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Developmental stages of perfidence

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Title:
Developmental stages of perfidence
Alternate title:
A theory building study of personal financial dependence and independence
Creator:
Warnock, Catherine M. ( author )
Language:
English
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1 electronic file (98 pages) : ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Finance, Personal -- United States ( lcsh )
Finance, Personal -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Finance, Personal -- Social aspects ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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An individual's financial position of dependence or independence can impact a person's state of psychological well-being and his/her level of functioning in society. Being financially independent can provide a sense of security and empower an individual to increase their quality of life. However, being financially dependent on others can create a hardship of fear and uncertainty about how to feed one's family or pay the rent. A number of published studies (Kruttschnitt, 1982; Natalier, 2007; Powles, 1991; Rogers, 2004; Schneider, 2000; Strube & Barbour, 1983) have been performed for specific topics related to financial dependency; however, the various developmental stages people experience when they are financially independent or financially dependent has not yet been researched or characterized. The goals of this study are: 1) to examine and identify the developmental stages of financial dependence and independence that individuals experience over the life span, and 2) to determine the benefits and challenges people encounter as a result of experiencing each of these stages of financial dependence and independence. Gaining a greater understanding of the common experiences people have in each of these states of financial dependence and independence will enable psychology and sociology professionals to better recognize the needs and concerns of their clients
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.) - University of Colorado Denver.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographic references
System Details:
System requirements - Adobe Reader.
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Catherine M. Warnock.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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944457382 ( OCLC )
ocn944457382
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LD1193.L645 2015m W37 ( lcc )

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Full Text
DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF PERFINDENCE:
A THEORY BUILDING STUDY OF
PERSONAL FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE AND INDEPENDENCE
by
CATHERINE M. WARNOCK
B.S., California State University, Sacramento, 1995
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Counseling Program
2015


2015
CATHERINE M. WARNOCK
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by
Catherine M. Wamock
has been approved for the
Counseling Program
by
Edward Cannon, Chair
John Cumming
Troyann Gentile


iv
Warnock, Catherine M. (M.A., Counseling)
Developmental Stages of Perfindence: A Theory Building Study of Personal Finance
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor, Dr. Edward Cannon.
ABSTRACT
An individual's financial position of dependence or independence can impact a
person's state of psychological well-being and his/her level of functioning in society.
Being financially independent can provide a sense of security and empower an individual
to increase their quality of life. However, being financially dependent on others can
create a hardship of fear and uncertainty about how to feed one's family or pay the rent.
A number of published studies (Kruttschnitt, 1982; Natalier, 2007; Powles, 1991; Rogers,
2004; Schneider, 2000; Strube & Barbour, 1983) have been performed for specific topics
related to financial dependency; however, the various developmental stages people
experience when they are financially independent or financially dependent has not yet
been researched or characterized. The goals of this study are: 1) to examine and identify
the developmental stages of financial dependence and independence that individuals
experience over the life span, and 2) to determine the benefits and challenges people
encounter as a result of experiencing each of these stages of financial dependence and
independence. Gaining a greater understanding of the common experiences people have
in each of these states of financial dependence and independence will enable psychology
and sociology professionals to better recognize the needs and concerns of their clients.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Dr. Edward Cannon


V
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to thank Dr. Cannon, Dr. Cumming and Dr. Gentile for providing
their support and guidance through the thesis process. Dr. Cannon Words cannot
express the impact you have had on me as a professor, an advisor, and as a shining
example of how to treat others; your dedication to the field of psychology is tremendous
and I am a better person for having learned from you. Dr. Cumming -1 will be forever
grateful for the time you took (out of your weekends, no less) to educate and guide me
through this research process. Your confidence in me never wavered and it inspired me to
dig deep for excellence. Dr. Gentile You have been a valuable role model for me in
setting high expectations to be the best student and counselor I can be.
I would like to thank my husband, Kenneth Hall, for his never-ending support
through this remarkable academic, professional, and personal journey.


VI
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION......................................................1
Research Problem...............................................1
Research Purpose...............................................1
Rationale......................................................2
Developmental Theories.........................................4
Freud.......................................................4
Stage 1.................................................4
Stage 2.................................................4
Stage 3.................................................5
Stage 4.................................................5
Stage 5.................................................5
Erickson....................................................5
1. Infancy Stage........................................6
2. Early Childhood......................................6
3. Preschool Age........................................6
4. School Age...........................................6
5. Adolescence..........................................6
6. Young Adulthood......................................6
7. Middle Age...........................................7
8. Later Life...........................................7


vii
Piaget..........................................................7
1. Sensorimotor Stage.......................................8
2. Preoperational Stage.....................................8
3. Concrete Operations Stage................................8
4. Formal Operations Stage..................................8
Maslow..........................................................9
Physiological Needs..........................................9
Safety Needs.................................................9
Love Needs...................................................9
Esteem Needs.................................................9
Self-actualization Needs.....................................9
Powles' Model of Financial Independence from the Family...........10
Stage 1 Childhood Dependency...................................11
Stage 2 Controlled Independence................................11
Stage 3 Partial Financial Independence without Family Contributions
..............................................................12
Stage 4 Partial Independence with Family Contributions.........12
Stage 5 Interdependence........................................13
Stage 6 Testing Independence...................................13
Stage 7 Independence...........................................14
Economic Distress.................................................14
Definition of Terms...............................................15
Dependence and Independence...................................15


Vlll
Perfindence.................................................15
Research Questions.............................................16
II. LITERATURE REVIEW................................................18
Introduction...................................................18
Adolescence, Emerging Adults and Young Adults..................18
Women..........................................................21
Financial Well-being........................................21
Welfare.....................................................21
Abuse.......................................................22
Crime.......................................................23
Divorce.....................................................24
Affluence......................................................25
Elderly........................................................25
Financial Literacy: Gender, Race, and Low Income...............26
III. METHODS AND PROCEDURES..........................................28
Phase 1 Study..................................................28
Participants................................................28
Design and Methods..........................................29
Data Analysis...............................................30
Data Results................................................32
Childhood Financial Dependence..........................32
Transitional Financial Dependence.......................32
Involuntary Financial Dependence........................34


ix
Voluntary Financial Dependence............................35
Inter-mutual Financial Dependence.........................35
Subsidized Financial Dependence...........................36
Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence......................36
Earned Financial Independence.............................37
Granted Financial Independence............................37
Shared Financial Independence.............................38
Subsidized Financial Independence.........................38
Phase 2 Study..................................................38
Participants.................................................38
Design and Methods...........................................39
Data Analysis................................................40
Criteria Adjustments for Stages of Perfindence...............41
Shared Financial Dependence...............................42
Subsidized Financial Dependence...........................44
Shared Financial Independence.............................45
IV. DATA RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION...................................46
Defining Stages of Perfindence..................................46
Prevalence of the Stages of Perfindence.........................47
Psychological and Sociological Impacts..........................49
Childhood Financial Dependence...............................50
Transitional Financial Dependence............................51
Involuntary Financial Dependence.............................53


X
Voluntary Financial Dependence...........................54
Shared Financial Dependence..............................57
Subsidized Financial Dependence..........................58
Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence.....................60
Earned Financial Independence............................61
Granted Financial Independence...........................62
Shared Financial Independence............................64
Subsidized Financial Independence........................65
V. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS...................67
Comparison to Literature....................................67
Freud and Piaget.........................................67
Erikson..................................................68
Maslow...................................................68
Voydanoff................................................69
Powles...................................................71
Conclusions.................................................71
Recommendations.............................................72
Other Considerations for Utilization of This Model..........74
REFERENCES...............................................................76
APPENDIX A
84


XI
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE
III. 1 A Priori Codes for the Developmental Stages of Perfidence................31
ID. 2 List of Stages of Perfindence Resulting from Phase 1 of this Study.......33
IE. 3 Study Participants' Demographics..........................................39
III. 4 Final List of Stages of Perfindence Resulting from Phase 2 of this Study.43
IV. 1 Frequencies of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by the 20 Participants...48
V. l Comparison of the Stages of Perfindence with Powles' Model of Financial
Independence....................................................................72


xii
LIST OF FIGURES
FIGURE
II. 1 Concept Map of Literature Review................................................19
III 1 Timeline Template Utilized for Each Interview...................................40
IV. 1 Number of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by Study Participants...............47


Xlll
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
FD Financial Dependence
FI Financial Independence


1
CHAPTERI
INTRODUCTION
Research Problem
A person's financial environment can influence and affect a person's well-being
and/or level of happiness (Myers & Diener, 1995: Larson, 1989.) In addition, many
Americans share a desire to achieve financial success and/or independence (Derber,
1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). An area that has not received much focus or examination is
how a person's state of being financially dependent versus being financially independent
affects one's well-being. Although some research has been dedicated to specific topics
about financial dependency (Heidemann, Suhomlinova & O'Rand, 1998; Kalmuss &
Straus, 1982; Kruttschnitt, 1982; Litt, Gaddis, Fletcher & Winter, 2000; Natalier, 2007;
Powles, 1991; Rogers, 2004; Schneider, 2000; Strube & Barbour, 1983), the field of
psychology or sociology has yet to focus on identifying the different categorizations of
financial dependence/independence that exist in American culture and the psychological
implications that might exist for each of these classifications.
Research Purpose
Pioneers such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget, and Maslow have developed theoretical
models that have greatly benefited our understanding of human behavior (Freud, 1936;
1986/1905; 1976/1924; Erikson, 1963; Piaget, 1972; Maslow, 1943). Each of these
founders of developmental theory established a framework of awareness and meaning
about a particular psychological or sociological aspect of the human condition. These


developmental theories are used by counselors and other practitioners to better
understand the status of their clients in assisting them towards growth or change.
2
To date very little research has been performed with respect to establishing a
developmental theory or framework related to financial dependence and/or financial
independence. Powles (1991) did establish a partial developmental theory about financial
independence from the family, which focuses on a portion of the human lifespan that
begins in adolescence and extends to early adulthood. With the exception of the work
published by Powles, no developmental theory about financial dependence and/or
independence covering the entire human lifespan has been established. The purpose of
this study is to determine the various possible stages of financial dependence and
independence that occur throughout ones life span development and to define the
parameters or characteristics of each stage. Additionally, this study hopes to define what
forms of financial dependence and independence exist in the population and how people
obtain their financial support and/or monetary supply.
Rationale
From a psychological standpoint, an individuals financial circumstances can have
great bearing on ones well-being (Myers & Diener, 1995). Financial struggles can
contribute to a decrease in personal control and empowerment, which is a factor that
affects happiness (Larson, 1989). Research performed by Diener & Biswas-Diener
(2002) revealed that a lack of income or financial support does have a negative impact on
subjective well-being, especially if one's basic financial needs are not getting met.
Reeves, et al. (2012) reported that during the US recession between the years of 2007 and
2010 the unemployment rate increased from 5.8% to 9.6%; during this period, a 3.8%


3
increase in the suicide rate was also observed. Therefore, it has been fairly well
established that one's financial condition can have a significant impact on one's
psychological welfare.
Being financially successful and independent is a common goal for many
Americans (Derber, 1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). In fact, economic success is so valued
that it is one of the essential constructs in the definition of the American dream (Adams,
1933; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). This country was built on the fundamental premise of
capitalism with the objective of gaining economic strength for individuals and their
families (Scott, 2011). An area that has not received much focus or examination is how a
person's state of financial dependence or financial independence impacts his or her
psychological well-being. Some research has been conducted on how financial conditions
can affect specific behaviors and/or conditions in subpopulations, such as domestic abuse
with low-income women (Gibson-Davis, Magnuson, Gennetian & Duncan, 2005), coping
skills for college students (Serido, Shim, Mishra & Tang, 2010), the well-being of
women in diverse family situations (Malone, Stewart, Wilson & Korsching, 2010),
psychological consequences for affluent youth (Luthar, 2003), depression in aging
Hispanics (Perrino, Brown, Mason & Szapocznik, 2009) and women's likelihood for
divorce (Rogers, 2004). Currently lacking in the field of psychology or sociology is the
identification of the different stages of financial dependence/independence experienced in
U.S. culture, today. Doing so would provide a better understanding of these previously
researched financial conditions and behaviors in a bigger picture format as it applies to
the entire lifespan. In order to better understand the psychological effects that financial
dependence and independence can have on people, we must first define a developmental


model of the various stages of financial dependence/ independence one may encounter
throughout the lifespan.
4
Developmental Theories
Numerous developmental theories have been established by innovative
trailblazers such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget, and Maslow. These theories have provided
the fields of psychology and sociology with a fundamental understanding of human
behavior (Freud, 1936; 1986/1905; 1976/1924; Erikson, 1963; Piaget, 1972; Maslow,
1943). Each of these pioneers created a framework that focuses on a specific condition or
behavior experienced by humans with specific emphasis on how this condition or
behavior changes throughout the human lifespan.
Freud. A five-stage developmental model of sexual development was
established by Freud (1936; 1986/1905; 1976/1924; Heller, 2005). In each
developmental stage, the individual fixates on a particular part of his/her body during the
natural process of maturing. Freud believed that unresolved issues generated during any
of these stages are the source of emotional struggles experienced later in life.
Stage 1. For the first year of life, an infant receives pleasure with his/her mouth
in the oral stage. This is mostly accomplished through breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and
thumb-sucking.
Stage 2. During the next few years, a child experiences the anal stage in which
pleasure centers on the anus. This is the time period in which a child is being toilet
trained and is mastering sphincter control. The anal stage is considered to be the time
period in which a child is establishing independence and autonomy.


5
Stage 3. Throughout the next few years, a child is fixated on his/her genitalia in
the phallic stage. In addition to discovery and exploration of the genitals, Freud
postulated that this is the time period in which boys are faced with the fear of castration
and girls experience penis envy.
Stage 4. With the onset at or around the age of six, the latency stage is
characterized by a dormancy of the libido. During this time period, all sexual tendencies
are suppressed and children view the opposite sex as unappealing, preferring to only
associate with children of the same sex.
Stage 5. The final stage, the genital stage, begins when an individual starts
puberty and begins the process of sexual maturity. Freud also theorized that this stage
launches the individualization process of separating from one's parents.
It has been contested that Freud's stages of psychosexual development were
established from personally observed case studies and lack any empirically performed
research (Robinson, 1993). However, Freud was a pioneer in that he provided the field of
psychology a developmental model from birth through adulthood designed to help
professionals better understand and treat clients.
Erickson. Erikson (1963) identified eight psychosocial stages of human
development. These stages delineate the basic conflicts we experience at different stages
of our lives. Each conflict or crisis represents a balance between oneself (identity) and
the social world (relationships) one experiences (Corey, 2009). Erikson theorized that
utilizing this framework of developmental stages can be useful in counseling clients
through issues that have emerged as a result of unresolved balance with any of these
conflicts.


6
1. Infancy Stage. (First year of life) Trust versus Mistrust This is the time
period in which infant develops a foundation of trust with their caretaker(s). If this trust is
not properly established, mistrust of relationships and the world in general results as a
consequence.
2. Early Childhood. (Ages 1-3) Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt During
this stage, a child begins to recognize that he/she is an individual as he/she explores the
social world around him/her. A well developed child learns to be self-reliant; whereas a
child raised in a highly dependent environment develops self-doubt.
3. Preschool Age. (Ages 3-6) Initiative versus Guilt At this stage of life, a
child develops a sense of independence and learns how he/she impacts the world around
him/her. A child that is given the opportunity to make personal choices will develop a
healthy sense of initiative and positive view of self. A child that is hindered in this stage
of development will cultivate a sense of guilt and a passive personality.
4. School Age. (Ages 6 12) Industry versus Inferiority In this period of life, a
child learns competence and a greater understanding of social norms and expectations. A
child that successfully navigates through this stage becomes competent in setting and
achieving goals, otherwise the child develops a sense of inferiority.
5. Adolescence. (Ages 12-18) Identity versus Role Confusion This is a critical
time in which individuals formulate their sense of identity by detaching from others and
defining their own personal sense of self. Lack of identity development results in role
confusion.
6. Young Adulthood. (Ages 18-35) Intimacy versus Isolation During this
stage, young adults learns how to apply their identity in social relationships and develop


intimacy with others. Failure to successfully achieve intimacy results in withdrawal and
isolation.
7
7. Middle Age. (Ages 35 60) Generativitv versus Stagnation This is the time
period in which making a contribution to society, perceiving a sense of accomplishment
in life and guiding the next or future generation(s) becomes a significant consideration.
The two outcomes of this stage are either a sense of productivity or concerns about
personal stagnation.
8. Later Life. (Ages 60+) Integrity versus Despair This final stage of life
involves coming to terms with the life one has led and the choices one has made along
the way. This is also a time in which an individual focuses on family and community.
Proper negotiation of this stage results in ego integrity; whereas failure to do so leads to
feelings of despair, resentment, and disdain about self and possibly others.
Erikson's theory of psychosocial development was the first to implement culture and
social relations to our sense of identity (Berzoff, 2008). This framework of
developmental stages and the conflicts faced over the lifespan continues to be beneficial
to the field of counseling psychology in aiding practitioners to better serve or support
their clients.
Piaget. A four-stage theory of periods of cognitive development was generated
by child psychologist, Piaget (1972; Flavell, 1963.) This theoretical framework provides
an understanding of the stages children experience in the process of learning and
cognitive maturity. Piaget posited that two fundamental concepts, assimilation and
accommodation, are used simultaneously as needed throughout life. Assimilation is the


8
process of incorporating new information into pre-existing knowledge. Accommodation
is the process of altering existing cognitive structures to account for new information.
1. Sensorimotor Stage. (Infancy) During this stage, infants learn mostly through
trial and error. Babies learn to rely on their reflexes and modify them as they adjust to
their environment. As physical abilities and interactions mature, new intellectual abilities
become possible. The concept of object permanence, the understanding that objects still
exist even when hidden, becomes apparent.
2. Preoperational Stage. (Early childhood) This time period is characterized by
egocentrism and animism. Children are egocentric because they can only understand the
world from their own perspective and are unaware that others can have alternative
viewpoints. Animism is the belief that all objects and things have consciousness and
human feelings.
3. Concrete Operations Stage. (Middle childhood) In this stage, egocentrism
and animism begins to diminish and logical or operational thought begins to formulate.
Logic is applied to physical objects and conservation, which is the understanding that
quantity does not necessarily change when its appearance changes, begins to make sense.
For example, the number of building blocks in a pile does not change when the blocks are
spread out.
4. Formal Operations Stage. (Adolescence) In this final stage, abstract thinking
begins to emerge. Older children begin to classify thoughts and ideas in a more complex
manner. Creativity, reasoning, and outcome speculation become routine in daily
interactions and activities.


