of the CFPB’s abbreviated scale to aid financial educators and practitioners in working with clientele.

Financial education is a central theme of this issue. Several articles focus on the use of reality-based scenarios or simulations to demonstrate the real-world implications of financial decisions. Green utilizes scenarios to encourage parents and students to understand pertinent college financial decisions such as the total cost of tuition, financial aid packages, degree selection (potential career earnings), etc. Similarly, MacArthur and colleagues, explored the effectiveness of a youth peer-to-peer teaching approach for financial education. Teams of youth mentors were trained in the Money Matters financial curriculum and then disseminated across the state to deliver the curriculum in their home communities. Continuing with the theme of financial education, Watkins and colleagues explored the effectiveness of participating in a financial education camp.

The traditional Cooperative Extension model focuses on face-to-face program delivery. However, as society is becoming more digital and there is a greater desire by clientele to utilize online learning mechanisms, Extension in general is seeking new and different ways to reach clientele. Christensen and Walker examined the effectiveness of delivering financial education through online videos, through a variety of online platforms including YouTube and Facebook.

Research exploring the link between financial security and other lifestyle choices or determinants are common within financial literature. This issue continues to explore connections between financial success and other consumer decisions or practices. Kiss and colleagues explored the connectivity of health and financial domains. Furthermore, the article by White, McCoy, and Watkins presents a unique study on the link between sustainability in terms of environmental stewardship and personal finance practices.

The articles presented within this issue reflect the broad diversity of subject matter currently being explored in the field of family economics and resource management.

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