Source: UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2013
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2018
Grant Year
Project Director
Mauldin, T.
Recipient Organization
ATHENS,GA 30602-5016
Performing Department
Col of Family & Consumer Sci
Non Technical Summary
This project has the goal to better understand consumer financial decision-making across the lifespan. How consumers process information and make dcisions related to college education (debt), housing (renting vs. home ownership) and retirement and Social Security will be examined. Providing consumers with information and education are necessary steps, yet not sufficient to address the problem of consumer decision-making in an increasingly complicated financial world.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
Determine motivators that affect economic decision-making in specific decision situations (housing, student loans, and Social Security) across the life-span of households Determine barriers that affect economic decision-making in specific decision situations across the life-span of households Determine how motivators and barriers to economic decision-making can be presented in specific decision situations across the life-span of households Suggest strategies that can be used to improve consumer financial decision-making
Project Methods
This study proposes use of mixed methods to achieve its various objectives. The experimental design for each study will utilize a mixed methods approach. We will utilize both online surveys and smaller local convenience samples aimed to explore the decision making by individuals at relevant age ranges. The Research Committee will contract with an independent data collection agency to sample, collect, and clean the data for the project. This agency can randomly assign participants to different versions of the survey. These web surveys will be identical except for the treatment. This treatment could include the introduction of information to the participant, or a difference in choice architecture. Experiments of consumer decision making will also be conducted in person with small groups on participating campuses and communities. The goal of these experiements will be to observe the relationships of framing, mental accounting, and other behavioral factors on decision making. The participants will be randomly assigned to treatment group. The treatment in these experiements will be tied to the role of information as a treatment.The protocols will be the same across states and information aggregated and used to further refine the instrument and survey methodology. Development of the survey instrument will be a collaborative effort of members of the research team. Major components of the model are: socialization factors, financial knowledge, information management, resources, psychological scales, demographic and economic factors, and measures of financial behavior and decision outcomes. Descriptive analysis will be used to examine the socialization factors, decision making outcomes, lifecycle stages, financial knowledge, resources, demographic characteristics, and measures of financial behavior of the sample. Factor analysis will be used to examine the scales of the psychological constructs. Regression analysis and structural equation modeling will be used to examine the relationship among all the factors in the model of financial decision making.

Progress 10/01/13 to 09/30/14

Target Audience: Nothing Reported Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest? Nothing Reported What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? 1) Work on papers that are currently pending consideration. If not accepted, revise and submit elsewhere. 2) Analysis data collected via online experimental design and submit to an appropriate journal.

What was accomplished under these goals? The NC 2172 research team has collected data through an experimental design online questionnaire and focus groups during the past year. I was a part of the group that developed the experimental design questionnaire. Online participants were presented with scenarios related to the college decision (to go or not) and received one of three different treatment scenarios representing different types of information, returns to educational investment, and prudence of borrowing to go to college. Participants were randomly assigned to a treatment or control groups. Data were collected by Survey Sampling International during the fall of 2014 and are currently being cleaned and readied for analysis. In addition to data collection, I have submitted two papers. One was rejected and was then revised and submitted to another journal. After a request to revise and resubmit late in 2014, revision have occurred and the manuscript resubmitted. Another paper was submitted and has been revised and resubmitted for consideration. Decisions on these two manuscripts are still pending. A poster presentation has been accepted for a May 2015 conference. Refereed Journal Articles Under Review: Henager, R., & Mauldin, T. Financial literacy: The relationship to savings in low- to moderate-income level households. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. Revised and Resubmitted - Under Review. Mauldin, T. A., Henager, R., Bowen, C. F., & Cheang, M. Barriers and facilitators to saving behavior in low- to moderate-income households. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Revised and Resubmitted - Under Review. Presentation Accepted: Mauldin, T., & Henager, R. (2015, May). Does the perceived burden of student loan debt affect saving behaviors? Poster session presented at the meeting of the American Council on Consumer Interests, Clear Water Beach, FL.