The Role of Parents in Introducing Children to Financial Services: Evidence from Ghana-YouthSave

Shiyou Wu, Mathieu R. Despard, Gina Chowa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Financial capability—financial knowledge, skills, and access to financial services—may help smooth transitions to adulthood for youth and is affected by socialization experiences with parents and other family members. Among a sample of youth and their parents enrolled in the YouthSave experiment in Ghana (n = 4,065), this study examined whether physical access to financial services and/or visiting banks with parents or other family members was associated with youth’s perceptions and understanding of financial institutions. We found a statistically significant association between visiting the bank with a parent or other family member and youth’s attitudes (β = 1.45, p < 0.001) and understanding of financial services (β = 2.96, p < 0.001), controlling for other factors like household income and assets. Conversely, physical access (distance, travel time) was not associated with financial services attitudes or understanding. Parents may play an important role in introducing their children to financial services. Practitioners and policy makers should consider ways to include parents in efforts to promote financial capability among youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-462
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial access
  • Financial services
  • Financial social work
  • Ghana
  • YouthSave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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