9
Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development has been instrumental in guiding educators to
develop lesson plans and learning activities that meet the developmental status and/or
needs of their students (Karplus, 1977).
Maslow. Maslow's theory on the hierarchy of needs delineates human
motivations to satisfy 5 categories of basic needs in order of priority (Maslow, 1943).
The theory postulates that humans do not concern themselves with the next higher
category until the previous one is met. These 5 categories or tiers in order are (Maslow,
1943; Maslow, 1970; Sumerlin, Berretta, Privette & Bundrick 1994):
1. Physiological Needs. Food, air, sleep, maternal instinct, sensory pleasures, etc.
2. Safety Needs. Employment, religion, social order and justice, stability, etc.
3. Love Needs. Affection, relationships, belonging, intimacy, etc.
4. Esteem Needs. Achievement, independence, respect from self and others, etc.
5. Self-actualization Needs. Autonomy, self-acceptance, creativity, courage, etc
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is still considered a valuable tool of understanding for
military training (Bonvillain, 2011), business management (Maslow, Stephens & Heil,
1998), human resources (Jerome, 2013), education (Freitas & Leonard, 2011), and
counseling of children and adults (Harper, Harper & Stills, 2003; Jackson, 2007).
Oleson (2004) performed a study that connects the relationship between Maslow's
hierarchy of needs and money or financial security. The connection about how money
can impact each tier of needs is more specifically characterized.
Physiological Needs. Money allows an individual to secure food, clothing, and
shelter.


10
Safety Needs. Safety can be gained by purchasing different types of insurance
and/or by accumulating wealth.
Love Needs. Money can be utilized to increase social interactions and nurture
relationships by funding activities such as dining out and/or paying for other forms of
social entertainment.
Esteem Needs. Esteem needs can be met through purchases such as a large home
in an upscale neighborhood or a fancy car that might represent a level of high status.
Self-actualization Needs. This can be facilitated with money spent to achieve
individually specified goals on the journey of self-improvement. Examples could include
counseling services and/or traveling to experience different aspects of life.
As previously cited, Diener & Biswas-Diener's (2002) research demonstrated that
one's financial status can greatly influence a person's subjective well-being if one's basic
needs are not met. Once these basic needs are satisfied, additional money and income do
not significantly increase one's happiness or personal well-being.
Powles' Model of Financial Independence from the Family
During the 1980s, the Australian government funded a study conducted by the
University of Melbourne (Powles, 1986) to better understand and evaluate current
financial conditions for young adults pursuing higher education after high school. This
study was designed to determine not only how much financial need existed for emerging
adults entering college, but also the parents' role in providing financial support for these
students through their higher education experience. The data obtained in this study was
subsequently used by Powles (1991) to develop a model which defines the potential
stages adolescents experience while transitioning from childhood dependency towards


11
adult forms of independence. The target population for this study was college students
ranging in age from 15 to 20; a total of 1197 students were surveyed or interviewed.
Powles developed a seven stage model to characterize the different steps taken by
Australian adolescents as they traverse from childhood dependency to adult
independence.
Stage 1 Childhood Dependency. This stage represents those living at home and
being fully financially dependent on parents or caregivers (Powles, 1986). Parents might
provide spending money to cover nominal costs such as sundries and transportation but
they do not require repayment in any form. The pocket money received does not
translate into a sense of independence. Individuals in this class are fully accepting of
their financially dependent position without any feelings of displeasure, resentment, or
indignation.
Stage 2 Controlled Independence. Individuals who qualify for this category live
at home and receive financial assistance from their parents: however, conditions are
placed on the money provided (Powles, 1986). Parents might tell their children how to
spend the money or not provide as much money as what the children perceived is needed.
Some participants reported that when extra money was requested, they felt obligated to
reimburse their parents. Others reported that they did not feel comfortable asking their
parents for extra money and instead, would rather just refrain from the activity that is
costing extra money. Another example of a condition placed on money given is the
expectation that the dependent will do something in the form of repayment. Individuals in
this stage are frustrated and/or annoyed with their position if it interferes with, or
negatively impacts, their social activities. Also, this stage is characterized by an


12
understanding of the difference between wants and needs. Dependents will ask for
money related to something that is necessary, however, if the money is desired for
something non-essential there is an understanding of working for it on their own. This
indicates a limited sense of autonomy and a partial sense of financial responsibility.
Stage 3 Partial Financial Independence without Family Contributions. This
stage represents two groups of individuals. The first are those that live at home and
receive funding from sources outside the family in addition to parental financial support.
Powles' (1986) research indicated that this particular factor of receiving outside income is
significant in achieving autonomy and adult responsibility. Most parents of individuals in
this group stop providing spending money; however, they will contribute financial
support when needed. The second group of individuals in this partially independent stage
is those that live at home and do not receive outside income; however, they do receive a
sum of money from their parents in which they are expected to personally manage. This
sum of money is intended to cover general costs such as clothes, transportation and
entertainment. A common and significant factor for both groups in this stage is the lack
of parental authority and a sense of personal freedom regarding their social activities.
Stage 4 Partial Independence with Family Contributions. This stage of partial
independence involves receiving income from sources outside the family, living at home
and providing a financial contribution for household expenses, often times in the form of
paying rent (Powles, 1986). In addition to covering personal costs, some individuals in
this stage are also responsible for costs associated with their education. Parents will
provide emergency financial support which is typically provided in the form of a loan.
Like the previous category, most would prefer to go without than to ask for money


13
related to non-essential activities and desires. A notable distinction about individuals in
this category is an understanding and implementation of strict budgeting; this element of
budgeting does foster a greater perception and sense of independence. A common goal
for individuals in this category of partial independence is saving enough money to be able
to leave home.
Stage 5 Interdependence. Individuals associated with this class live at home, are
not financially supported by their family, and instead are responsible for contributing an
equal portion to the family household expenses (Powles, 1986). People in this stage also
finance their own educational and personal costs. Providing a full share of costs
corresponds to being treated as an equal among family members. Avoiding extra-
curricular and non-essential social activities is not uncommon for those in this stage. A
mature sense of familial commitment and responsibility exists; some would never
consider leaving home because their contribution is essential while others would prefer to
leave home and provide financial assistance from afar to minimize his/her burden on the
family.
Stage 6 Testing Independence. Leaving home is another significant milestone in
becoming an independent adult and is a qualifying criterion for this stage (Powles, 1986).
More than half of those wanting to leave home and just under half of those that had
already moved out, reported "personal independence" as the primary motivation. Many of
those having already left home proclaimed that the transition of living on their own was
difficult and at times was followed by a return to living at home again. For individuals in
this stage of testing independence, establishing a life in which they are self-sufficient is
remarkably important.


14
Stage 7 Independence. The final stage in Powles' model is represented by a
position of complete financial self-reliance, receiving no familial assistance, after having
left home (Powles, 1986). Most had accomplished emotional independence from their
families, as well. Parents are not relied upon in emergency financial situations, forcing
individuals to rely on friends, loans, and possibly government support. Some individuals
reported being financially comfortable and others described experiencing extreme
financial hardship, but most had to balance going to school part-time while working full-
time to make ends meet.
As relevant as these stages are to the foundation of this study, there are a few
factors to consider. Because this study was performed over thirty years ago in Australia,
it is unknown if these stages would still be pertinent today in America. In addition, the
model developed by Powles is limited to the stages one might experience in adolescence
and very early adulthood and does not address the developmental stages or conditions
that impact older adults. This research intends to explore relevancy in America today and
additional stages affecting the different developmental stages for adults.
Economic Distress
Voydanoff (1990) performed an analysis of the relationship between economic
distress and how it affects family relationships. Although this study focuses on this
relationship as it occurred during the 1980s, it provided a valuable framework in which to
define the different facets of economic distress. Four categories were identified as
follows: employment uncertainty, employment instability, economic strain, and
economic deprivation. Understanding the negative impact that these four categories have
on an individuals development and his/her familial relationships might be beneficial in


15
helping counselors evaluate the psychological concerns for their clients. However, it is
the opinion of the researcher for this study that these four categories can be further
defined and associated with different developmental stages of economic dependence and
independence, once they are established. For example, economic strain might be
associated with a stage of financial dependence in which one is reliant on government
assistance due to the limited abilities caused by the natural process of senescence or
aging.
Definition of Terms
Dependence and Independence. The term dependency has been analyzed and
evaluated by Fraser & Gordon (1994) and then broken down into four types of
dependency or registers. According to their findings, four registers (economic, socio-
legal, political, and moral/psychological) were defined to delineate between the various
forms of dependency. Schneiders (2000) summarized Fraser & Gordons economic
register by succinctly defining it as the dependence on other people or institutions for
subsistence (p.5). For the purposes of this study, "financial dependence" is defined as
"the state of financially relying on other people or institutions for subsistence".
Oppositely, "financial independence" will be defined as "the state of financially relying
on personally obtained income, wealth and/or assets."
Perfindence. While establishing the parameters and criteria for this study, it
became evident that there was a need to identify a word or phrase that would describe a
person's financial condition in terms of dependence or independence. The phrase
"financial dependencies" was considered; however, technically this only includes
conditions of financial dependence and excludes any conditions of financial


16
independence. No such word or phrase that encompasses both circumstances of financial
dependence and independence currently exists in the English language. Additionally, a
search for an equivalent word or phrase in other languages failed to provide any results.
Therefore, it was decided to formulate a new word for the purposes of this study. The
word "Perfindence" was constructed as a shortened version of the phrase "Personal
Financial Dependence and Independence." Consequently for the purposes of this study,
"Perfindence" is defined as a financial situation that is characterized by the condition of
independence or dependence. For example, the time period in life in which one is
financially dependent on his/her parents during childhood would be considered a Stage of
Perfindence.
Research Questions
The following questions provided the framework and guided the direction of this
thesis:
1. What are the various Stages of Perfindence that people experience? What criteria
will define each Stage of Perfindence?
2. What are some of the psychological implications associated with each Stage of
Perfindence?
a. What feelings, thoughts and behaviors are associated with each Stage of
Perfindence?
b. What are the perceived benefits associated with each Stage of
Perfindence?
c. What are the perceived challenges associated with each Stage of
Perfindence?


17
3. What insight have individual's gained as a result of hindsight analysis from
experiencing specific Stages of Perfmdence?


18
CHAPTER II
LITERATURE REVIEW
Introduction
Currently, only one publication that specifically addresses any potential Stages of
Perfindence has been found (Powles, 1991). As previously outlined, Powles' Model of
Financial Independence from the Family is limited to Stages of Perfindence experienced
from childhood up to early adulthood. This section will examine the applicable literature
that focuses on the numerous psychological and sociological factors that are associated
with specific populations related to various Stages of Perfindence and other financial
situations one might experience throughout our lifetime. The intent is to demonstrate the
impact that different financial conditions can have on particular segments of our
population. See Figure II. 1 for a concept map that connects relevant topics to each of the
articles referenced.
Adolescence, Emerging Adults and Young Adults
Schneider (2000) published a study about the substantial increase in financial
dependence of young adults on their parents in Australia over a span of the previous 14
years. This article suggests that there is a considerable impact on families absorbing this
cost and on young adults not experiencing the freedoms associated with financial
independence. Schneider's research revealed that financial dependence on their family
increased 17% (from 79% to 96%) for 15 to 17-year-olds and 24% (from 38% to 62%)
for 18 to 20-year-olds over the course of 14 years. It was recommended that further


19
Figure II.1 Concept Map of Literature Review


20
analysis be performed to better understand the impact this increase in financial
dependency has had on the youth and their families.
In 2007, additional research was conducted in Australia to better understand what
independence means to young adults who live away from home and still received
financial assistance from their parents (Natalier, 2007). It was determined that these
young adults do not consider financial dependence as a factor in their concept of being
independent. Rather, independence was represented by physical separation from parents,
individual lifestyle choices and identity, and being responsible for money management
(regardless of the origin of these funds). Young adults in Australia have culturally
shifted the definition of independence; the source of funds is not factored into their
concept of being independent.
Arnett (2000, 2001) dedicated much of his research to examining emerging
adulthood in America at the turn of the 21st century. Arnett specifies "emerging
adulthood" as the period of life representing the ages of 18-25 and occurring after
adolescence but before young adulthood. Complete financial independence is one of the
criteria established for reaching young adulthood as perceived by emerging adults in
America. During emerging adulthood, economic dependence on family or others is still a
reality. The goal for most Americans in becoming a full-fledged adult is to be self-
sufficient in many ways, including financially. Comparing these attitudes to those
determined by Natalier (2007), it appears that young Australians and young Americans
have different views of the meaning and value of independence.
Financial concerns regarding having enough money and having to work during
college creates significant stress for students (Serido, Shim, Mishra & Tang, 2010.) This


21
stress increases the risk for mental health issues such as depression and decreases the
chances of finishing college. Parents play a critical role in educating their children about
making responsible financial decisions. Students entering college with financial
competence and practicing responsible financial management, tend to experience
increased well-being during their college years.
Women
Financial Well-being. In 2010, a study regarding how American women in
various family compositions perceive their financial well-being was performed (Malone,
Stewart, Wilson & Korsching, 2010.) Most women reported a desire to be financially
independent and held a negative perception about their current financial situation and
worries about their economic future. A direct correlation between financial status and
financial well-being was observed. Women, who were older, more educated, earned
higher incomes and provided higher financial contributions to the family, felt more
financially secure. Women in traditional marriages had less concerns about the stability
of their financial future than did women from non-traditional forms of family. Single
mothers were more likely to experience financial worries and a lower perception of their
financial well-being. Women who were cohabitating were more concerned about being
perceived as a burden to others. This study demonstrates how one's financial condition
and living situation (married, single, cohabitating, step-families, etc.) together have a
significant impact on a woman's view of her own well-being.
Welfare. Litt, Gaddis, Fletcher & Winter (2000) performed an examination of
the effects women in Iowa experienced as a result of leaving the welfare system and
securing employment in the late 1990s. Participants reported that they wanted to no


22
longer receive welfare and perceived the opportunity to do so as a positive move towards
independence; however, the reality of leaving the welfare system resulted in experiencing
a sense of increased vulnerability and decreased stability. Most of the participants
stopping their welfare funding became reliant on their families for subsidized financial
support (such as receiving free childcare, free housing, free transportation, and/or
providing cash supplements) to make up for the loss of welfare funds. Another way in
which these women compensated for the loss of welfare funding was to rely upon other
subsidized forms of government assistance such as food stamps and/or Medicaid benefits.
This data suggests that when one form of financial assistance ends, other means of
financial dependence are sought and utilized.
Abuse. Women who are highly dependent (financially and/or psychologically)
on their marriages have a greater chance of experiencing violence and physical abuse
(Kalmuss & Straus, 1982.) Women who were psychologically dependent on their
marriages were found to be significantly associated with minor forms of abuse that did
not result in serious injury. More significantly, women who are economically dependent,
tolerate more severe forms of abuse that do result in serious violence and injury. Overall,
it was determined that marital dependency does increase the likelihood that women will
endure physical abuse from their husbands.
A significant factor in whether or not an abused woman decides to remain in a
relationship with her abuser is her state of economic dependence (Strube & Barbour,
1983.) Research produced evidence that being financially dependent on their spouse
prevents abused women from leaving their relationships. Of the 11 women reporting
economic dependence as a reason for staying in an abusive relationship, only 2 women or


23
18.2% of the women studied had left their partners at experimental follow-up. On the
other hand, 48 of the 68 or 70.6% women who did not state economic reasons for the
reason they had remained with their partner had terminated these unhealthy relationships
by follow-up. This disparity is significant enough and provides empirical evidence that
economic hardship is likely a large factor in preventing women from ending abusive
relationships.
An analysis of the effects of employment and the risk of domestic abuse was
performed among low income women (Gibson-Davis, Magnuson, Gennetian & Duncan,
2005.) The research revealed that employed women of low socioeconomic status do
experience a reduction of domestic violence. Speculative reasoning for this association
includes the fact that being out of the home during the day results in less physical contact
between partners or that an increase in income reduces stress in the domestic relationship.
Crime. Kruttschnitt (1982) determined that the severity of sentencing decisions
for women made in our legal system during the early 1980s was highly dependent upon
the womans status of economic dependency. It was demonstrated that women who were
financially taken care of by others received lighter sentences for crimes such as
disturbing the peace, assault, and petty theft. In this study, being financially dependent
on others is considered an indicator of how much daily social control is exerted on that
individual. A lower level of social control indicates an increased need by the courts to
impose harsher sentencing for social order. This study was performed over thirty years
ago; therefore, it is unknown if financial dependency for women has the same effect in
sentencing today.


