Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Development and Family Studies


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Clinton G. Gudmunson


The primary purpose of this study is to analyze patterns of family and human capital in emerging adulthood in a latent profile analysis framework and to determine if group membership has implications for economic and financial flourishing or floundering via a relationship with positive financial behavior. By employing latent profile analysis, a multidimensional understanding of capital in emerging adulthood is explored and its importance in affecting key financial behaviors is evaluated. Indicators for the latent profile analysis include measures of parental financial support, financial knowledge, work experience, and higher education experiences—key life determinants following high-school graduation and between ages 18-23. The sample is 333 emerging adults from the Flourishing Families Studies (Waves 1-10 inclusive).

Results of the latent profile analysis indicated that a four-profile model provides the best fit for the sample. Each of the four profiles were defined by levels of parental financial support that were exclusive to that profile. The profiles were labeled Moderate High Support, High Support, Low Support, and Moderate Low Support. Evidence of variation in work and higher education experiences were found between latent profiles while evidence of differentiation in financial knowledge was not supported. Wald chi-square tests and ordinary least squares regression demonstrated differences by profile in positive financial behavior enactment. Future lines of research and implications for the financial education and parenting of emerging adults are discussed in light of study findings.

Copyright Owner

Sara Katherine Ray



File Format


File Size

68 pages