Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Contributions of Qualitative Research to Understanding Saving Theory for Children and Youth

This paper explores contributions of qualitative research to saving theory for children, youth, and parents in Children’s Development Account (CDA) programs. It brings together findings from three studies: (1) elementary school age children saving for college, (2) youth transitioning from foster care saving for education and other purposes, and (3) mothers of toddlers saving for college. Findings suggest that children, youth, and parents find CDAs helpful in accumulating savings. CDAs interact with developmental stages to motivate and facilitate saving. Accumulating savings has positive meaning for participants in CDAs for economic and psychological reasons. However, although CDAs overcome some obstacles in saving, others remain, especially income flows, debt, and emergencies.

Subsequent publication: Sherraden, M. S., Peters, C., Wagner, K., Clancy, M., & Guo, B. (2013). Contributions of qualitative research to understanding savings for children and youth. Economics of Education Review, 32, 66–77. doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.09.006

Citation

Sherraden, M. S., Peters, C., Wagner, K., Clancy, M., & Guo, B. (2012). Contributions of qualitative research to understanding saving theory for children and youth (CSD Working Paper No. 12-23). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.