24
Divorce. Heidemann, Suhomlinova, and O'Rand (1998) performed an analysis
on how economic independence, and economic status of women influences divorce
during midlife. Economic status, alone, did not have a direct impact on divorce rates;
rather, many other factors such as educational background, race, and home ownership
combined with economic status should be considered when determining the impact it has
on the likelihood of divorce. It was concluded that a general trend towards an increase in
women being financially independent is a primary justification in the increase of marital
separation and divorce in mid-life.
More recent research confirms this trend of greater divorce rates for financially
independent women (Rogers, 2004.) Furthermore, an evaluation of income values and
economic partnerships were determined to greatly contribute to the likelihood of divorce.
First, higher income values for women from a financially independent perspective are
positively associated with the rate of divorce. These results are attributed not only to the
fact that these women have greater means for leaving the relationship, but also that
increased financial contribution to the marriage increases the likelihood of women feeling
and expressing dissatisfaction in traditional gender roles such as the distribution of
housework between spouses. Second, higher income values for women from a financial
partnership perspective are negatively associated with the rate of divorce. This trend is
associated with the idea that a greater income contribution by the wife decreases financial
strain, especially when the husband's income is low, and increases the stability of the
marital relationship.


25
Affluence
An examination of the effects of affluence on adolescents in wealthy families
unveiled the reality that these children experience greater incidents of depression,
anxiety, and substance abuse as compared to teens of lower socioeconomic status (Luthar
& D'Avanzo, 1999; Luthar, 2003). The mental anguish of affluent youth is disregarded
because society perceives their wealth as a symbol of a perfect life and reason that these
kids have nothing worthy to complain about. Subsequently, this trivial attitude
maintained by society causes affluent youths to experience mental health problems and to
feel further alienated, invalidated, and negatively judged by society. Societal resentment
and lack of sympathy become significant sources of what troubles affluent individuals of
all ages. Additional research revealed two considerable causes for the distress suffered by
affluent youth: extreme pressure to be high achievers and feelings of acute isolation from
their parents (Luthar & Becker, 2002).
Elderly
A study performed on the effects of financial strain on the American and Japanese
elderly revealed that psychological distress arises when financial difficulties are
experienced (Krause, Jay, & Liang, 1991.) This aging population experiences a loss in
their sense of personal control which also decreases their self-worth and increases the
likelihood for depression. The elderly are forced to cope with physical senescence, which
in itself can be a significant challenge. Stressors associated with financial strain only
compounds this situation by adding psychological distress having further negative effects
on their well-being.


26
Research focusing on financial strain of the elderly with respect to differences in
race demonstrated that race is not necessarily relevant (Kahn & Fazio, 2005.) The
negative effects of financial hardship are felt in equal measures for White Americans as
they do for African Americans. Financial hardship experienced over one's lifetime
negatively impacts their health and becomes a factor in poor health in the later years of
life.
A more recent study of low-income aging Hispanics in Miami revealed similar
results (Perrino, Brown, Mason & Szapocznik, 2009.) Numerous sociodemographic
factors such as age, gender, marital status and financial strain were examined. Financial
strain was the only significant factor relating to depression in this elderly population.
These results demonstrate the importance of recognizing the impact that financial
burdens can have on the psychological well-being of the aging population.
Financial Literacy: Gender, Race, and Low Income
Lusardi and Mitchell (2007) performed a study about the relationship between
financial literacy and how well individuals are financially prepared for their retirement.
The results of this study revealed a significant deficiency in financial literacy for certain
subpopulations which include women, racial minorities (Blacks and Hispanics), and
individuals with low income and low education. Subsequent research by Ford and Kent
(2009) narrowed their study to examine whether or not female college students perceive
financial market intimidation, interest, and awareness differently than male college
students. The results confirmed the existence of lower financial literacy in women as
evidenced by higher reports of financial market intimidation and lower reports of both
financial market interest and awareness. Prior research by Murphy (2005) revealed lower


27
financial literacy among Black college students. A study performed in the United
Kingdom demonstrated that non-whites (Asians and Blacks) possessed a much lower
level of financial literacy than whites (Ekanem, 2013). With respect to financial literacy
among lower income individuals, Zahn, Anderson, and Scott (2006) found substantial
deficiencies in the financial understanding and knowledge within this population.


28
CHAPTER III
METHODS AND PROCEDURES
The research performed in this study was conducted in two phases. The objective
behind Phase 1 was to interview participants to determine what Stages of Perfmdence are
in existence in the American culture. These interviews were focused primarily on
obtaining data that allowed the researcher to define the criteria and parameters of each
Stage of Perfmdence. This also involved establishing what discriminated one Stage of
Perfmdence from another.
Phase 2 had two fundamental objectives. First, it was essential to obtain
confirmation about the Stages of Perfmdence defined in Phase 1 and fine-tune the
parameters that define each stage when necessary. Second, information was gathered to
better understand the psychological implications associated with each Stage of
Perfmdence. Characteristic information about each participant's thoughts, feelings, and
behaviors was collected to better understand the benefits, challenges, and insights gained
from participant's experiences with the various Stages of Perfmdence.
Phase 1 Study
Participants. Fourteen participants ranging in age from 20 to 67 years of age
were interviewed (in person or over the telephone). Eleven of the participants were over
the age of 40; this was intentional because individuals who have lived longer tend to have
more experience with different stages of financial dependence and independence. This
study also benefited from the inclusion of three younger participants (aged 20, 28 and 31)
in order to represent individuals from more recent generations. Participants were
interviewed to gather preliminary information about the different conditions and


29
circumstances these individuals have experienced throughout their lifetime with respect
to being financially dependent and financially independent. In addition to determining
the feasibility of creating a developmental model of the Stages of Perfindence, a goal was
to determine what stages might be included in such a developmental model.
Design and Methods. This study was conducted utilizing an interview format. A
standard list of questions was constructed as a template for the interview process
(Appendix A); these questions were designed to illicit exploration of the different
financial conditions experienced throughout his or her lifetime. In addition to evaluating
the participant's direct life experiences, limited indirect information related to parents,
children, and spouses was collected if it was relevant to the financial support situations
experienced by the participant. The interviewer took notes documenting each
participant's responses to the questions asked. A deliberate effort was made to repeat the
participants answers in order to decrease the likelihood of misunderstanding or biasing
the data. The researcher utilized the semi-structured interview method and questions were
altered, added or omitted based upon the participants responses when appropriate; this
was especially the case when a question became redundant or irrelevant based on
information shared by the participant when answering a previous question. This enabled
the researcher to customize the questions as it applied to each participant, with the
ultimate goal of obtaining the maximum amount of data possible. At times, it was
necessary to ask additional questions based on specific responses in order to increase
clarity and understanding of the participant's experience. Using the standard list of
questions as a template for every interview was essential in assuring that all areas of
interest were investigated with each participant.


30
Data Analysis. It was determined that grounded theory was the most suitable
qualitative approach for this research. Grounded theory is recommended for research that
is focused on generating theories to explain human behavior, particularly when
examining stages or phases of change over time (Creswell, Hanson, Clark, & Morales,
2007; Morse & Field, 1995). Glaser and Strauss (1967) developed the grounded theory
as a novel method for social scientists to formulate theory using the constant comparative
method. Data is collected and analyzed as the study progresses. Grounded theory offers
the ability to modify and adjust the developing theory based upon new information that is
revealed during the data collection process. The grounded theory approach implements a
systematic method of coding data into discrete categories while still allowing for theory
development in an evolving manner (Glaser, 1965).
Open coding was used to label discrete elements in the data collected. Open
coding is a method of breaking the data down into fragments of information; this
information is then assigned a label which represents a specific category (Strauss, 1987;
Corbin & Strauss, 2008). This allows the researcher to compare and contrast the
similarly labeled data from different participants with the intention of identifying
theoretical concepts that emerge (Maxwell, 2005). Strauss & Corbin (1990) coined the
term, "theoretical sensitivity" to represents the personal elements brought forth by the
researcher; these personal elements include knowledge, experience, and ability. Seven a
priori (Table III. 1) codes for the open coding process were established based on this
researcher's theoretical sensitivity of professional and personal experience and
knowledge. As listed in Table III. 1, five stages of financial dependence (Childhood,
Transitional, Voluntary, Involuntary, and Retired/Elderly) and two stages of financial


31
Table III.l. A priori codes for the developmental Stages of Perfindence
Code/Stage Description
Stages of Financial Dependence (FD)
Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers
Transitional FD Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while working towards a long-term plan (e.g. college, between jobs, etc.)
Involuntary FD Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, etc.)
Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay-at-home parent, caretakers, etc.)
Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence
Stages of Financial Independence (FI)
Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of self- sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support
Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of self-sufficient, long-term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.)
independence (Earned and Granted) were loosely defined as a starting point for open
coding. The data was analyzed in terms of defining the various Stages of Perfindence
experienced by each of the participants. When data emerged that did not fit any of these
seven stages, an additional category was created. Overall, four additional Stages of
Perfindence emerged as a result of this process. In addition, the data revealed the need


32
for the researcher to revise the original a priori definition of certain stages in order to
more accurately represent the parameters of that Stage of Perfmdence.
Data Results. Modifications were made to the descriptions of certain Stages of
Perfmdence based upon the data obtained during the process of using the constant
comparative analysis method. Some of the data revealed the need to establish additional
Stages of Perfmdence. Presented in Table III.2 is a list of the final eleven Stages of
Perfmdence generated as a result from Phase I of this study. Following is an explanation
of how each Stage of Perfmdence was defined and modified when appropriate.
Childhood Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfmdence was included in
the a priori codes originally established. It is universally understood that children are not
able to financially support themselves for a number of reasons including lack of physical
and mental development and legal restrictions. The original criteria for this stage were
defined as, "Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially
dependent on parents/caregivers". The age of 18 was chosen because it is considered the
legal age of adulthood in the American culture. During the data collection process, it
became evident that a missing criterion for Stages of Perfmdence was the fact that the
child is not working. Therefore, the definition of this stage was altered to include this
specific component: "Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially
dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work."
Transitional Financial Dependence. This state of financial dependence is
another Stage of Perfmdence included in the pre-established a priori codes and was
defined as "Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while
working towards a long-term plan (e.g. college, between jobs, etc.)" The intention for


33
Table IEI.2. List of Stages of Perfmdence resulting from Phase 1 of this study.
Code/Stage Description
Stages of Financial Dependence (FD)
Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work
Transitional FD* Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.)
Involuntary FD* Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.)
Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay-at-home parent, caretaker, etc.)
Inter-mutual FD** Time period in which people share the financial responsibilities and are interdependent upon the contribution of each other for financial support
Subsidized FD** Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds from family, friends, government assistance, etc.
Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or government assistance such as social security, medicare, etc.
Stages of Financial Independence (FI)
Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of self-sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support
Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of self-sufficient, long-term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fluid, lottery winner, etc.)
Shared FI** Time period in which more than one person shares the financial responsibilities and each person qualifies for personal earned independence or personal granted independence (i.e. neither person exhibits financial dependence and could live financially independent if they chose to)
Subsidized FI** Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds
* Stage revised/fine-tuned based on data obtained from Phase 1. **Stage established based on data obtained that did not fit any other stage


34
this stage was to reflect the time period of life in which an individual evolves from being
a fully dependent child towards becoming a member of the general work force. During
this transitional age, an individual is usually focused on establishing skills related to
employment and prospective careers. It did not take long before it became obvious that
the original definition of this stage was lacking information to properly indicate that this
stage is specifically related to the time period of transitioning from Childhood Financial
Dependence. Based on the original wording, an individual of any age could qualify for
this stage as long as he or she was working towards a new career. Therefore the
terminology was modified to, "Time period in which one obtains financial assistance
temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working
towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.)" This change more
correctly expresses the qualities of developing from the childhood state into adulthood.
Involuntary Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfindence was also a
starting a priori code designed to represent the "Time period in which a person is unable
to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled,
incarcerated, etc.)" The objective for defining this stage was to represent the period of
time in which individuals are financially reliant on others due to life circumstances
beyond their control at that time. This does not imply that they are not responsible for
previous actions and behaviors that led to the state of their circumstance; rather, the lack
of control refers to the fact that they want to be employed but are not for various
prohibiting reasons. A commonly observed condition of this Stages of Perfindence
among the participants was loss of employment due to being laid off or fired. Therefore,
the criteria for this stage was modified to include this prevalent circumstance in the


35
definition: "Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability,
criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated,
unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.)"
Voluntary Financial Dependence. This stage was another included in the pre-
established a priori codes. The intention behind characterizing this stage was to describe
any period of life in which an individual chooses not to work and accepts that he or she
will be reliant on family, friends or others for economic support. This is one of the few
Stages of Perfmdence in which no changes to the definition were necessary as the data
supported the original description: "Time period in which an individual has made a
conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay-
at-home parent, caretakers, etc.)"
Inter-mutual Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfmdence was not
included in the pre-establish list of priori codes and was created as a result of the data
collected. Some participants expressed an age in their life in which they did not directly
rely on others for financial support and that money was not given to them in the same
manner as all of the other stages of dependence. Although these participants did not
receive money, they did rely on others to provide their fair share of financial
contributions. For example, in a typical roommate living situation each person is
responsible for contributing an equitable portion of funds to cover his or her share of
expenses. Collectively, roommates can afford to live together in a manner that would be
cost prohibitive otherwise. Consequentially, the description for this Stages of Perfmdence
of Inter-mutual Financial Dependence became "Time period in which people share the


36
financial responsibilities and are interdependent upon the contribution of each other for
financial support."
Subsidized Financial Dependence. This category was another Stage of
Perfindence that developed as a result of what the data revealed. Some participants
described a financial condition in which they relied on others to subsidize their income;
additional funds were necessary in order to cover all of their financial expenses. This
particular circumstance did not fit into any of the other Stages of Perfindence; therefore, a
new stage of dependence was developed: "Time period in which a person earns income
and receives additional funds from family, friends, government assistance, etc."
Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence. This stage was also included in the pre-
determined list of Stages of Perfindence outlined in the a priori codes. The original
definition for this stage was, "Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or
are unable to work due to senescence." This stage is similar to Childhood Financial
Dependence in that it is a universally common condition in which there is lack of
physical and/or mental capabilities. Senescence is a natural loss of faculties over the
course of aging that occurs to all humans in differing ways and to varying degrees. Not
all elderly Americans qualify for this stage; only those that are economically dependent
on others meet the criteria for this Stages of Perfindence. Based on the data collected, it
was deemed appropriate to fine-tune the definition by adding clarification about the
criterion of dependence: "Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are
unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or
government assistance such as social security, Medicare, etc."


