Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 385–399 | Cite as

Financial Capability in Children: Effects of Participation in a School-Based Financial Education and Savings Program

  • Margaret Sherrard SherradenEmail author
  • Lissa Johnson
  • Baorong Guo
  • William ElliottIII
Original Paper


A groundswell of interest in young people’s ability to understand and handle financial decisions has generated keen interest in financial knowledge and effectiveness of financial education. This study examines an innovative four-year school-based financial education and savings program, called “I Can Save” (ICS). Using a quasi-experimental design, the study examines quantitative and qualitative data to analyze program effects on financial knowledge. Elementary school children who participated in ICS scored significantly higher on a financial literacy test taken in fourth grade than comparison group students in the same school, regardless of parent education and income. Results suggest that young children increase financial capability when they have access to financial education and it is accompanied by participation in meaningful financial services.


Financial capability Financial education Financial services Young children Saving College savings 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Sherrard Sherraden
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lissa Johnson
    • 2
  • Baorong Guo
    • 1
  • William ElliottIII
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Center for Social DevelopmentWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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