This study has three goals: (1) to provide an extensive review of research on the assets/expectation relationship, (2) to provide a conceptual framework for how children’s savings effects children’s college-bound identity (children’s college expectations are a proxy for children’s college-bound identity), and (3) to conduct a simultaneous test of whether owning a savings account leads to college-bound identity or college-bound identity lead to owning a savings account using path analytic technique with Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Our review reveals asset researchers theorize about college-bound identity in two distinct but compatible ways: college-bound identity as a “linking mechanism”, and college-bound identity as a mediator. However, there has been little theoretical development on the attitudinal effects of assets. In this study, we posit a conceptual framework for how children’s savings affects children’s college-bound identity. Findings from the simultaneous test of the assets/ college-bound identity relationship suggest that savings has modest effect on college-bound identity and vice versa. a policy implication is that asset building policies that seek to build children’s college-bound identity in addition to their savings may be more effective than policies that only seek to build children’s savings.
The key insights from this paper are summarized in CSD Research Brief 11-17.
Subsequent publication: Elliott, W., III, Choi, E. H., Destin, M., & Kim, K. (2011). The age old question, which comes first? A simultaneous test of children’s savings and children’s college-bound identity. Children & Youth Services Review, 33(7), 1101–1111. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.02.001
Project: College Success
Elliott, W., III, Choi, E. H., Destin, M., & Kim, K. H. (2011). The age old question, which comes first? A simultaneous test of children’s savings and children’s college-bound identity (CSD Working Paper No. 11-04). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.