37
Earned Financial Independence. This Stages of Perfindence was developed
with the other a priori codes to describe the period of life in which one is not reliant on
another for financial assistance. Because this stage represents the common goal of being
financially independent for those living in an individualistic society (Derber, 1983), it
was considered highly likely that this Stages of Perfindence would be one of the most
frequently observed among study participants. The data did confirm that Earned Financial
Independence is the most encountered stage. Although Childhood Financial Dependence
is a one-time experience shared by all, Earned Financial Independence was more
prevalent because it can and often times does occur more than once in a person's lifetime.
No changes were made to the description of this Stages of Perfindence: "Time period in
which a person has established a method of self-sufficient income, assets, or wealth and
receives no external financial support."
Granted Financial Independence. This state of independence was the final
Stages of Perfindence included in the a priori codes originally developed. Some
individuals obtain their wealth through inheritance or winning the lottery. Others might
be gifted or granted funds for a period of time such as in a scholarship situation or money
donated for an all-expense paid sabbatical. It was important to establish a category that
delineates this from Earned Financial Independence because the psychological and
sociological impacts of having unearned money may differ from those that earn their
money. This was the least frequently observed Stages of Perfindence. The definition of
this stage did not change based on the data collected: "Time period in which a person has
been granted a sum of money or a method of self-sufficient, long-term income and
receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.)"


38
Shared Financial Independence. This Stages of Perfindence emerged as a result
of observing information that did not adequately fit the other two stages of Financial
Independence (Earned or Granted). Some individuals are financially independent and
could live on their own but choose to share their financial obligations with another
person(s). The terminology developed for this stage is the "Time period in which more
than one person shares the financial responsibilities and each person qualifies for Earned
Financial Independence or Granted Financial Independence (i.e. neither person exhibits
financial dependence and could live financially independent if they chose to.)"
Subsidized Financial Independence. Another Stages of Perfindence was
developed as a result of the data collected from study participants. Some individuals are
economically independent but also receive monies from various sources. These people
do not need the additional funds received in order to live independently; rather, this extra
money complements their current income or wealth and might enable the individual to
live a more affluent lifestyle. The criteria for this stage is the "Time period in which a
person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government
assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds."
Phase 2 Study
Participants. A total of six participants, 3 males and 3 females, ranging in age
from 33 to 79 were interviewed in person (see Table III.3 for demographic information.)
Based on the data and results obtained from Phase 1, participants were interviewed in
greater depth about their experiences with Stages of Perfindence. Data was collected
with the intention of confirming the criteria and parameters previously established in
Phase 1. Again, although the primary focus was on direct experiences of Stages of


39
Table III.3. Study participants' demographics.
Participant Gender Age Ethnic Identification
1 Male 33 White Filipino
2 Male 67 Italian American
3 Female 60 Scottish Irish Coloradoan
4 Male 79 Hispanic American
5 Female 48 White
6 Female 45 White
Perfindence, limited indirect data related to parents, children, and spouses was collected
when relevant. In addition, more focus was placed on gathering information related to
the challenges and benefits encountered with each of the different Stages of Perfindence
that participants have experienced.
Design and Methods. The general interview guide approach was chosen as the
most suitable method for collecting data in this study because it allows the researcher to
adjust questions focused around a standard topic in a way that is unique to each
participant based upon his or her personal life experiences (Turner, 2010). Each
participant was questioned about his/her background with Stages of Perfindence in
chronological order from childhood to present day experiences. A timeline template
(Figure III. 1) was utilized during each interview to help keep the interview on-track and
to minimize the chances of inadvertently omitting any significant periods of the
participant's life. This timeline template includes empty blanks for the researcher to
record each participant's assigned number (for confidentiality purposes), ethnic identity
and age. In addition, each timeline was customized specific to the participant's life
experience; most timelines were apportioned into ten year increments. The researcher


40
Figure DI.1. Timeline template utilized for each interview.
Participant#______ Ethnic Identity_________________________ Age_______
took rough notes on this timeline merely for the purposes of keeping the interview
focused on the chronological order of life events. Special emphasis in the questioning
process was placed on how each phase of his or her life was funded; focus was also
placed on asking the participant about the challenges and benefits he or she experienced
with each stage. Each interview was audio recorded at the time of the interview then
transcribed for subsequent data analysis.
Data Analysis. Line-by-line open coding was performed using Dedoose software
(2014) on the transcribed interviews utilizing the eleven Stages of Perfmdence previously
resulting from Phase 1 of this study. These eleven stages served as the initial eleven
codes applied to the data. When warranted, these Stages of Perfmdence were modified to
better represent the gathered data as part of the constant comparative analysis process.
Axial coding is the process of linking codes/categories to subcategories that relate
to properties and characteristics of the parent code (Strauss, 1987; Strauss & Corbin,
1998). Subcategories did emerge for each Stages of Perfmdence; these categories further
characterized each stage with personal experiences for each participant. For example, one
participant may have perceived getting a job in high school as a benefit in that it provided


41
extra spending money and a sense of freedom. This data qualifies for the Transitional
Financial Dependence code in the general sense that it occurred while the individual was
still a child (not yet an adult) and still being financially provided for by his/her parents.
In this instance, a subcategory that was applied was "benefits of Transitional Financial
Dependence". When applicable, subcategories were created to represent benefits,
challenges and general insights gained for each category.
During the coding process, inquiries were made to participants via email anytime
clarification was needed for proper coding. Once the coding process for each participant
was completed, a participant summary for each interview was created. This participant
summary included a list of the eleven stages with definitions provided for each. This was
the first time each participant was introduced to the model of Stages of Perfmdence.
Each summary also clearly depicted which stages were experienced by each participant
based on the data received. In addition, specific details were provided to help the
participant understand what data was used to determine each of the stages experienced.
Each participant was asked to review his/her summary, which served as a valuable
method of member checking. Member checking involves sharing the interpretations
made from the data to ensure that the researcher understood the information correctly;
this step is a form of validity testing in that it allows the participant to substantiate the
credibility of the data as it was applied (Creswell & Miller, 2000; Baxter, Eyles, Bailey,
White & Pain, 1999) to the Stages of Perfmdence model. Each member responded with
confirmation as to the stages he/she had and had not experienced.
Criteria Adjustments for Stages of Perfindence. As previously stated, one of
the objectives for Phase 2 of this study was to confirm the defined parameters and


42
conditions for each Stage of Perfindence established at the end of Phase 1 (see Table
III.2). As expected, additional information obtained by interview participants did require
additional fine-tuning for some of the stage definitions. A list of the final, defined stages
are provided in Table III.4. For the following stages, no changes were made because the
data obtained provided confirmation that the definition formulated at the end of Phase 1
accurately represents each Stage of Perfindence: Childhood Financial Dependence,
Transitional Financial Dependence, Involuntary Financial Dependence, Voluntary
Financial Dependence, Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence, Earned Financial
Independence, Granted Financial Independence, and Subsidized Financial Independence.
However, modifications were made to the defined parameters for the following Stages of
Perfindence based upon the interview data obtained:
Shared Financial Dependence. Based on the additional data collected during
Phase 2, it became evident that the title and description for this Stages of Perfindence
needed to be modified. First, it was decided that altering the title of this stage would
eliminate confusion about the term, "inter-mutual", which is not officially included in
most dictionaries. In addition, changing "inter-mutual" to "shared" provides uniformity
with the counterpart Shared Financial Independence stage, similar to how "subsidized" is
utilized for both a financially dependent and a financially independent Stage of
Perfindence.
Second, the definition established at the end of Phase 1 was the "Time period in
which people share the financial responsibilities and are interdependent upon the
contribution of each other for financial support." Closer examination of the data revealed
that this stage might be true for one individual in the partnership or group, but is not


43
Table III.4. Final list of Stages of Perfindence resulting from Phase 2 of this study.
Code/Stage Description
Stages of Financial Dependence (FD)
Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work
Transitional FD Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.)
Involuntary FD Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.)
Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay-at-home parent, caretaker, etc.)
Shared FD* Time period in which a person shares the financial responsibilities with other(s) and is dependent upon the equitable financial contribution of the other(s) in order to live in an autonomous manner
Subsidized FD* Time period in which a person earns income and requires additional financial assistance from family, friends, government assistance, etc.
Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or government assistance such as social security, Medicare, etc.
Stages of Financial Independence (FI)
Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of self-sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support
Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of self-sufficient, long-term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.)
Shared FI* Time period in which financial responsibilities are shared with one or more other individuals; person does qualify for Earned Financial Independence or Granted Financial Independence but chooses to share financial costs with others
Subsidized FI Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds
* Stage revised/fine-tuned based on data obtained from Phase 2.


44
necessarily the circumstance of all the individuals in the partnership or group. For
example, a person experiencing Shared Financial Dependence could be living with a
roommate that qualifies for being in a Shared Financial Independence stage. Therefore,
the definition needed to be changed to represent that the condition experienced only
reflects the circumstance of that particular individual and is not dependent upon the
Stages of Perfindence experienced by the other(s). The adjusted description for this stage
is the "Time period in which a person shares the financial responsibilities with other(s)
and is dependent upon the equitable financial contribution of the other(s) in order to live
in an autonomous manner."
Subsidized Financial Dependence. A slight change in the definition for this
stage was deemed necessary based on the new information received. At the end of Phase
1, this Stage of Perfindence was characterized as the "Time period in which a person
earns income and receives additional funds from family, friends, government assistance,
etc." It was recognized that the word, "funds", needed to be changed to "financial
assistance" because not all individuals received money as a form of financial aid. Some
participants received financial assistance in the form of food, rent, and/or babysitting
services, all of which can provide significant support of their financial situation.
Additionally, the original terminology does not accurately represent that the financial
assistance received is necessary which distinguishes this category from Subsidized
Financial Independence. For this reason the word, "receives" was replaced with
"requires". The final definition for this Stages of Perfindence is the "Time period in
which a person earns income and requires additional financial assistance from family,
friends, government assistance, etc."


45
Shared Financial Independence. The terminology developed at the end of
Phase 1 for this stage was the "Time period in which more than one person shares the
financial responsibilities and each person qualifies for Earned Financial Independence or
Granted Financial Independence (i.e. neither person exhibits financial dependence and
could live financially independent if they chose to.)" Again, it was necessary to properly
reflect the possibility that not all individuals in this shared circumstance is experiencing
the same status. Rather, it was necessary to remove this as part of the qualifying criteria
for this Stages of Perfindence: "Time period in which financial responsibilities are
shared with one or more other individuals; person does qualify for Earned Financial
Independence or Granted Financial Independence but chooses to share financial costs
with others."


46
CHAPTER IV
DATA RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION
Defining Stages of Perfindence
Data collected in Phase I and Phase II from 20 participants were combined and
evaluated to define the specifications of the eleven Stages of Perfindence. Three coding
strategies construed by Lincoln and Guba (1985; Miles & Huberman, 1995) were
implemented: extension, bridging, and surfacing. Extension is the process of refining
previously established codes by building and/or modifying them as the data dictates.
Extension was meticulously enforced in the constant comparative analysis process and
modifications to the defined Stages of Perfindence were made as warranted. Bridging is
the coding strategy that involves exposure of new relationships between previously
misconceived information which might require the establishment of new codes or
categories. Surfacing occurs when new categories emerge as a result of the data not
matching any of the previously established a priori codes. This study began with seven a
priori Stages of Perfindence; bridging and surfacing resulted in the addition of four
additional Stages of Perfindence. Stages that appeared to belong together were separated
once it became apparent that specific conditions actually distinguished one stage from
another. In addition, new Stages of Perfindence were established when data revealed a
unique stage not previously included in the a priori codes. Extension, bridging, and
surfacing were diligently performed until theoretical saturation, the point at which no
new information is revealed from additional analysis (Strauss, 1987), was achieved. See


47
Table m.4 for a final list of all Stages of Perfindence established as a result of this
process.
Prevalence of the Stages of Perfindence
Most participants reported directly experiencing a total of 7 Stages of Perfindence
throughout their lifetime up to the time of being interviewed (see Figure IV. 1). The
greatest number of Stages of Perfindence directly experienced by any participant was 10
stages. The youngest participant at 20 years of age had only encountered 3 Stages of
Perfindence. Being older does naturally increase the likelihood of encountering a variety
of financial conditions and therefore, potentially more Stages of Perfindence. Therefore,
the 3 stages reported by the 20 year old participant only represent the first portion(s) of
her life and would not be a true depiction of all the Stages of Perfindence she will
experienced throughout her lifetime. The same applies to all the participants, especially
those that are younger. The oldest study participant at 79 years of age had experienced 7
Stages of Perfindence.
Figure IV. 1 Number of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by Study Participants
vi
£
C3
CL
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s
5
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123456789 10 11
Number of Stages of Perfindence


48
All 20 participants had lived through the stages of Childhood Financial
Dependence and Transitional Financial Dependence (see Table IV. 1). Of course, it is not
surprising that all individuals experience Childhood Financial Dependence since children
are not physically, mentally, and/or legally capable of financially supporting themselves.
Prior to data collection, it was not known how many individuals might experience
Transitional Financial Dependence. Observing all 20 participants having encountered the
Transitional Financial Dependence indicates that this is a developmentally significant
Table IV.l Frequencies of Stages of Perfindence experienced by the 20 participants.
Code/Stage Number of Participants w/ Direct Experience Frequency of Participants w/ Direct Experience Number of Participants w/ Indirect Experience Number of Participants w/ Direct and/or Indirect Experience Frequency of Participants w/ Direct and/or Indirect Experience
Stages of Financial Dependence (FD)
Childhood FD 20 100% 13 20 100%
Transitional FD 20 100% 6 20 100%
Involuntary FD 12 60% 5 15 75%
Voluntary FD 12 60% 14 15 75%
Shared FD 15 75% 4 16 80%
Subsidized FD 14 70% 3 16 80%
Retired/Elderly FD 3 15% 2 4 20%
Stages of Financial Independence (FI)
Earned FI 18 90% 17 20 100%
Granted FI 4 20% 0 4 20%
Shared FI 13 65% 0 13 65%
Subsidized FI 6 30% 2 8 40%


49
stage in which most, if not all, individuals pass through in life towards achieving
adulthood.
With respect to Earned Financial Independence, all 20 participants provided data
that either directly or indirectly substantiated this Stages of Perfindence. Only two
individuals had not directly experienced Earned Financial Independence. One of these
participants was 20 years of age, still in college and progressing through Transitional
Financial Dependence at the time of the interview. The other participant was 48 year old
female who had spent most of her adult years in Voluntary Financial Dependence raising
three children as a stay-at-home mother and wife. Both participants stated that their
parent(s) experienced Earned Financial Independence, which provided financial support
during their stages of Childhood Financial Dependence. The stay-at-home mother/wife
also disclosed that her husband was in the Earned Financial Independence stage and
supported her and the family while she had chosen to live in Voluntary Financial
Dependence.
Psychological and Sociological Impacts
Six participants were interviewed about the benefits, challenges and insights
gained as a result of experiencing various Stages of Perfindence. The purpose was to
collect data about how the conditions of financial dependence and/or independence have
impacted the lives and relationships of these individuals. Because each Stage of
Perfindence represents different circumstances, comparing and contrasting the
participant's experiences for each stage might help provide a better understanding of how
these stages influence a person's psychological and sociological well-being.


