Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Degree Level



School of Social Work


Kimberly Stauss

Committee Member

Alishia Ferguson

Second Committee Member

Scott Eidelman


Social sciences, Developmental assets, Financial knowledge, Financial capability, Financial literacy, Financial socialization, Social capital theory


Low levels of financial literacy among high school students are a growing concern in the United States. High school students lack the financial knowledge to make important financial decisions. Financial literacy and money management skills are important for high school students as they transition into an ever-changing economy. High school students, who are financially literate, are likely to develop positive financial behaviors and make positive financial decisions. Previous studies show that financial literacy classes can increase financial knowledge.

The present study has three objectives. First, this study examined whether the Money Management Skills for Young Adults Class increased high school seniors' financial knowledge. There were seven units that were measured: (1) Financial Psychology, (2) Managing Credit, (3) Income, (4) Investment, (5) Savings, (6) Risk Management, and (7) Long-Term Planning. Second, this study examined whether there was a correlation between students' developmental assets and financial knowledge. Finally, this study examined whether there was a correlation between students' Social support and financial knowledge. Participants in this study (n = 18) were required to take the class as stipulation for their Youth IDA Program enrollment. Findings indicated that students' financial knowledge significantly increased in five units. There was not a significant correlation between students' developmental assets and financial knowledge. Social support, however, was correlated with financial knowledge.

The findings in this study suggest that financial literacy classes increased students' financial knowledge through financial Socialization and effective experiential teaching techniques. Future research should further explore the universal effectiveness of financial

literacy classes and the importance of students' developmental assets. Implications of the findings for evaluating theory development, policy practice, and direct practice are also discussed.