The Unique Role of Parents and Romantic Partners on College Students' Financial Attitudes and Behaviors

Authors

  • Joyce Serido,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota
    • Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1985 Buford Ave., 290, St. Paul, MN 55108 (jserido@umn.edu).

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  • Melissa J. Curran,

    1. University of Arizona
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    • Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona, 650 N. Park Ave., P.O. Box 210078, Tucson, AZ 85721–0078.
  • Melissa Wilmarth,

    1. University of Alabama
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    • College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Alabama, 305 Adams Hall, Box 870158, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487–0158.
  • Sun Young Ahn,

    1. University of Arizona
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    • Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Arizona, 650 N. Park Ave., P.O. Box 210078, Tucson, AZ 85721–0078.
  • Soyeon Shim,

    1. The University of Wisconsin–Madison
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    • School of Human Ecology, The University of Wisconsin, 2135 Nancy Nicholas Hall, 1300 Linden Dr., Madison, WI 53706.
  • Jaime Ballard

    1. University of Minnesota
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    • Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1985 Buford Ave., 290, St. Paul, MN 55108.

Abstract

Extending a theoretical framework combining consumer socialization and planned behavior theories, the authors examined the influences that parents and romantic partners exert on college students' financial attitude and behavior using two waves of data collected from a sample of students in their first year (Wave 1) and fourth year (Wave 2) of college who were in a committed relationship at Wave 2 (N = 693 individuals). Using structural equation modeling, a positive relationship was found between the concurrent financial behavior of the parents and romantic partners and students' financial behavior (direct effects). After accounting for the parents' financial behavior at Wave 1, concurrent financial behavior of romantic partners (but not parents) positively predicted students' financial attitude, which in turn positively predicted students' financial behavior (indirect effects). These findings increase our understanding of the type and the timing of financial socialization factors that influence the financial behavior of college students.

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