The Economic Psychology of Adolescent Saving
Otto, Annette Michaela Cosima
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The thesis addressed the saving behaviour of adolescents within the social context of the family, which has received little attention to date. The research regarded adolescent economic socialization and the development of saving behaviour as an integral part of general socialization and adolescent psychological development. The importance of saving was investigated relative to alternative ways for getting larger sums of money. Three large survey studies with adolescents and one survey study with adolescents and their parents were carried out. In Study 1, 470 students between the ages of 11 and 18 took part. The results of this study revealed that adolescents do think of saving as a means of accumulating larger sums of money. Studies 2 and 3 sampled 290 and 443 students between the ages of 11 and 17 and 13 to 14, respectively, providing empirical evidence of adolescents’ endeavour for independence, reflected by their saving motives as well as the changing of their attitudes towards saving as a skill. The thesis examined a number of significant predictors for adolescents’ general tendency to save. The studies linked adolescent saving with home atmosphere and perceived parenting style empirically for the first time. A path model illustrates the associations that were found between the behaviour and attitudes of the parents and the saving behaviour and attitudes of their adolescent child. It demonstrates that the development of saving behaviour is linked to the power relationship between parent and child. The findings support the behavioural life-cycle hypothesis as well as the benefits of being raised in an ‘authoritative home’ with regard to skills in saving.
PhD in Psychology