Who Says “I Do”? Financial Resources and Values on Relationship Choices of Emerging Adults

Jennifer K. Rea, Joyce Serido, Lynne M. Borden, Sharon M Danes, Sun Young Ahn, Soyeon Shim Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined potential impacts of financial resources and values on emerging adults' choice in committed relationships (N = 424, 26–35 years). Guided by Deacon and Firebaugh's (1988) Family Resource Management theory, financial self-sufficiency and forming a committed relationship were conceptualized as two salient goals of emerging adulthood. Multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the effects of financial self-sufficiency, values, and personal background factors on choice of committed relationship status. Findings indicated that emerging adults with fewer financial resources chose to live apart; however, the effects of career values were a stronger predictor of their relationship status. In contrast, neither financial resources nor career values differentiated between cohabiting and married emerging adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-41
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • committed relationships
  • developmental goals
  • emerging adults
  • financial self-sufficiency
  • life choices

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