Asset Building Financial Inclusion Report

Do Assets Affect Well-Being? Perceptions of Youth in a Matched Savings Program

This article presents data from a qualitative study of a youth savings account program. In-depth interviews were conducted with 30 youth ages 14–19 between November 2004 and February 2005 who were participants in the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) national demonstration project. Our findings focus on youths’ perceptions of the psychological, behavioral, and social impacts of savings-program participation. Five of our hypothesized effects were found including: (1) fiscal prudence, (2) view of self, (3) future orientation, (4) sense of security, and (5) financial knowledge. Youth did not generally perceive that savings participation had impacts on: (1) family interactions, or (2) community involvement. Following the presentation of findings, our discussion centers on implications for theory building, research, and policy and program design.

Subsequent publication: Scanlon, E., & Adams, D. (2009). Do assets affect well-being? Perceptions of youth in a matched savings program. Journal of Social Service Research, 35(1), 33–46. doi:10.1080/01488370802477048

Project: SEED National Initiative