Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Patricia Swanson

Second Advisor

Robert Bosselman


The purpose of this research was to identify factors that are related to the perceived financial well-being of adults in South Dakota, specifically delivery methods of financial information and sources of financial education. This quantitative study used the eight-question Personal Financial Wellness Scale (PFW scale, also known as the InCharge Financial Distress/Financial Well-Being Scale) to measure perceived financial well-being. A random sample of 3,000 individuals was mailed a survey that elicited 814 completed questionnaires. The survey consisted of the PFW Scale, demographics, delivery methods of financial information, and sources of informal and formal financial education.

The PFW scale scores were calculated for all individuals, and the mean score was used as the dependent variable in all analysis. Independent variables included: demographic factors, delivery methods of financial information, sources of informal financial education, sources of formal financial education, and having formal or informal financial education. A block regression of the total sample was used with financial well-being as the dependent variable and all other items as independent variables to test for possible linear relationships. Reliability statistics of the sample were acceptable, and assumptions for the model were tested. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Bonferroni post-hoc test was used to identify pair-wise differences between mean perceived financial well-being for individual significant variables and for the variable of having formal or informal financial education. Data were analyzed using SPSS statistical software.

The mean perceived financial well-being for adult South Dakotans in the study was 6.24 (SD=2.18) on a ten-point scale. Demographic variables as a group did have a significant association with perceived financial well-being, and five individual demographic variables emerged as being related to perceived financial well-being. Delivery methods of financial information as a group significantly impact the variance of perceived financial well-being, and one individual delivery method, television, was found to have a significant negative impact. Sources of informal or formal financial education variables as a group were not significant in explaining the variance in perceived financial well-being. However, individuals having neither informal nor formal financial education (M=6.06, SD=2.31) had significantly lower perceived financial well-being than individuals having both informal and formal financial education (M=6.67, SD=2.15).

This study shows that there may be a positive relationship between individuals receiving financial education in both the informal and formal setting and PFW scale scores. The delivery method used to deliver financial information may have a significant impact on financial well-being and should be considered. Future research may consider including delivery methods of financial information into a conceptual model of financial well-being. Financial planners, counselors, educators, psychologists, and extension educators can use the information to better serve their clients by targeting those individuals that may have low perceived financial well being: female, younger age, with dependent children in the home, working, or lower income. Targeting financial education resources using appropriate delivery methods as described is especially true for South Dakota, to which these results are most appropriate.


Copyright Owner

Kathryn Morrison



Date Available


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File Size

124 pages