Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Type





Leandra Parris

Mentor Department



In the face of financial strain, financial literacy education has been implemented with the noble goal of improving financial knowledge and outcomes. Due to increasing rates of debt, bankruptcy, and lower savings funds these programs are in continued need of evaluation (Fox, Bartholomae & Lee 2005). Financial literacy is defined as the ability to read, analyze, and manage personal financial conditions (Zait & Berta 2014). However, research has been limited regarding the relationship between between financial literacy and actual behaviors that people engage in regarding economic decisions (i.e., financial behaviors). Meta-analysis of previous studies involving these programs found that they only account for .01% of the variance in financial behaviors (Fernandes, Lynch, & Netemeyer, 2014). Additionally, state mandated personal finance courses have also shown to have no effect on savings or investment behavior (Cole & Shastry, 2010). Given these findings, it is crucial that financial literacy programs be improved to provide better outcomes and to act as a preventative measure for our youth. Financial education should exhibit relevance to participants to engage and motivate them (Henn 2008). Research is needed on evaluating characteristics of the individual and their impact on education outcomes. Such differences individuals have included their value systems (i.e., intrinsic and extrinsic). Those with extrinsic values are motivated by outside factors, while those with intrinsic values are motivated by internal factors. Research has found that those holding extrinsic values is a predictor of negative outcomes (e.g., debt, relationships, conflicts), while those holding intrinsic values is a predictor of more positive outcomes (Kasser, 2016). Participants holding extrinsic values may be at increased risk for negative financial outcomes, and therefore should be evaluated on their response to financial literacy education. The current study evaluated the impact of participants value systems on their financial literacy education outcomes (e.g., financial knowledge and adaptive spending behaviors). The financial literacy curriculum was implemented by the Champaign Area Relationship Education for Youth (CARE4U) program, which serves disadvantaged youth. Specific research questions were 1) How does the CARE4U program impact financial behaviors? 2) How do pretest measures of intrinsic, extrinsic, and financial literacy influence financial behaviors following program completion? Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered to address these research areas.

This document is currently not available here.