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How Financial Socialization Messages Relate to Financial Management, Optimism and Stress: Variations by Race

Abstract

This study explored how explicit family financial socialization as reflected in three types of parental financial messages (messaging about saving, banking, and investing) relate to three financial outcomes (financial management, financial stress, and financial optimism) and how these relationships varied by race. We used cross-sectional data from 14,662 respondents from the 2014 National Student Financial Wellness Survey (NSFWS), a nationally representative dataset inclusive of students from 52 colleges and universities across the United States. Results from this study offer an understanding of how specific financial messages regarding saving, banking, and investing shape college students’ financial management behaviors and attitudes and how race/ethnicity is associated with the specific types of messaging in one’s family of origin. Specifically, results demonstrated that African American students received significantly fewer saving and banking messages and Hispanic students received fewer investing messages compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Across all racial categories, those who received the investing message reported better financial management, higher financial optimism, and experienced less financial stress.

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This is one of several papers published together in Journal of Family and Economic Issues on the “Special Issue on Couples, Families, and Finances”.

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White, K., Watkins, K., McCoy, M. et al. How Financial Socialization Messages Relate to Financial Management, Optimism and Stress: Variations by Race. J Fam Econ Iss 42, 237–250 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09704-w

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