50
Childhood Financial Dependence. As expected, every participant reported
experiencing the stage of Childhood Financial Dependence (see Table IV. 1) during their
childhood. Although most individuals ended this stage at the age of 18, one participant
reported no longer receiving any financial support from his parents at the age of 15 and
another participant lived at home being financially supported until the age of 20.
Three participants that grew up in very poor conditions shared a similar
philosophy about money and finances. They expressed that money was not an important
factor in their lives; rather, money is viewed as a mere tool necessary in life. One
participant described it in these terms, "...we were poor but we didn't even think about being
poor." All three of these individuals revealed that any periods of financial strain
experienced in their adulthood were not viewed as drastic compared to the poverty of
their childhoods; therefore, financial hardship experiences as an adult do not produce
high levels of stress or concern because they had known conditions much worse. Here is
an example quote representing this perspective, "Money has never been that important to
me. It was just surviving and doing what I wanted to do... I started with nothing and if I
end up that way then I'm ok with it." One participant expressed how this apathetic view
about money has caused contention in romantic relationships with partners that view
money as an important factor in their lives.
A common theme among all participants interviewed was the experience of being
sheltered as a child from the family finances. Those individuals experiencing poverty
may have known they were poor but it didn't matter that much. The participants that
grew up in financially secure environments reported that they felt sheltered from any
potential financial worries that their parents might have been experiencing. The general


51
consensus was a lack of knowledge or understanding of financial concerns during
childhood. While discussing this time of their lives, most individuals expressed having a
naive innocence about money, bills, and other financial obligations or considerations.
Transitional Financial Dependence. Every participant reported experiencing
this stage of Transitional Financial Dependence (see Table IV. 1). Most participants
reported first experiencing Transitional Dependence in their high school years at about
15-18 years of age. Two male participants who reported growing up in poverty began
earning money at earlier ages of 8 and 13 years old. All but one participant stated that
they obtained part-time employment during this transitional period. The other individual
practiced theft and robbery as a means for acquiring money. Most reported that the
primary motivation for getting their first job was to earn spending money for desired
items such as CD's, clothing, and gasoline and social activities. Additional reasons for
getting a new job during late childhood include "to keep busy", "to escape the home", and
"to save money to buy a car." The Transitional Financial Dependence stage of life
appears to be a very important one in that it begins the path towards independence and
financial accountability.
Regardless of socioeconomic status, a lack of understanding about financial
demands, obligations, and worries still exists in this stage of Transitional Financial
Dependence. Although an increased awareness about financial responsibilities does
become apparent shortly after one begins earning money, participants still felt sheltered
from the true extent of financial concerns that might have been experienced by their
parents. Participants expressed that this time period characterized by naivety and


52
continued protection of financial worries or burdens was "an extension of childhood" in
this respect.
None of the participants, even those raised in extremely impoverished conditions,
were expected to financially contribute to the family and all were permitted to keep any
money earned or obtained during this stage. Those that were raised in very poor
economic conditions did obtain jobs as teenagers enabling them to voluntarily cover their
personal expenses (clothing, toiletries, etc.). This afforded their parents the opportunity to
spend family money elsewhere, thus contributing indirectly to the family's economic
circumstances and providing some financial relief. Some individuals stated that they took
the initiative to increase their contribution to the household finances in other ways such
as bringing groceries home, buying family dinners on occasion, or sending money to a
sibling to help with college costs; doing so resulted in accompanied feelings of pride and
independence.
For five participants, a significant component of the Transitional Financial
Dependence stage was attending college. Higher education was accomplished mostly
through parental financial contributions, although some reported getting scholarships,
grants, loans and/or part-time jobs to attend college. One participant, whose parents paid
for her entire college education and only needed to work part-time during the summers,
expressed that she did not have an appropriate appreciation for the cost of her education;
she stated that she may have taken college more seriously and not "partied" so much if
she had experienced some worry about finances. Another individual who relied on loans
to subsidize his education, conveyed that he had no understanding what he was agreeing
to because he had no comprehension of interest rates and the long-term implications of


53
accruing debt. Years later once he gained a better understanding of how loans work, he
felt regret about borrowing this money because it created an added burden that he did not
expect nor want.
Involuntary Financial Dependence. Sixty percent of the participants
interviewed in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 experienced Involuntary Financial Dependence
(see Table IV. 1), primarily because of an unexpectedly loss of employment. As a result,
these individuals became dependent on government assistance and/or financial help from
their families or loved ones until another job was secured. One participant received
vocational rehabilitation, which is government funding provided to individuals with
disabilities in assisting them with education and other services that will integrate them
into the work force. Other reasons reported for experiencing this stage were related to
marriage and divorce. One participant married, moved to live with her husband, and was
unable to find work for months. Another participant, who had been a homemaker for over
10 years, was presented with an unexpected divorce; this left her needing to rely on child
support and spousal maintenance while she attended higher education in efforts to obtain
career skills to reintegrate into the work force.
For two participants, government assistance in the form of unemployment
benefits and vocational rehabilitation provided opportunities that were otherwise
unimaginable to them. Both experienced unexpected, extreme financial hardship which
led them to applying for and receiving these benefits. One of the participants received
unemployment benefits after suddenly losing an extremely high paying job; this
individual had been devoting his life and future to this job and career. Another individual
received vocational rehabilitation after he had broken his hip in a sports accident, was


54
unable to work, and feared not being able to complete his higher education as a result.
Both of these individuals described these events as major life crises which caused a
dramatic shift in their worldview perspective and changed the course of their lives. Both
participants were able to obtain further education and get back on their feet as a result of
government assistance. As a result of the availability and access to these funds, both
participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity this afforded them because it
provided much needed "hope" during an especially difficult period in their lives. A
notable difference between these two circumstances was observed. The individual
receiving unemployment benefits also expressed shame and guilt associated with being
unemployed and accessing these government funds. The person receiving vocational
rehabilitation benefits expressed a very different attitude of feeling that he had a right to
these funds, based on his circumstances. The other people interviewed about receiving
unemployment benefits also conveyed a sense of embarrassment associated with this time
period of their lives. Therefore, it appears that the specific type of and/or the reason for
collecting government assistance in Involuntary Financial Dependence can have different
psychological effects.
Voluntary Financial Dependence. Three quarters of the participants
interviewed provided data that qualified for the stage of Voluntary Financial Dependence
(see Table IV. 1); the majority of these participants were female homemakers and/or
mothers deciding to stay-at-home to raise their children. Most of the participants
reported experiencing a childhood in which their mother chose not to work. Some female
participants disclosed that they themselves and some male participants stated that their
spouses made the choice to not work in order to provide their children the support and


55
direct attention they felt was necessary. From the adult children's perspective, the
consensus was that having their mother not working and being at home during their
childhood was a positive experience for them. This favorable attitude was also shared by
some male individuals who reported that their wives were stay-at-home mothers when
their children were young.
Two female participants from phase 2 of this study had experienced Voluntary
Financial Dependence first-hand and shared some common benefits and challenges.
First, both of these stay-at-home mothers were enthusiastic about how rewarding and
fulfilling it was for them to have the freedom to not work while focusing primarily on
raising their children. Both women also reported how being financially dependent on
their husbands created significant strain on their relationship for many years. In addition
to disagreements about how money should be spent, a power differential between the
working husbands and the financially dependent wives became a large contention in their
marriages. One marriage ended as a result of these financial issues, once the children
were grown and out of the home. The other marriage is currently in a state of separation,
and is riddled with resentment and bitterness by and for both partners; this participant
stated that this marriage only lasted as long as it did because they were trying to maintain
the family unit for the sake of their three children ranging in age from 11 to 15 years old.
This couple has already separated once before and divorce is a desirable option that is
seriously being considered.
These same two women, although having similar experiences with the Voluntary
Financial Dependence stage of their lives, have very different attitudes about their choice
to not work and stay at home raising their children. The first of these two female


56
participants, continually expressed concerns about how she is perceived by society. When
asked questions about what she thought and felt about the circumstances of her life
during this time period, she would often answer either defensively or in a manner that
represents what she perceives that others might think about it. For example, when asked
how she felt about a specific situation, she would reply by saying, "Well, it could be
good, it could be bad, it depends how you look at it." The researcher made efforts to
redirect the interview focusing on what she, not others, felt and thought about it. It was
apparent that she felt negatively judged by others about her choice to be a stay-at-home
mother and that it greatly impacted her need to defend her position. She described how
her parents and siblings tell her that the level of involvement in her children's lives is
"ridiculous" and "overkill." In addition, she reported that her husband uses his power of
being the breadwinner to "torment" her by restricting the amount of money he gives her
for household necessities and degrading her for not making financial contributions to the
family. Although this participant was confident and proud about her decision to be
voluntarily dependent on her husband, she often finds herself needing to defend this
choice to her husband, extended family, and others. She expressed frustration at having
to justify a choice that others do not understand or support.
The second female participant that chose to be a homemaker, did not express any
defensiveness about this choice and instead conveyed a sense of delight and satisfaction
about having stayed home to raise her children. This participant also reported having a
child with Down's Syndrome and receiving a large inheritance when this child was about
10 years old. Another substantial difference is that this participant raised her children
years ago and was reflecting back on this time in her life; whereas, the first stay-at-home


57
described above is currently experiencing this stage of voluntary dependence and raising
her children. These factors may explain the difference in attitude and personal judgment
expressed by these two women about their decision to be a homemaker; one
demonstrated the need to defend her opinions and choices, while the other did not.
Another small fraction of those that experienced Voluntary Financial Dependence
were not homemakers; rather they reported being financially dependent on others such as
parents or spouses/partners, but only temporarily for approximately six months or less.
One participant chose to be financially dependent on her partner during a time in her life
when she was fighting a drug addiction and getting clean. She explained that she was
capable of getting a job, but her and her partner decided it would be best if she
concentrated on her recovery because they could afford for her not to work at that time.
Another individual experienced a sudden loss of employment and chose to move back in
with his parents while he re-assessed his career choices, decided upon a new professional
path, and recovered financially. This participant also expressed having symptoms of
depression during this time of his life related to both the loss of his job and feeling as
though he was taking a step backwards by once again became financially dependent on
his parents. He described negative feelings, such as low self-esteem, associated with not
being able to pitch in to the household finances and relying on his parents for food and
shelter. On the other hand, this participant also reported a positive outcome of this
experience; he stated that moving back home gave him the opportunity to reconnect with
his parents and spend quality time together as a family.
Shared Financial Dependence. A large majority, 75 percent, of the people
interviewed had personally experienced the stage of Shared Financial Dependence (see


58
Table IV. 1). This commonly experienced co-habitation living arrangement involves an
equitable distribution of household expenses between roommates and/or their
partner/spouse. Some described this living situation as necessary in order to make ends
meet, while others reported that it was more desirable for them to share expenses in order
to have the freedom to spend their money on other things. One participant explained that
he had the option of living alone in a small apartment located in a less expensive part of
town far from work or sharing the costs with other(s) to live in a larger apartment/condo
in a more desirable location. Though many expressed financial motives for sharing living
space with others, some did explain that furthering their relationships was the primary
intention for moving in with their significant other and the resulting financial relief was
simply an added bonus.
Although, individuals in this stage were financially dependent on the contribution
of others, they had a sense of independence because they all pay their fair share. Many
reported similar behaviors and attitudes as those individuals experiencing Earned
Financial Independence. The only complaint reported about this stage of Shared
Financial Dependence was personality conflicts that would occur with roommates,
especially when they were strangers before moving in together.
Subsidized Financial Dependence. Seventy percent of those interviewed
reported experiencing Subsidized Financial Dependence (see Table IV. 1). In this stage,
individuals are earning income and also receiving funds or financial assistance as a
supplement to their earnings. Financial assistance was reported in three discernible
forms: government assistance, money taken or received from others, and family provided
room and board. First, welfare benefits and unemployment benefits were specific


59
examples of government funding that participants received to subsidize their income.
Most of the money earned was not reported to the government because these
unemployment benefits would be compromised or discontinued. One woman was a
piano teacher receiving welfare and another participant was a business owner who laid
himself off to receive benefits. The second method of financial assistance involves
taking or receiving money from others. One individual stated that she would steal from
others and sell these stolen items to obtain additional funds. Receiving lump sums of
money from family members was reported by a few participants. For some, this gifted
money was provided out of necessity for survival such as one participant who reported
financially supporting six family members by giving them money monthly for a period of
a few years. Others reported receiving money by parents for a down payment when
purchasing a home or in the form of early inheritance for tax purposes. The third
category of subsidized financial support was family provided room and board which was
often times observed in the form of moving in with family or friends and either
contributing a nominal amount of money or not contributing at all to the household
expenses for a period of time. This was observed in various ways such as a son in his
mid-20's moving back in with his parents while he works to save money and get back on
his feet or the housewife who decided to work part-time for "fun money" while the
husband continues to be responsible for paying all household expenses. All individuals
that reported receiving financial assistance in this stage believed that the financial aid was
helpful and in some cases, made all the difference for them in meeting their financial
obligations. On the flip side, some individuals complained about how difficult it can be
to rely on others, especially in the circumstance of moving in with someone else; some


60
described the need to pitch in by providing other forms of financial contribution such as
performing house chores or buying some groceries, etc.
Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence. Only 20% of the participants in this
study reported experiencing Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence either directly or
indirectly (see Table IV. 1.) It is important to point out that this number is not a true
representative of the general population because most of the participants interviewed
were not old enough to qualify for this stage. Therefore, many of the participants may
still experience this type of dependence in their future.
Two of the six participants interviewed during phase 2 of this study were
experiencing Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence. Both individuals expressed
dissatisfaction and bitterness towards the United States Social Security system. The first
participant expressed that after almost 50 years of contributing to the Social Security
System, he resents the fact that it is now referred to as a "federal benefit credit" which is
also the term used to describe welfare payments. Additionally, he explained that because
he was self-employed at a family owned business, he paid more into the Social Security
system than the average person and was bitter because "they act like they are giving us
something after we paid in all these years." This same participant complained about the
different age and salary requirements that the government has implemented which
severely affects the monthly amount he receives; he expressed that he has experienced
financial hardship as a result.
The second participant was unhappy with the structure of the social security
system due to the restrictions enforced on public employees because he was an educator
for most of his working years. He does receive a nominal amount of Social Security each


61
month. He claims that receiving a public employee pension instead of the full social
security benefits has resulted in receiving less overall.
Earned Financial Independence. Earned Financial Independence is a stage in
which 90% of the participants had directly experience and 100% had either direct and/or
indirect experience (see Table IV. 1). This means that all participants either personally
earned or were dependent upon someone else who self-sufficiently earned all the
household income with no external financial support. A high frequency of occurrence for
this stage might have been expected because Earned Financial Independence is a
construct that represents the aspiration to be financially independent as part of the
American Dream (Adams, 1993; Derber, 1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993.) In fact, all of the
male participants interviewed in phase 2 of this study indicated that they felt it was
important to achieve the cultural expectations of being financially independent, especially
those that had a spouse and children.
One participant in phase 2 of this study expressed that one benefit of Earned
Financial Independence was a sense of security. Having enough money to cover all his
expenses meant that he was no longer dependent on a roommate; this removed the threat
of possibly having to move or find another roommate if the current one was unreliable.
Some participants reported feeling a sense of thrill or excitement about having extra
money to do things such as travel and laser vision correction, especially if they did not
have the financial means prior.
Sudden, unexpected loss of employment for those experiencing Earned Financial
Independence was traumatic for individuals who were no longer accustomed to relying
on others for financial contribution. Numerous participants reported worry and struggle


62
about having to modify their budgets and lifestyles upon a sudden loss of income. Those
that did experience this also stated that they learned a valuable lesson as a result which
changed the way they approached their financial situation moving forward.
The two older male participants in phase 2 of this study that had financially
dependent spouses and children, did not express any dissatisfaction or concerns about
being the breadwinner or having them depend on him. In fact, one male participant
revealed that he continues to financially support his adult children to this day. The
younger male participant did express resentment and bitterness about being financially
responsible for one of his past live-in girlfriends; although, he initially agreed to the
arrangement, over time he became upset with the fact that she was not meeting his
expectations in completing her education or honoring the goals she had set as part of the
agreement. As a result of this experience, he has been extremely cautious about defining
and maintaining financial boundaries with all subsequent partners.
Granted Financial Independence. Only 20% of the participants in this study
reported experiencing Granted Financial Independence first-hand (see Table IV. 1.) A
customary occurrence in American culture is the inheritance of land, property, and wealth
to family members upon one's death; this was the case for only one of the 20 individuals
included in this study. More than half of the participants interviewed still have living
parents; therefore, the occurrence of 20% only reflects those having experienced this
stage at the time of the interview and does not represent whether or not they may still
experience this stage at some point in their future.
This one participant that received a substantial inheritance reported numerous
benefits and challenges associated with receiving these funds. First, she experienced the


63
stress relief that wealth can provide with respect to having no debt and affording her and
her family the ability to travel and do things that they might not have otherwise been able
to. Second, she was able to use the money for altruistic purposes. She expressed donating
money and time to homeless shelters. Although she did not have to work, she chose to
open a massage business in a small mountain town she lived in at the time in order to
provide much needed jobs for women in the area. Third, having this inheritance allowed
her to follow her dreams later in life by opening up an art studio where she is able to not
only display her own art, but help other talented artists get a jumpstart as well. A
disadvantage this participant experienced was that her husband chose to stop working and
subsequently lost his identity as a result. Additionally, the differences in their approach
to saving and spending money were exposed and became a big issue of contention
between them. These factors contributed to the major issues in their marriage, which
ultimately ended in divorce. Another negative outcome reported by this participant was
how different people treated her once they become aware of her wealth. In fact, she
chooses to hide it from most people because she does not like the contrast in how she is
treated. Additionally, she does not socialize much with people that "have an equivalent
amount of money" because she cannot relate to them. She stated that she did not agree
with their privileged and mostly conservative worldviews.
Other forms of Granted Financial Independence were also observed. One
participant applied for and received a "full-ride" scholarship to obtain his Masters degree
during his mid-30's. This scholarship included all academic and living expenses for him
and his family. This event did not qualify for Transitional Financial Dependence because
of his age; therefore, he experienced Granted Financial Independence because the money


