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

Joyce Serido, Melissa J. Curran, Melissa Wilmarth, Sun Young Ahn, Soyeon Shim, Jaime Ballard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-710
Number of pages15
JournalFamily relations
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the National Council on Family Relations.


  • College students
  • Financial behavior
  • Financial socialization
  • Parents
  • Romantic partners


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