Written By: Yoon G. Lee, Paula A. Lopez, and Heather H. Kelley
Using data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS), this study examined the associations between financial stressors and financial behaviors, and how these associations differ by race/ethnicity. The descriptive results showed that Black and Hispanic individuals reported higher financial stressors than White and Asian/Other individuals. The regression results showed that higher financial stressors significantly increased undesirable financial behaviors and decreased desirable financial behaviors. The regression results also revealed that Black individuals engaged in significantly more undesirable financial behaviors, while Hispanic and Asian/Other individuals did not differ significantly from White individuals. Further analyses for racial/ethnic differences in the associations between financial stressors and behaviors suggest that race/ethnicity moderated the relationship between the financial stressors and financial behaviors. Specifically, Black individuals with high financial stressors engaged in fewer undesirable financial behaviors, but they also engaged in fewer desirable financial behaviors as compared to the other racial and ethnic groups. Implications for financial counselors, financial educators, and other financial professionals are discussed.