Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 257–279 | Cite as

Effects of Marriage and Children on Financial Risk Tolerance: A Synthesis of Family Development and Prospect Theory

  • Barbara Chaulk
  • Phyllis J. Johnson
  • Richard Bulcroft


Family development and prospect theory were used as a framework to predict variability in individuals' subjective financial risk tolerance within distinct family structures. Gender, age, and income were expected to interact with the main effects of family structure (marital status and children). Theory-generated hypotheses were examined in Study 1 (data from university housing respondents, n = 76) and Study 2 (the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances, n = 4,305). One family structure main effect (child presence) was significant for investment risk tolerance in both studies. Family structure interactions (marital status × age and child × income) were significant for employment risk (Study 1), and child × age was significant for investment risk in Study 2.

family development prospect theory risk tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Chaulk
    • 1
  • Phyllis J. Johnson
    • 2
  • Richard Bulcroft
    • 3
  1. 1.Radiation Therapy Program, B C Cancer Agency, Vancouver Cancer AgencyCanada
  2. 2.School of Social Work and Family StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of SociologyWestern Washington UniversityBellingham

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