Written By: Ashley B. LeBaron-Black, Heather H. Kelley, E. Jeffrey Hill, Bryce L. Jorgensen, and Jakob F. Jensen
Using consumer socialization theory, this study examined the associations between perceived influence of parents, peers, employment, and media and spending behaviors of emerging adult college students from three different regions of the US: Northeast, South Atlantic, and Mountain regions. Data from the Emerging Adult Financial Capability Study (N = 2,322) were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Greater parental and employment influences perceived by the students were linked with more responsible spending behaviors, while greater peer and media influences were associated with less responsible spending behaviors. This study highlights the importance of the home and the workplace as the nexus for financial learning. This knowledge can help focus efforts to help future emerging adult college students learn responsible spending behaviors.