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Money and Emerging Adults: A Glimpse into the Lives of College Couples’ Financial Management Practices

2016 , Rea, Jennifer K. , Zuiker, Virginia S. , Mendenhall, Tai J.

Being in a romantic relationship is a transition that many college students enter while earning a college degree. Twenty-four students between the ages of 19 to 29 years old who self-identified as being in a committed relationship participated in this study. They completed an online survey that included both quantitative and qualitative (open-ended) questions pertaining to money management practices. Key findings suggest that participants believe in communicating about their individual and combined finances so as to prevent or solve financial challenges. They also discussed the importance of having similar perspectives about financial values within their relationship. Financial therapists, counselors, and educators working with the college student populations should be aware of the issues couples in committed relationships face, and should tailor their money management programming with this in mind.

Sources of Referral in Student Financial Counseling

2016 , Choi, Shinae , Bartholomae, Suzanne , Gudmunson, Clinton G. , Fox, Jonathan

This study evaluates sources of referral to financial counseling and varied declines in financial stress across the financial counseling process. College students came to counseling most often through self-referral. Younger students and women were more likely to respond to institutional referrals. There were two clearly discernable periods of decline in financial stress, smaller interim declines occurring after requesting appointments and larger declines that occurred in counseling sessions. The interim declines, however, were only operative for those who were self- or institutionally-referred and not for those who entered on a social-referral. A possible explanation is that social-referrals have already had “someone to talk to” whereas other referrals may only begin to feel a psychological burden lifted after making an appointment. Total declines in financial stress were mostly impervious to individual differences and sources of referral lending support to the notion that financial counseling itself contributed to aggregate declines in financial stress.