Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Jacqueline Lynch

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Keisha McIntyre-McCullough

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Maria Lovett

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kimberly Watkins

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


financial literacy, financial education, financial socialization, critical race theory

Date of Defense



Financial literacy and education have become hot topics in the U.S. The research of the Black community within this field of study is limited and existing research findings are bleak. The purpose of this study was to understand the financial knowledge, behaviors, and socialization of Black college students. Many existing studies seek to understand financial literacy through quantitative inquiry solely, however this study used a concurrent mixed method research design to obtain a holistic understanding of the research questions while minimizing biases.

The quantitative portion of the study consisted of a survey administered online and grounded in the Family Financial Socialization Theory (FFST) where individuals’ financial literacy and practices were assessed (n=181). Additional semi-structured interviews were conducted with a subset of participants (n=8). Along with a focus on FFST, the questions were crafted using Critical Race Theory (CRT) and explored the participants intersectionality of race and personal finance. The survey data suggested mostly positive findings as it relates to respondents’ financial attitudes, knowledge, capabilities, behaviors, and socialization and supported the most of the FFST model assumptions. There was a strong relationship among the financial attitudes, knowledge, and capabilities (FAKC) construct and the financial behaviors and well-being constructs. Analysis of the qualitative findings yielded eight themes and revealed additional financial knowledge of participants not captured in the quantitative survey. The findings suggest the need for culturally responsive survey tools.

Both the quantitative and qualitative results indicate that the financial knowledge of Black college students is in the average range, which indicates there is opportunity for additional financial education. Findings of the interviews suggest that race plays a factor in the participants belief around wealth being personally attainable for them, and there are practices that have kept the Black community from attaining wealth.





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