64
was given to him with no stipulations of paying the funds back at a later time. Another
participant experienced a similar circumstance in which a mentor/friend had given him a
large sum of money for reasons that were not specified. He then chose to be unemployed
and use this money to live off of for about 6-8 months. Both of these individuals
expressed gratitude for the opportunity that had been afforded them when they were
given the funds to pursue personal interests. Both also expressed an understanding that
not everyone encounters these types of rare fortunate circumstances.
A fourth participant experienced this stage of Granted Financial Independence as
a result of getting pregnant while in college. Her parents had given her a sum of money to
attend college during a Transitional Financial Dependence stage at the age of 21. When
she got pregnant, she chose to leave school, not work and used the money provided by
her parents to support herself and her child for a period of time.
Shared Financial Independence. Most of the total participants (65%) disclosed
life circumstances that qualified for the stage of Shared Financial Independence (see
Table IV. 1) Similarly, of the six participants in phase 2 of this study, four of them (or
66.6%) reported experiencing this stage at some point in their lives. This demonstrates
that the same rate of occurrence was observed in both phases. This stage represents those
individuals who were financially strong enough to live independently but chose to live
with others for various reasons. Some participants reported living and sharing expenses
with friends, parents, or siblings mostly in their younger years because they were trying
to assist their housemates (by providing a financial contribution which reduces the
contribution of others), they were trying to save up some money, and/or they did not want
to live alone. In later years, many of the circumstances for Shared Personal Independence


65
reflected married individuals that made enough money to live alone, but obviously were
not because they lived with their spouse and/or children. In other words, the primary
motivation is simply choosing to be together and the financial benefits were a bonus.
Some individuals stated that living in a double income household was a choice that
allowed them other opportunities. One participant stated "we were able to enjoy life a
little more and buy things... instead of struggling, watching every penny. We had a little
more freedom."
Subsidized Financial Independence. About one-third of the total participants
provided data that qualified for directly experiencing this stage of Subsidized Financial
Independence (see Table IV. 1) Up to 40% of the participants reported having either
experienced this stage themselves or having someone close to them in their lives that
experienced this stage. Individuals experiencing Subsidized Financial Independence are
those that receive additional monies from various sources, however, they do not need this
money in order to live in a financially independent manner. Examples of additional
income include voluntarily working (when unnecessary), receiving inheritance, gifts
given by parents, and mineral rights revenue.
Most of the circumstance qualifying for this stage involved partners/spouses in
which one earned enough money to cover all of their expenses and the other partner
worked which provided extra funds. This allowed the couples to have more money for
leisure, entertainment and other non-essential activities. Another participant who had
inherited a significant amount of money did not need to work but received additional
income as a result of choosing to work for other reasons such as personal fulfillment and
wanting to help others. This same participant decided to work part-time at a bakery for a


66
period of time simply to prove to her husband that she was able to take direction from
others.
Another participant reported that she lived with her girlfriend during a time in
which she was recovering from drug addiction. Her girlfriend made enough money to
cover their living expenses. However, she secured a part-time job as a step towards
helping her recovery process because it kept her busy, kept her interacting with others,
and provided her with an exercise in accountability.
One male participant did express contention in his marriage as a result of both
partners working when it wasn't financially necessary. He felt that there was an added
burden placed upon him during time periods in which his wife wanted to work. Not only
did they have to coordinate their work schedules in order to tend to the children, there
were added responsibilities placed on him when he was not working. He had to take on
some of the household chores and child rearing tasks that his spouse did when she was
unemployed. Because of the strain that this caused on the family and the marriage, he
stated that these periods of her working did not last very long. This same participant also
complained that although having extra money was advantageous in that it allowed them
to travel and have more fun, it also created contention with his siblings who expressed
envy and resentment.


67
CHAPTER V
DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Comparison to Literature
In the experimental framework established in Chapter 1, a number of theories and
developmental models were summarized. Experts in the field of psychology and
sociology such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget and Maslow have provided valuable
developmental models about specific aspects of the human condition. These models are
considered to be fundamental in our understanding of psychology and sociology and have
laid the groundwork for many counseling theories and techniques. In addition,
Voydanoffs framework for economic distress and Powles' Model of Financial
Independence from the Family were outlined as two potentially relevant theories with
respect to the research of Stages of Perfindence performed in this study. An examination
of each theory or model and as it applies to the results of this study is summarized below.
Freud and Piaget. As summarized in Chapter 1, Freud developed a 5 stage
model of sexual development and Piaget established a 4 stage model of cognitive
development (Freud, 1936; Freud, 1986/1905; Freud, 1976/1924; Heller, 2005; Piaget,
1972; Flavell, 1963.) For both of these models, all of the stages occur in childhood with
the last stage taking place in puberty and adolescence. For both of these models, all
stages correspond with Childhood Financial Dependence; however, the final stages in
both models might qualify for Transitional Financial Dependence depending on the
individual. Some teenagers may seek part-time work during Freud's or Piaget's final
stages of development.


68
Erikson. Erikson's model of psychosocial development does span the entire
lifetime (Erikson, 1963; Corey, 2009.) The first four stages all take place during early
and middle childhood which would all qualify for Childhood Financial Dependence. The
fifth stage of identity versus role confusion occurs during adolescence; therefore,
depending on the individual he/she could also be experiencing the Transitional Financial
Dependence stage. Erikson's sixth stage of intimacy versus isolation generally occurs
between the ages of 18 and 35 years old and his seventh stage of generativity versus
stagnation is typically experienced between the ages of 35 and 60. Because these stages
represent adulthood and span across over 40 years, any of the Stages of Perfindence can
apply with the exception of Childhood Financial Dependence. Because Erikson's last
stage, integrity versus despair, occurs over the age of 60 years old, it would be expected
that many of these individuals would qualify for Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence.
Maslow. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs outlines five tiers/categories of basic
needs in order of priority (Maslow, 1943.) These categories do not correspond with age
ranges in the same manner as Freud and Piaget's models. Rather, Maslow's model
involves an understanding of how humans will not concern themselves with the needs in
a higher tier until the previous one is met. There is no direct correlation between
Maslow's categories and any of the Stages of Perfindence. This is not to say, however,
that Maslow's model is irrelevant to factors of financial dependence or independence;
rather, an understanding of the hierarchy of needs does provide insight as to the manner
in which individuals handle their financial conditions. In summary, any of the categories
of basic needs can apply to any of the Stages of Perfindence.


69
Voydanoff. Voydanoff s (1990) analysis of the relationship between economic
distress and the impact it has on relationships is another model that does not apply to
specific age ranges. Instead, Voydanoff s research describes a framework to describe
four types or categories of economic distress: employment instability, employment
uncertainty, economic deprivation, and economic strain. Each of these categories will be
addressed below:
Employment instability is experienced by individuals who are employed and
distressed because they do not feel that they have job security. This can be due to the
economy, the job market, and/or the financial strength of the company or business one
works for. Certain Stages of Perfindence can be ruled out for the potential of
employment instability. Childhood Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial
Dependence, Involuntary Financial Dependence, and Elderly/Retired Financial
Dependence are three stages in which the individual is not working; therefore, these
stages would not be faced with potential loss of employment or the economic distress that
is also experienced. Granted Financial Independence is another category that would not
be affected by employment instability because they do not have to work; for those in this
stage that choose to work, losing their job does not carry the same distress level because
these individuals are not financially dependent on their employment. However, the
remaining seven Stages of Perfindence can experience employment instability.
Employment uncertainty occurs when an individual is distressed about the
prospects of future employment. This is primarily experienced by those that are
unemployed but can also impact those that are employed but want to change careers or be
promoted. Many factors can contribute to employment uncertainty such as the


70
unemployment rate, the economy, the demand (or lack thereof) in one's area of expertise,
etc. Those experiencing Childhood Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial
Independence, Granted Financial Independence and Elderly/Retired Dependence are not
concerned with finding employment and therefore do not face employment uncertainty.
Individuals who are in the stage of Involuntary Financial Dependence do experience
employment uncertainty, especially during the process of seeking a new job. It is also
likely that individuals in the Transitional Financial Dependence stage who are ending
their educational period and beginning to seek career employment face employment
uncertainty.
Economic deprivation is characterized by two main factors: "a) the inability to
meet current financial needs and b) the loss of financial resources and income over a
period of time" (Voydanoff, 1990, p 1103). With the exception of Childhood Financial
Dependence and Granted Financial Independence, it is conceivable that any of the
remaining Stages of Perfmdence could experience economic deprivation depending on
their financial circumstances. Stages that would be more likely to experience economic
deprivation are the Involuntary Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial Dependence,
Shared Financial Dependence and Subsidized Financial Dependence due to the fact that
they need to rely on others to make ends meet.
Economic strain is a more general type of financial distress. Worries and stress
associated with financial matters of any kind fall into this category. Reviewing all of the
Stages of Perfmdence, examples can be found for economic strain in every single stage.
Even those in Granted Financial Independence might experience economic strain if there
is a stock market crash or a natural disaster. Based on all the data collected in this study,


71
it appears that no one is immune from facing economic strain of some kind during their
lifetime.
Powles. As described in Chapter 1, Powles (1986) performed a government study
that evaluated the current financial conditions for young adults in college. From this
study, she defined a seven-stage developmental Model of Financial Independence from
the Family. The discovery of Powles' publications by this researcher occurred between
phase 1 and phase 2 of this study which was subsequent to the raw formulation of the
eleven stages that are presented in Table m.2. The model developed by Powles only
partially coincides with the eleven-stage model defined in this study (see Table V. 1.)
Because Powles' research is limited to the stages one might experience in adolescence
and very early adulthood, it is not unexpected that there would be only slight overlap
between her model and the model presented in this study which includes stages extending
across the entire life span. All seven of Powles' stages correspond to only four of the
eleven stages presented in this study (see Table V. 1.) These four stages include:
Childhood Financial Dependence, Transitional Financial Dependence, Shared Financial
Dependence, and Earned Financial Independence.
Conclusions
Individuals experience different developmental phases of financial dependence
and independence throughout their lifetime. Based on the interviews of 20 study
participants, 11 distinct categories or Stages of Perfindence were identified (see Table
II.2) based on the data collected in this study. In addition, psychological and sociological
factors that affect one's well-being as a result of the conditions related to financial
dependence and independence that one experiences were observed. Notable differences


72
Table V.l Comparison of the Stages of Perfindence with Powles Model of Financial Independence.
Stage of Perfindence Equivalent Stage(s) in Powles' Model
Stages of Financial Dependence (FD)
Childhood FD Stage 1: Childhood Dependency Stage 2: Controlled Independence
Transitional FD Stage 3: Partial Financial Independence without Family Contributions Stage 4: Partial Independence with Family Contributions
Involuntary FD N/A
Voluntary FD N/A
Shared FD Stage 5: Interdependence Stage 6: Testing Independence
Subsidized FD N/A
Retired/Elderly FD N/A
Stages of Financial Independence (FI)
Earned FI Stage 7: Independence
Granted FI N/A
Shared FI N/A
Subsidized FI N/A
were seen between individuals of differening Stages of Perfindence. Gaining a better
understanding of the common experiences individuals have with each of these Stages of
Perfindence might enable mental health professionals in better serving their clients.
Having the ability as a counseling practitioner to understand the expected benefits and
challenges associated with each Stage of Perfindence will facilitate the ability to meet the


73
client where he/she is at and develop interventions that cater to the client's circumstances.
This study merely touches the surface of defining all the qualities, characteristics, and
impacts that these Stages of Perfindence exhibit.
Recommendations
The results of this study demonstrate that there are numerous further studies that
could be performed to better define and understand how the conditions of being
financially dependent or financially independent impacts an individual's life. The first
considerable area of research that could be done is to expand the study to include a
greater number of individuals at varied ages and ethnic groups to gain a better
understanding of any gender, generational, and racial/ethnic differences and
commonalities that might exist for each of the Stages of Perfindence. For example, the
number of women experiencing Voluntary Financial Dependence (characterized by a
conscious decision to not work and depend financially on others) might be much higher
in cultures where women are not as empowered or lack agency then it would be for those
in the United States. In order to better understand the implications of each developmental
stage, it is also important to distinguish how particular cultures and genders are affected
differently. Further, because so few individuals included in this study have not yet
experienced Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence, more data collected from the aging
population would be recommended.
Second, it was apparent that some Stages of Perfindence might be able to be
further differentiated into sub-categories. For example, individual experiences within the
Shared Financial Dependence stages can vary greatly. This stage is characterized as
being interdependent on the financial contribution of others in order to make ends meet.


74
The contribution percentages varied greatly with some participants carrying the larger
portion of the financial responsibility and depending less on others while other
participants contributed less and relied more heavily on others. It was apparent to the
researcher that the psychological implications associated with contributing more and
contributing less were not equal. Therefore, a closer examination of the sub-types of
Shared Financial Dependence might reveal more specific differences and commonalities
experienced by individuals in this stage.
Third, an updated understanding of the "American Dream" concept and the
current expectation of financial success in America might be appropriate and provide a
greater understanding of the impact of each of these Stages of Perfindence on future
generations. Depending on the generation in which one was raised here in America, the
reality of achieving financial success may or may not be realistic today. In addition,
there might be psychological and sociological implications associated with the
disappointment and/or failure associated with not truly having the means and opportunity
to achieve what was once termed the "American Dream."
Other Considerations for Utilization of This Model
Numerous questions arise at the consideration of the implementation and common
utilization of a Developmental Model of Stages of Perfindence.
Could economists utilize this model and the psychological/ sociological implications
to further refine predictive models of future economic trends?
Could economists use this model to update our expectations about the possibilities of
attaining financial success?


75
Could greater acceptance of these eleven stages help provide a better representation
of how many people generally experience each stage; thus helping to remove
stereotypic judgment associated with some of the stages?
Could the application of this model provide greater exposure to the factions of our
society that need attention and change, especially for those that experience
Involuntary Financial Dependence?


76
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APPENDIX A
Phase 1 Study List of Questions Used as an Interview Guide
1. Describe how you were financially supported as a child. To the best of your
knowledge, how did your parents or guardians obtain funds to support you?
2. In general terms describe the circumstances of obtaining your first job. Age? Full/part
time? Did you earn enough to live independently or were you still financially
supported in other ways?
3. Did you attend college? If so, how was your college education and living expenses
funded?
4. Have you ever received government funding such as unemployment, food stamps,
housing, etc? If so, please describe the type of funding received.
5. Describe the different stages throughout your lifetime in which you were financially
dependent on others or in which financial support was provided to you.
6. Describe any circumstances in which you were financial interdependent upon or
shared financial responsibility with one or more individuals. Were the contributions
of each party equal? If not, approximately what percentage was your contribution to
the monthly income? Was this earned income or funds obtained from another source?
7. Briefly describe any timeframe throughout your life in which you were financially
independent requiring no funding or financial help from others.
8. Briefly describe the circumstance by which you were financially responsible for
another individual.


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9. Have you ever been in the military, lived in a communal living situation, incarcerated,
or spent time in a long-term living facility? If so, please briefly describe the
circumstances surrounding these life events and how it was funded.
10. Have you ever voluntarily been financially dependent on another person? If so, please
briefly describe the circumstances surrounding this.
11. Have you ever involuntarily been financially dependent upon another person? If so,
please briefly describe the circumstances surrounding this.
12. Have you received any inheritance or other large monetary gifts?


