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Talking money at home: the value of family financial socialization

Haidong Zhao (School of Finance and Business, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China)
Lini Zhang (School of Economics and Management, Shanghai Institute of Technology, Shanghai, China)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 15 October 2020

Issue publication date: 26 October 2020




The objective of this study was to empirically examine how family financial socialization affects individuals' financial outcomes, including financial literacy, financial behavior and financial well-being, based on the family financial socialization theory (FFST).


Using a national representative sample of 6,311 US respondents from the 2016 National Financial Well-Being Survey, structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test the hypotheses in this study. Sampling weights were incorporated into the structural model using the maximum likelihood estimation with robust standard errors and a Satorra-Bentler scaled test statistic (MLM estimation).


This study concludes the effectiveness of family financial socialization by showing that parental financial socialization has significant positive impacts on financial literacy, financial behavior and financial well-being. In addition, parents' education can significantly influence the quality of parental financial socialization.

Practical implications

The result underscores the importance of financial socialization in the family context and encourages parents to discuss financial matters with their children at home. Detailed implications have been provided to financial educators, practitioners and policymakers to incorporate parental involvement in the design of financial education programs, as well as financial services providers to improve marketing strategies for their banking services.


This research is amongst the first to empirically explore the relationships among parental financial socialization, financial literacy, financial behavior and financial well-being based on the FFST. The study also contributes to the literature by confirming the effects of parental socialization received in childhood on adults' later financial outcomes.



Zhao, H. and Zhang, L. (2020), "Talking money at home: the value of family financial socialization", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 1617-1634.



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