What are Student Loan Borrowers Thinking? Insights from Focus Groups on College Selection and Student Loan Decision Making

Johnson, C. L., O’Neill, B., Worthy, S., Lown, J. M., Bowen, C. F. (2016). What are student loan borrowers thinking? Insights from focus groups on college selection and student loan decision making. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 27(2), 184-198.

Brief Description: This study used data from online focus groups to understand college students’ decision-making process when borrowing money to finance their education. Respondents were asked eight questions regarding their college selection and student loan decision-making. Results suggest that (a) …

Couples’ money management behavior and relationship satisfaction


Britt, S., Grable, J.E., Nelson, B.S., & White, M. (2008). The influence of perceived spending behaviors on relationship satisfaction. Financial Counseling and Planning, 19(1), 31-43.

Brief Description: This study explored relationships between couples’ personal and joint spending habits and relationship satisfaction. Results indicated that partner spending behaviors, but not one’s own or joint spending behaviors, influence relationship satisfaction. Other factors associated with relationship satisfaction were high self-esteem (positive relationship) and financial stressors such as medical bills (negative relationship).


Changes in Debt and Change in Marital Satisfaction


Dew, J. (2007). The relationship between debt change and marital satisfaction change in recently married couples. Family Relations, 57 (1), 60-71.

Brief Description: Recently married couples report debt as one of their top concerns. This study assesses how changes in consumer debt (e.g., credit card debt) relate to changes in marital satisfaction. Consumer debt assumption is associated with recently married couples’ cutting back on spending time together and arguing about money more frequently. These changes predict declines in marital satisfaction. …

Food Insecurity of Low-income Families

Nnakwe Nweze. E. (March 2008). Dietary patterns and prevalence of food insecurity among low-income families participating in community food assistance programs in a Midwest town. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 36 (3), 229-242. http://fcs.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/36/3/229.


Brief Description: The study investigated the dietary patterns and prevalence of food insecurity in low-income families participating in community food assistance programs. A total of 236 heads of households were selected as a convenience sample and interviewed using standard research instruments. Households with children …

Encouraging Savings by Low-Income Individuals


Fry, T., Mihajilo, S., Russell, R. & Brooks, R. (2008). The factors influencing saving in a matched savings program: goals, knowledge of payment instruments and other behavior. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29(2), 234-250.

Brief Description: This study investigates the factors that influence the saving behavior of low-income participants in a matched savings program. The factors found to play a positive role in encouraging saving were goal-setting and the financial literacy education component offered in the program. The …

Financial Education for Bankrupt Families


Thorne, D. & Porter, K. (2007) Financial education for bankrupt families: Attitudes and needs. Journal of Consumer Education 24, 15-27.

Brief Description: The study examines bankrupt families’ attitudes toward financial education courses and the expenses with which they are most likely to struggle after bankruptcy. Results reveal that a majority of respondents believed that a money or debt management course would have helped them avoid bankruptcy. However, respondents with college degrees, who were white, or who were older (especially 65 …

Behavior Change Among Savings Program Participants

Loibl, C., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Zhan, M. & Red Bird, B. (2010). More than a penny saved: Long-term changes in behavior among savings program participants. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44, (1): 98-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6606.2010.01159.x.

Brief Description: The study explored the long-term effectiveness of low-income individuals’ participation in a federally funded matched savings program. To collect data, a survey was mailed to former program participants in Ohio, and compared with the responses of a general low-income population sample. The results document that …

Renters’ preparation for retirement

James, R. N., & Sharpe, D. L. (2007). Is time running out? Savings and investments of renters nearing retirement age. Financial Counseling and Planning, 18(2), 61-75.

Brief Description: This study explored how renters age 45-64 prepare for retirement without any home equity. Compared with otherwise similar homeowners, renters nearing retirement were less likely to contribute to retirement savings plans (e.g. 401(k)s and IRAs), invested less when they did contribute, and favored short-term convenience accounts (e.g., checking and savings) with …

Determinants of Asset Allocation Strategies for Retirement Saving

Morrin, M., Broniarczyk, S. & Inman, J. J. (2008), Saving for Retirement: The Effects of Fund Assortment Size and Investor Knowledge on Asset Allocation Strategies, The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(2), 206-222.

Brief Description: We conducted a decision simulation among 211 adults whose task was to invest in a hypothetical 401(k) retirement plan. We varied the number of mutual funds (3 or 21) offered for investment and assessed investor knowledge with a self-report measure. The results indicate that less …

A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings

Wiener, J. & Doescher, T. (2008). A Framework for Promoting Retirement Savings, The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42 (2), 137-164.

Brief description: This paper identifies the constructs that influence an individual’s intention to save for retirement. It discusses how and when these factors can be changed by an agent trying to induce an individual to enroll in a retirement plan, increase his or her contribution to a plan, or purchase a particular retirement product. A broad array of psychological theories …