Full Text

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DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF PERFINDENCE : A THEORY BUILDING STUDY OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE AND INDEPENDENCE by CATHERINE M. WARNOCK B.S ., California State University, Sacramento 1995 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Counseling Program 2015

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ii 2015 CATHERINE M. WARNOCK ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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i ii This thesis f or the Master of Arts degree by Catherine M. Warnock has been approved for the Counseling Program by Edward Cannon, Chair John Cumming Troyann Gentile O c t obe r 08, 2015

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iv Warnock, Catherine M. (M.A ., Counseling ) Developmental Stages of Perfindence : A Theory Building Study of Personal Finance Thesis directed by Assistant Professor, Dr. Edward Cannon. ABSTRACT An individual's financial position of dependence or independence can impact a person's state of psychological well being and his/her level of functioning in society Being financially independent can provide a sense of security and empower an individual to increase their quality of life. However, being financially dependent on others can create a hardship of fear and uncertainty about how to feed one's family or pay the rent. A number of published studies (K ruttschnitt, 1982; Natalier, 2007; Powles, 1991; Rogers, 2004; S chneider, 2000 ; Strube & Barbour, 1983) have been performed for specific topics related to financial dependency; however, the various developmental stages people experience when they are financially independent or financially dependent has not yet been res earche d or characterized. The goal s of this study are: 1) to examine and identify the developmental stages of financial dependence and independence that individuals experience over the life span, and 2) to determine the benefits and challenges people encounter as a result of experiencing each of these stages of financial dependence and independence. G ain ing a greater understanding of the common experiences people have in each of these states of financial dependence and independence will enable psychology and sociology professionals to better recognize the needs and concerns of their clients. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Dr. Edward Cannon

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v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Cannon, Dr. Cumming and Dr. Gentile for providing their support and guidance through the thesis process Dr. Cannon Words cannot express the impact you have had on me as a professor, an advisor, and as a shining example of how to treat others; your dedication to the field of psychology is tremendous and I am a bett er person for having learned from you. Dr. Cumming I will be forever grateful for the time you took (out of your weekends, no less) to e ducate and guide me through this research process. Your confidence in me never wavered and it inspire d me to dig deep for excellence. Dr. Gentile You have been a valuable role model for me in setting high expectations to be the best student and c ounselor I can be. I would like to thank my husband, Kenneth Hall for his never ending support through this remarkable academic, professional, and personal journey

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................. 1 Research Problem ....................................................................................... 1 Research Purpose ........................................................................................ 1 Rationale ..................................................................................................... 2 Developmental Theories ............................................................................. 4 Freud ..................................................................................................... 4 Stage 1. ............................................................................................ 4 Stage 2. ............................................................................................ 4 Stage 3. ............................................................................................ 5 Stage 4. ............................................................................................ 5 Stage 5. ............................................................................................ 5 Erickson ................................................................................................ 5 1. Infancy Stage. ............................................................................. 6 2. Early Childhood. ......................................................................... 6 3. Preschool Age. ............................................................................ 6 4. School Age. ................................................................................. 6 5. Adolescence. ............................................................................... 6 6. Young Adulthood........................................................................ 6 7. Middle Age. ................................................................................ 7 8. Later Life. ................................................................................... 7

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vii Piaget ..................................................................................................... 7 1. Sensorimotor Stage. .................................................................... 8 2. Preoperational Stage. .................................................................. 8 3. Concrete Operations Stage. ......................................................... 8 4. Formal Operations Stage. ............................................................ 8 Maslow .................................................................................................. 9 Physiological N eeds. ....................................................................... 9 Safety N eeds. .................................................................................. 9 Love N eeds. .................................................................................... 9 Esteem N eeds. ................................................................................. 9 Self actualization N eeds. ................................................................ 9 Powles' Model of Financial Independence from the Family .................... 10 Stage 1 Childhood Dependency .......................................................... 11 Stage 2 Controlled Independence ....................................................... 11 Stage 3 Partial Financial Independence without Family Contributions ............................................................................................................. 12 Stage 4 Partial Independence with Family Contributions ................... 12 Stage 5 Interdependence ..................................................................... 13 Stage 6 Testing Independence ............................................................ 13 Stage 7 Independence ......................................................................... 14 Economic Distress .................................................................................... 14 Definition of Terms ................................................................................... 15 Dependence and Independence. .......................................................... 15

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viii Perfindence. ........................................................................................ 15 Research Questions ................................................................................... 16 II. LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................ 18 Intr oduction ............................................................................................... 18 Adolescence, Emerging Adults and Young Adults .................................. 18 Women ...................................................................................................... 21 Financial Well being. .......................................................................... 21 Welfare. ............................................................................................... 21 Abuse. ................................................................................................. 22 Crime. .................................................................................................. 23 Divorce. ............................................................................................... 24 Affluence ................................................................................................... 25 Elderly ....................................................................................................... 25 Financial Literacy: Gender, Race, and Low Income ............................... 26 III. METHODS AND PROCEDURES ................................................................ 28 Phase 1 Study ............................................................................................ 28 Participants. ......................................................................................... 28 Design and Methods. .......................................................................... 29 Data Analysis. ..................................................................................... 30 Data Results. ....................................................................................... 32 Childhood Financial Dependence. ................................................ 32 Transitional Financial Dependence. .............................................. 32 Involuntary Financial Dependence. .............................................. 34

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ix Voluntary Financial Dependence. ................................................. 35 Inter mutual Financial Dependence. ............................................. 35 Subsidized Financial Dependence. ............................................... 36 Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence. ........................................ 36 Earned Financial Independence. ................................................... 37 Granted Financial Independence. .................................................. 37 Shared Financial Independence. ................................................... 38 Subsidized Financial Independence. ............................................. 38 Phase 2 Study ............................................................................................ 38 Participants. ......................................................................................... 38 Design and Methods. .......................................................................... 39 Data Analysis. ..................................................................................... 40 Criteria Adjustments for Stages of Perfindence. ................................. 41 Shared Financial Dependence. ...................................................... 42 Subs idized Financial Dependence. ............................................... 44 Shared Financial Independence. ................................................... 45 IV. DATA RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION ............................................. 46 Defining Stages of Perfindence ................................................................ 46 Pr evalence of the Stages of Perfindence ................................................... 47 Psychological and Sociological Impacts ................................................... 49 Childhood Financial Dependence. ...................................................... 50 Transitional Financial Dependence. .................................................... 51 Involuntary Financial Dependence. .................................................... 53

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x Voluntary Financial Dependence. ....................................................... 54 Shared Financial Dependence. ............................................................ 57 Subsidized Financial Dependence. ..................................................... 58 Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence. .............................................. 60 Earned Financial Independence. ......................................................... 61 Granted Financial Independence. ........................................................ 62 Shared Financial Independence. ......................................................... 64 Su bsidized Financial Independence. ................................................... 65 V. DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............... 67 Comparison to Literature .......................................................................... 67 Freud and Piaget. ................................................................................ 67 Erikson. ............................................................................................... 68 Maslow. ............................................................................................... 68 Voydanoff. .......................................................................................... 69 Powles. ................................................................................................ 71 Conclusions ............................................................................................... 71 Recommendations ..................................................................................... 72 Other Considerations for Utilization of This Model ................................. 74 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. 76 APPENDIX A ................................................................................................................... 84

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xi LIST OF TABLES T ABLE III .1 A Priori Codes for the Developmental Stages of Perfidence .................................. 31 III .2 List of Stages of Perfindence Resulting from Phase 1 of this Study ...................... 33 III.3 Study Participants' Demographics .......................................................................... 39 III.4 Final List of Stages of Perfindence Resulting from Phase 2 of this Study ............. 43 IV.1 Frequencies of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by the 20 Participants..............48 V.1 Comparison of the Stages of Perfindence with Powles' Model of Financial Independence.....................................................................................................................72

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xii LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE II. 1 Concept Map of Literature Review .......................................................................... 19 III.1 Timeline Template Utilized for Each Interview ...................................................... 40 IV .1 Number of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by Study Participants .................... 47

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xiii LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS FD Financial Dependence FI Financial Independence

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1 CHAP TER I INTRODUCTION Research Problem A person's financial environment can influence and affect a person's well being and/or level of happiness (Myers & Diener, 1995: Larson, 1989.) In addition, many Americans share a desire to achieve financial success and /or independence ( Derber, 1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). An area that has not received much focus or examina tion is how a person's state of being financially dependent versus being financially independent affects one's well being. Although some research has been dedicated to specific topics about financial dependency ( Heidemann, Suhomlinova & O'Rand, 1998; Kalm uss & St raus, 1982; K ruttschnitt, 1982; Litt, Gaddis, Fletcher & Winter, 2000; Natalier, 2007; Powles, 1991; Rogers, 2004; Schneider, 2000; Strube & Barbour, 1983), the field of psychology or sociology has yet to focus on identifying the different c ategorizatio ns of financial dependence/independence that exist in American culture and the psychological implications that might exist for each of these classifications Research Purpose Pioneers such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget, and Maslow have developed theoretical models that have greatly benefited our understanding of human behavior (Freud, 1936; 1986/1905; 1976/1924; Erikson, 1963; Piaget, 1972; Maslow, 1943). Each of these founders of developmental theory established a framework of awareness and mean ing about a particular psychological or sociological aspect of the human condition. These

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2 developmental theories are used by counselors and other practitioners to better understand the status of their clients in assisting them towards growth or change. T o date very little research has been performed with respect to establishing a developmental theory or framework related to financial dependence and/or financial independence. Powles (1991) did establish a partial developmental theory about financial independence from the family which focuses on a portion of the human lifespan that begins in adolescence and extends to early adulthood. With the exception of the work published by Powles, no developmental theory about financial dependence and/or independence covering the entire human lifespan has been established. The purpose of this study is to determine the vario us possible stages of financial dependence and independence that occur throughout ones life span development and to define the parameters or char acteristics of each stage. Additionally, this study hopes to define what forms of financial dependence and independence exist in the population and how people obtain their financial support and/or monetary supply Rationale From a psychological standpoint, an individuals financial circumstances can h ave great bearing on ones well being (Myers & Diener, 1995). Financial struggles can contribute to a decrease in personal control and empowerment which is a factor that affects happiness (Larson, 1989). Research performed by Diener & Biswas Diener (2002) revealed that a lack of income or financial support does have a negative impact on subjective well being, especially if one's basic financial needs are not getting met. Reeves et al. (2012) reported that during the US recession between the years of 2007 and 2010 the unemployment rate increased from 5.8% to 9.6%; during this period, a 3.8%

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3 increase in the suicide rate was also observed. Therefore, it has been fairly well estab lished that one's financial condition can have a significant impact on one's psychological welfare. Being financially successful and independent is a common goal for many Americans (Derber, 1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). In fact, economic success is so valued that it is one of the essential constructs in the definition of the American dream (Adams, 1933; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). This country was built on the fundamental premise of capitalism with the objective of gaining economic strength for individuals and t heir families (Scott, 2011). An area that has not received much focus or examination is how a person's state of financial dependence or financial independence impacts his or her psychological well being. S ome research has been conducted on how financial c onditions can affect specific behaviors and/or conditions in subpopulations such as domestic abuse with low income women (Gibson-Davis, Magnuson, Gennetian & Duncan, 2005), coping skills for college students ( Serido, Shim, Mishra & Tang, 2010), the well being of women in diverse family situations ( Malone, Stewart, Wilson & Korsching, 2010), psychological consequences for affluent youth (Luthar, 2003), depression in aging H ispanics ( Perrino, Brown, Mason & Szapocznik, 2009) and women's likelihood for divorce (Rogers, 2004). Currently lacking in the field of psychology or sociology is the iden ti fication of the different stages of financial dependence/independence experienced in U.S. culture today. Doing so would provide a better understanding of thes e previously researched financial conditions and behaviors in a bigger picture format as it applies to the entire lifespan. In order to better understand the psychological effects that financial dependence and independence can have on people, we must first define a developmental

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4 model of the various stages of financial dependence/ independence one may encounter throughout the life span. Developmental Theories Numerous developmental theories have been established by innovative trailblaz ers such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget, and Maslow These theories have provided the fields of psychology and sociology with a fundamental understanding of human behavior (Freud, 1936; 1986/1905; 1976/1924; Erikson, 1963; Piaget, 1972; Maslow, 1943). Each of these pioneers created a framework that focuses on a specific condition or behavior experienced by humans with specific emphasis on how this condition or behavior changes throughout the human lifespan. Freud A five stage developmental model of sexu al development was established by Freud (1936; 1986/1905; 1976/1924; Heller, 2005). In each developmental stage, the individual fixates on a particular part of his/her body during the natural process of maturing. Freud believed that unresolved issues generat ed during any of these stages are the source of emotional struggles experienced later in life. Stage 1. For the first year of li fe, an infant receives pleasure with his/her mouth in the oral stage. This is mostly accomplished through breastfeeding, bottle feeding and thumbsucking. Stage 2. During t he next few years a child experiences the anal stage in which pleasure centers on the anus This is the time period in which a child is being toilet trained and is mastering sphincter control. The anal stage is considered to be the time period in which a child is establishing independence and autonomy.

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5 Stage 3. Throughout the next few years, a child is fixated on his/her genitalia in the phallic stage. In addition to discovery and exploration of the genitals, Freud postulated that this is the time period in which boys are faced with the fear of castration and girls experience penis envy. Stage 4. With the onset at or around the age of six, the latency stage is characterized by a dormancy of the libido. During this time period, all sexual tendencies are suppressed and children view the opposite sex as unappealing, prefe rring to only associate with children of the same sex. Stage 5. The final stage, t he genital stage, begins when an individual starts puberty and begins the process of sexual maturity. Freud also theorized that thi s stage launches the individualization process of separating from one's parents It has been cont ested that Freud's stages of psychosexual development were established from personally observed case studies and lack any empirically performed research (Robinson, 1993). However, Freud was a pioneer in that he provided the field of psychology a developmental model from birth through adulthood designed to help professional s better understand and treat clients. Erickson Erikson (1963) identified eight psychosocial stages of human development These stages delineate the basic conflicts we experience at different stages of our lives. Each conflict or crisis represents a balance between oneself (identity) and the social world (relationships) one experiences (Corey, 2009). Erikson theorized tha t utilizing this framework of developmental stages can be useful in counseling clients through issues that have emerged as a result of unresolved balance with any of these conflicts.

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6 1. Infancy S tage. (F irst year of life) Trust versus M istrust This is the time period in which infant develops a foundation of trust wit h their caretaker(s). If this trust is not properly established, mistrust of relationships and the world in general results as a consequence. 2. Early Childhood. (A ges 1 3) Autonomy versus Shame and D oubt During this stage, a child begins to recognize that he/she is an individual as he/she explores the social world around him/her. A well developed child learns to be self reliant; whereas a child raised in a highly dependent environmen t develops self doubt. 3. Preschool Age. (A ges 3 6) Initiative versus G uilt At this stage of life, a child develops a sense of independence and learns how he/she imp acts the world around him/her. A child that is given the opportunity to make personal choices will develop a healthy sense of initiative and positive view of self. A child that is hindered in this stage of development will cultivate a sense of guilt and a passive personality. 4. School A ge. (Ages 6 12) Industry versus I nferiority In this period of life, a child learns competence and a greater understanding of social norms and expectations. A child that successfully navigates through this stage becomes competent in settin g and ach ieving goals, otherwise the child develops a sense of inferiority. 5. Adolescence. (Ages 12 18) Identity versus Role Confusion This is a critical time in which individuals formulate their sense of identity by detaching from others and defining their own personal sense of self. Lack of identity development results in role confusion. 6. Young Adulthood. (Ages 18 35) Intimacy versus I solation During this stage, young adults learns how to apply their identity in social relationship s and develop

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7 intimacy with others. Failure to successfully achieve intimacy results in withdrawal and isolation. 7. Middle Age. (Ages 35 60) Generativity versus S tagnation This is the time period in which making a contribution to society perceiving a sense of accomplishment in life and guiding the next or future generation(s) becomes a significant consideration. The two outcomes of this stage are either a sense of productivity or concerns about personal stagnation. 8. Later L ife. (Ages 60+) Integrity versus D espair This final stage of life involves comin g to terms with the life one has led and the choices one has made along the way. This is also a time in which an individual focuses on family and community. Proper negotiation of this stage results in ego integrity; whereas failure to do so leads to feelings of despair, resentment, and disdain about self and possibly others. Erikson's theory of psychosocial development was the first to implement culture and social relations to our sense of identity ( Berzoff, 2008). This framework of developmental stages and the conflicts faced over the lifespan continues to be beneficial to the field of counseling psychology in aiding practitioners to better serve or support their clients. Piaget A four-stage theory of periods of cognitive development was generated by child psychologist, Piaget ( 1972; Flavell, 1963.) This theoretical framework provides an understanding of the stages children experience in the process of learning and cognitive matu rity. Piaget posit ed that t wo fundamental concepts, assimilation and accommodation, are used simultaneou sly as needed throughout life. Assimilation is the

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8 process of incorporating new informati on into pre existing knowledge. Accommodation is the process of altering existing cognitive structures to account for new information. 1. Sensorimotor Stage (I nfancy ) During this stage, infants learn mostly through trial and error. Babies learn to rely on their reflexes and modify them as they adjust to their env ironment. As physical abilities and interactions mature, new intellectual abilities become possible. The concept of object permanence, the understanding that objects still exist even when hidden, becomes apparent. 2. Preoperational S tage (Early childhood) This time period is characterized by egocentrism and animism. Children are egocentric because they can on ly understand the world from the i r own perspective and are unaware that others can have alternative viewpoints. Animism is the belief that all objects and things have consciousness and human feelings. 3. Concrete Operations S tage (M iddle childhood) In this stage, egocentrism and animism begins to diminish and logical or operational thought begins to formulate. Logic is applied to physical objects and conservation which is the understanding that quantity does not necessarily change when its appearance changes, begins to make sense. For example, the number of building blocks in a pile does not change when the bl ocks are spread out 4. Formal Operations S tage (A dolescence) In this final stage, abstract thinking begins to emerge. Older children begin to classify thoughts and ideas in a more complex manner. Creativity, reasoning, and outcome speculation become ro utine in daily interactions and activities.

