Parent Financial Socialization Scale: Development and Preliminary Validation

Ashley B. LeBaron-Black, Melissa A. Curran, E. Jeffrey Hill, Margaret E. Freeh, Russell B. Toomey, Katherine E. Speirs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A theoretically grounded, validated measure of parent financial socialization is needed. This article describes the development and validation process of three new scales: the Parent Financial Modeling Scale (eight items), the Parent–Child Financial Discussion Scale (nine items), and the Experiential Learning of Finances Scale (three items). These may be treated as subscales of a multidimensional latent construct: the Parent Financial Socialization Scale (20 items). The three scales measure the three primary methods of family financial socialization. The scales are designed to be retrospective, with target participants being U.S. emerging adults (age 18–30). A rigorous development process was undertaken: an initial pool of items was generated, expert assessments were collected, cognitive interviews were conducted, and (following preliminary data collection) preliminary item reduction analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were conducted. Final data were collected from a diverse (51.7% female, 47.6% male; 31.6% White, 22.0% Black, 19.8% Latinx, 14.6% Asian; 50.4% no parent with college degree, 47.4% parent with college degree) sample of 4,182 U.S. emerging adults. During validation, item reduction analysis, CFA, reliability tests, measurement invariance tests, and construct validity tests were conducted. The scales demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity, and invariance was established across sex, race, and parents’ education level. These scales are unique in their ability to capture nuance and will allow for comparisons across studies. They will enhance the quality of family financial socialization research, expand the questions that can be answered, and allow for the development of programming that is effective for a wide range of families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-953
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2022


  • Experiential learning
  • Family financial socialization
  • Financial discussion
  • Financial modeling
  • Scale development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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