This article focuses on unifying, seemingly at times, disparate aspects of school-related Child Development Account (CDA) programs in order to maximize their effects. Account ownership and financial education are the two key components of school-related CDA programs. Despite this most of the focus by asset theorists and researchers has been on the account ownership side of CDAs. To unify these two components we use identity-based motivation (IBM) theory. Further, we suggest that early experience with money failures and lack of positive role models results in many lower income and minority children entering CDA programs with low financial efficacy. Because of low financial efficacy, we suggest that in order for financial education programs to be successful among lower income and minority children they need to be designed to address this reality. We posit that a way to address the reality of lower income and minority students is to adopt solution-focus brief therapy (SFBT) techniques. These techniques can be used to teach financial education instructors how to build positive financial efficacy beliefs among lower income and minority children.
Elliott, W. and Kim, J. (2013). The role of identity-based motivation and solution-focus brief therapy in unifying accounts and financial education in school-related CDA programs. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), p. 402-410.
Economic strains play an important factor in students not only dropping out of school but also for not being able to attend college. As the cost of college tuition increases, many youths may perceive that the possibility of attending college may be out of their reach for financial reasons. Using data drawn from the savings for education, entrepreneurship, and down-payment initiative participants, this study explores asset building through a child savings account (CSA) program aimed at removing economic barriers to higher education for youths with financial needs. Concept mapping analysis was used to better understand how assets obtained through CSAs affect high school students' academic and behavior goals from a nonprofit youth development program in San Francisco, CA. Results show students find the CSA program helpful in learning fiscal management and saving for postsecondary education. All students rated the clusters on savings for education and fiscal education as being very important for their academic and career success and reported mostly big changes since participation in San Francisco SEED Program.
Kim, J.S., & Johnson, T. (2012). The academic and behavioral effects of a child savings accounts program on at-risk high school students. School Social Work Journal, 37(1), 75-95.
Policies and programs designed to help low-income families save and build assets for developmental uses such as higher education, homeownership, and entrepreneurship are emerging and growing globally. This study uses participatory concept mapping techniques to explore perspectives of low-income parents in a children's college savings account program in a large US city. Participants in this study worked together to generate data on effective components of child savings account (CSA) programs. They then sorted these CSA components into conceptual groups reflecting their perspectives on which of the program elements were related to one another. Finally, participants were asked to rate the importance of each CSA component. Findings suggest that parents view CSA components that: (1) demonstrate respect for parents and (2) enhance accountability as being particularly effective and important elements of matched saving programs. While much more research is needed, particularly with lower-income families and communities, these findings are consistent with an emerging institutional theory of saving and asset accumulation. Implications for institutional theory, asset-building policies, CSA programs, and future research are discussed.
Johnson, T. , Adams, D., & Kim, J.(2010). Mapping the perspectives of low-income parents in a children’s college savings account program. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(1), 129-136.