The age old question, which comes first? A simultaneous test of children's savings and children's college-bound identity

William Elliott*, Eun Hee Choi, Mesmin Destin, Kevin H. Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1101-1111
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Assets
  • Child Development Accounts (CDAs)
  • College attendance
  • College expectations
  • PSID
  • Savings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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