Key determinants in building financial capability among middle schoolers with a school-based financial literacy education program

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Southern New Hampshire University
Rising in importance at various life stages, financial literacy and welfare-enhancing financial behaviors are crucial life-skills for youth to develop in their early teens. Financial capabilities could be built in schools to keep pace with today’s fast-changing and complex financial marketplace. Their financial decisions will influence their future economic well-being. This study examined the relative effectiveness of variations of a co-curricular financial literacy education program offered to eight graders of a Middle School in New England. Mixed methods were utilized first, to determine differences in program effects at improving the students’ financial literacy and changing their financial attitudes and behaviors; and second, to uncover the determinants of the outcomes in building the students’ financial capability. There were differences found in degrees of improvements in financial knowledge and financial attitudes between each one and another variant of the program. Intervening variables, including influences of the family and peers, having a job and access to money, were also found to affect the financial outcomes. (Author abstract)