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9 Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development has been instrumental in guiding educators to develop lesson plans and learning activities that meet the developmental status and/or needs of their students (Karplus, 1977). Maslow Maslow's theory on the hierarchy of needs delineates human motivations to satisfy 5 categories of basic needs in order of priority (Maslow, 1943). The theory postulates that humans do not concern themselves with the next higher category u ntil the previous one is met. These 5 categories or tiers in order are (Maslow, 1943; Maslow, 1970; Sumerlin, Berretta, Privette & Bundrick 1994): 1. P hysiological N eeds F ood, air, sleep, materna l instinct, sensory pleasures, etc. 2. S afety N eeds E mpl oyment, religion, social order and justice, stability, etc. 3. L ove N eeds A ffection, relationships, belonging, intimacy, etc. 4. Esteem N eeds A chiev ement, independence, respect from self and others, etc. 5. S elf -actualization N eed s. Au tonomy, selfacceptance, creativity, courage, etc Maslow's hierarchy of needs is still considered a valuable tool of understanding for military training ( Bonvillain 2011), business management (Maslow, Stephens & Heil, 1998), human resources (Jerome, 2013), education (Freitas & Leonard, 2011), and counseling of children and adults (Harper, Harper & Stills, 2003; Jackson, 2007). Oleson (2004) performed a study that connects the relationship between Maslow's hierarchy of needs and money or financial securi ty. The connection about how money can impact each tier of needs is more specifically characterized Physiological N eeds Money allows an individual to secure food, clothing, and shelter

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10 Safety N eeds Safety c an be gain ed by purchasing different types of insurance and/or by accumulating wealth Love N eeds M oney can be utilized to increase social interactions and nurture relationships by funding activities such as dining out and/or paying for other forms of social entertainment Esteem N eeds Esteem n eeds can be met through purchases such as a large home in an upscale neighborhood or a fancy car that might represent a level of high status Self -actualization N eeds This can be facilitated with money spent to achieve individually specified goals on th e journey of self improvement. Examples could include counseling services and/or traveling to experience different aspects of life. As previously cited, Diener & Biswas Diener's (2002) research demonstrated that one's financial status can greatly influence a person's subjective well being if one's basic needs are not met. Once these basic needs are satisfied, additional money and income do not significantly increase one's happiness or personal well being. Powles' Model of Financial Independence f rom the Family During the 1980s, t he Australian government funded a study conducted by the University of Melbourne (Powles, 1986) to be tter understand and evaluate current financial condi tions for young adults pursuing highe r education after high school. This study was designed to determine not only how much financial need existed for emerging adults entering college, but also the parents' role in providing financi al support for these stud ents through their higher education experience. The data obtained in this study was subsequently used by Powles (1991) to develop a model which defines the potential stages adolescents experience while transitioning from childhood dependency towards

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11 adult forms of independence. The target population for this study was college students ranging in age from 15 to 20; a total of 1197 students were surveyed or interviewed. Powles developed a seven stage model to characterize the different steps taken by Austr alian adolescents as they traverse from childhood dependency to adult independence. Stage 1 Childhood Dependency This stage represents those living at home and being fully financially dependent on parents or caregivers (Powles, 1986). Parents might provide spending money to cover nominal costs such as sundries and transportation but they do not require repayment in any form. The pocket money received does not translate into a sense of independence. Individuals in this class are fully accept ing of their financially dependent position without any feelings of displeasure, resentment, or indignation. Stage 2 Controlled Independence. Individuals who qualify for this category live at home and receive financial assistance from their parent s: however, conditions are placed on the money provided (Powles, 1986). Parents might tell their child ren how to spend the money or not provide as much money as what the children perceived is needed. Some participants reported that when extra money was r equested, they fe l t obligat ed to reimburse their parents. Others reported that they did not feel comfortable asking their parents for extra money and instead, would rather just refrain from the activity that is costing extra money Another example of a condition placed on money given is the expectation that the dependent will do something in the form of repayment Individuals in this stage ar e frustrated and/ or annoyed with the i r position if it interferes with or negatively im pacts their social activities. Also, this stage is characterized by an

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12 understanding of the difference between wants and needs. Dependents will ask for money related to something that is necessary, howev er, if the money is desired for something nonessential t here is an understanding of working for it on their own. This indicates a limited sense of autonomy and a partial sense of financial responsibility. Stage 3 Partial Financial Independence w ithout Family Contributions This stage represents two groups of individuals. The first are those that live at home and receiv e funding from sources outside the family in addition to parental financial support Powles' (1986) research indicated that this particular factor of receiving outside income is significan t in achieving autonomy and adult responsibility Most parents of individuals in this group stop providing spending money; however, they will contribute financial support when needed. The second group of individuals in this partially independent stage is t hose that live at home and do not receive outside income; however, they do receive a sum of money from their parents in which they are expected to personally manage. This sum of money is intended to cover general costs such as clothes, transportation and e ntertainment. A common and significant factor for both groups in this stage is the lack of parental authority and a sense of personal freedom regarding their social activities. Stage 4 Partial Independence with Family Contributions This s tage of pa rtial independence involves receiving income from sources outside the family living at home and providing a financial contribution for household expenses, often times in the form of paying rent (Powles, 1986). In addition to covering personal costs, some individuals in this stage are also responsible for costs associated with their education. Parents will provide emergency financial support which is typically provided in the form of a loan. Like the previous category, most would prefer to go without tha n to ask for money

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13 related to nonessential activities and desires. A notable distinction about individuals in this category is an understanding and implementation of strict budgeting; this element of budgeting does foster a greater perception and sense o f independence. A common goal for individuals in this cat egory of partial independence is saving enough money to be able to leave home. Stage 5 Interdependence. Individuals associated with this class live at home, are not financially supported by their family, and instead are responsible for contributing an equal portion to the family household expenses (Powles, 1986). People in this stage also finance their own educational and personal costs. Providing a full share of costs corresponds to being treated as an equal among family members. Avoiding extracurricular and nonessential social activities is not uncommon for those in this stage. A mature sense of famili al commitment and responsibility exists; some would never consider leaving home because their contribution is essential while others would prefer to leave home and provide financial assistance from afar to minimize his/her burden on the family. Stage 6 Testing Independence. Leaving home is another significant milestone in becoming an independent adult and is a quali fying criterion for this stage (Powles, 1986). More than half of those wanting to leave home and just under half of those that had already mo ved out reported "personal independence" as the primary motivation. Many of those having already left home proclaimed that the transition of living on their own was difficult and at times was followed by a return to living at home again. For individuals in this stage of testing independence, establishing a life in which they are self sufficient is remarkably important.

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14 Stage 7 Independence The final stage in Powles' model is represented by a position of complete financial self reliance, receiving no familial assistance, after having left home (Powles, 1986). Most had accomplished emotional independence from their families, as well. Parents are not relied upon in emergency financial situati ons, forcing individuals to rely on friends, loans, and possibly government support. Some individuals reporte d being financially comfortable and others described experiencing extreme financial hardship, but most had to balance going to school part time wh ile working full time to make ends meet. As relevant as these stages are to the foundation of this study, there are a few factors to consider. Because this study was performed over thirty years ago in Australia, it is unknown if these stages would stil l be pertinent today in America. In addition, the model developed by Powles is limited to the stages one might experience in adolescence and very early adulthood and does not address the developmental stages or conditions that impact older adults. This re search intends to explore relevancy in America today and additional stages affecting the different developmental stages for adults. Economic Distress Voydanoff (1990) performed an analysis of the relationship between economic distress and how it affects family relationships. Although this study focuses on this relationship as it occurred during the 1980 s, it provided a valuable framework in which to define the d ifferent facets of economic distress. Four categories were identified as follows: employment uncertainty, employment instability, economic strain, and economic deprivation. Understanding the negative impact that these four categories have on an individual s development and his/her familial relationships might be beneficial in

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15 helping counselors evaluate the psychological concerns for their clients. However, it is the opinion of the researcher for this study that these four categories can be further defined and associated with different developmental stages of economic dependenc e and independence once they are established. For example, economic strain might be associated with a stage of financial dependence in which one is reliant on government assistance d ue to the limited abilities caused by the natural process of senescence or aging. Definition of Term s Dependence and Independence. The term dependency has been analyzed and evaluated by Fraser & Gordon (1994) and then broken down int o four types of dependency or registers. Acc ording to their findings, four registers (economic, sociolegal, political, and moral/psychological ) were de fined to delineate between the various forms of dependency. Schneiders (2000) summarized Fraser & Gordons economic regi ster by s uccinctly defining it as the dependence on other people or institutions for subsistence (p.5). For the purposes of this study, "financial dependence" is defined as "the state of financially relying on other people or institutions for subsistenc e". Oppositely financial independence" will be defined as "the state of financially relyin g on personally obtained income, wealth and/or assets. Perfindence. While establishing the parameters and criteria for this study, it became evident that there was a need to identify a word or phrase that would describe a person's financial condition in terms of dependence or independence. The phrase "financial dependenci es" was considered; however, technically this only includes conditions of financial dependence and excludes any conditions of financial

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16 independence. No such word or phrase that encompasses both circumstances of financial dependence and independence curre ntly exists in the English language. Additionally, a search for an equivalent word or phrase in other languages failed to provide any results. T herefore, it was decided to formulate a new word for the purposes of this study. The word "Perfindence" was constructed as a shortened version of the phrase Personal Fin ancial Depen dence and Independence." Consequently for the purposes of this study, "Perfindence is def ined as a financial situation that is characterized by the condition of independence or dependence. For example, the time period in life in which one is financially dependent on his/her parents during childhood would be considered a S tage of Perfindence Research Questions The following questions provided the framework and guide d the directio n of this thesis: 1. Wh at are the various Stages of Perfindence that people experience? What criteria will define each Stage of Perfindence? 2. What are some of the psychological implicati ons associated with each Stage of Perfindence ? a. What feelings, thoughts and behaviors are associated with each Stage of Perfindence ? b. What are the perceived benefits associated with each Stage of Perfindence ? c. What are the perceived challenges associated with each Stage of Perfindence ?

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17 3. What insight have individual's gained as a result of hindsight analysis from experiencing specific Stages of Perfindence ?

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18 CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction Currently, only one publica tion that specifically addresses any pot ential Stages of Perfindence has been found (Powles, 1991). As previously outlined, Powles' Model of Fina ncial Independence from the F amily is limited to Stages of Perfindence experienced from childhood up to early adulthood. This section will examine the applicable literature that focuses on the numerous psychological and sociological factors that are associated with specific populations related to various Stages of Perfindence and other financial situations one might experience throughout our lifetime. The intent is to demonstrate the impact that different financial conditions can have on particular segments of our population. See Figure II.1 for a concept map that connects relevant topics to each of the articles referenced. Adolescence, Emerging Adults and Young Adults Schneider (2000) published a study about the substantial increase in financial dependence of young adults on their parents in Australia over a span of the previous 14 years. This article suggests that there is a considerable impact on families absorbing this cost and on young adults not experiencing the freedoms associated with financial independence. Schneider's research revealed that financial dependence on their family increased 17% (from 79% to 96%) for 15 to 17-year olds and 24% (from 38% to 62%) for 18 to 20-year olds over the cours e of 14 years. It was recommended that further

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19 Figure II.1 Concept Map of Literature Review

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20 analysis be performed to better understand the impact this increase in financial dependency has had on the youth and their families. In 2007, additional research was conducted in Australia to better understand what independence means to young adults who live away from home and still received financial ass istance from their parents (Natalier, 2007 ). It was determined that these young adults do not consider financial dependence as a factor in their concept of being independent. Rather, independence was represented by physical separation from parents, individual l ifestyle choices and identity, and being responsible for money management (regardless of the origin of these funds). Young adults in Australia have culturally shifted t he definition of independence; the source of funds is not factored into their concept of being independent. Arnett (2000, 2001) dedicated much of his research to examinin g emerging adulthood in Americ a at the turn of the 21st century. Arnett specifies "emerging adulthood" as the period of life representing the ages of 18 25 and occurring after adolescence but before young adulthood. Complete financial in dependence is one of the criteria established for reaching young adulthood as perceived by emerging adults in America. During emerging adulthood, economic dependence on family or others is still a reality. The goal for most Americans in becoming a full fledged adult is to be self sufficient in many ways, including financially. Comparing these attitudes to those determined by Natalier (2007), it appears that young Australians and young Americans have different views of the meaning and value of independence. Financial concerns regarding having enough money and having to work during college creates significant stress for students (Serido, Shim, Mishra & Tang, 2010.) This

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21 stress increases the risk for mental health issues such as depression and decreases the chances of finish ing college. Parents play a critical role in educating their children about making responsible fi nancial decisions. Students enter ing college with f inancial competence and practicing responsible financial management, tend to experience increased well being during their college years. Women Financial Well -being In 2010, a study regarding how American women in various family compositions perceive their financial well being was performed (Malone, Stewart, Wilson & Korsching 2010.) Most women reported a desire to be financially independent and held a negative perception about their current financial situation and worrie s about their economic future. A direct correlation between financial status and financial well being was observed. Women, who were older, more educated, earned higher incomes and provided higher financial contributions to the family felt more financially secure. Women in traditional marriages had less concerns about the stability of their financial future th an did women from nontraditional forms of family. Single mothers were more likely to experience financial worries and a lower perception of their financial well being. Women who were cohabitating were more concerned about being perceived as a burden to others. This study demonstrates how one's financial condition and living situation (married, single, cohabitating, step families, etc.) together have a significant i mpact on a woman's view of her own well being. Welfare Litt, Gaddis, Fletcher & Winter (2000) performed an examination of the effects women in Iowa experienced as a result of leaving the welfare system and secur ing employment in the late 1990 s. Participants reported that they wanted to no

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22 longer receive welfare and perceived the opportunit y to do so as a positive move towards independence; however, the reality of leaving the welfare system resulted in experiencing a sense of increased vulnerability and decreased stability. Most of the participants stopping their welfare funding became reli ant on their families for subsidized financial support (such as receiving f ree childcare, free housing, free transportation, and/or providing cash supplements) to make up for the loss of welfare funds. Another way in which these women compensated for the loss of welfare funding was to rely upon other subsidized forms of government assistance such as food stamps and/or Medicaid benefits. This data suggests that when one form of financial assistance ends, other means of financial dependence are sought and u tilized. Abuse Women who are highly dependent (financially and/or psychologically) on their marriage s have a greater chance of experiencing violence and physical abuse (Kalmuss & Straus, 1982.) Women who were psychologically dependent on their marriages were found t o be significantly associated with minor forms of abuse that did not result in serious injury. More significantly, women who are economically dependent, tolerate more severe forms of abuse that do result in serious violence and injury. Overall, it was determined that marital dependency does increase the likelihood that women will endure physical abuse from their husbands. A significant factor in whether or not an abused woman decides to remain in a relationship with her abuser is her st ate of economic dependence (Strube & Barbour, 1983.) Research produced evidence that being financially dependent on their spouse prevents abused women from leaving their relationships. Of the 11 women reporting economic dependence as a reason for staying in an abusive relationship, only 2 women or

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23 18.2% of the women studied had left their partners at experimental follow up. On the other hand, 48 of the 68 or 70.6% women who did not state economic reasons for the reason they had remained with their partner had terminated these unhealthy relationship s by follow up. This disparity is significant enough and provides empirical evid ence that economic hardship is likely a large factor in prevent ing women from ending abusive relationships. An analysis of the ef fects of employment and the risk of domestic abuse was performed among low income women (Gibson-Davis, Magnuson, Gennetian & Duncan, 2005.) The research revealed that employed women of low socioeconomic status do experience a reduction of domestic violence. Speculative reasoning for this association includes the fact that being out of the home during the day results in less physical contact between partners or that an increase in income reduces stress in the domestic relationship. Crime Kruttschnitt ( 1982) determined that the severity of sentencing decisions for women made in our leg al system during the early 1980 s was highly dependent upon the womans status of economic dependency. It was demonstrated that women who were financially taken care of by o thers received lighter sentences for crimes such as disturbing the peace, assault, and petty theft. In this study, being financially dependent on others is considered an indicator of how much daily social control is exerted on that individual. A lower level of social cont rol indicates an increased need by the courts to impose harsher sentencing for social order. This study was performed over thirty years ago; therefore it is unknown if financial dependency for women has the same effect in sentencing tod ay.

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24 Divorce. Heidemann, Suhomlinova, and O'Rand (1998) performed an analysis on how economic independence, and economic status of women influences divorce during midlife. Economic status, alone, did not have a direct impact on divorce rates ; rather, many other factors such as educational background, race, and home ownership combined with economic status should be considered when determining the impact it has on the likelih ood of divorce. I t was concluded that a general trend towards an incre ase in women being financially independent is a primary justification in the increase of marital separation and divorce in mid life. More recent research confirm s this trend of greater divorce rates for financially independent women (Rogers, 2004.) Furthermore, an evaluation of income values and economic partnership s were determined to greatly contribute to the likelihood of divorce. First, higher income values for women from a financially independent perspective are positively associated with the rate of divorce. These results are attributed not only to the fact that these women have greater means for leaving the relationship, but also that increased financial contribution to the marriage increases the likelihood of women feeling and expressing dissat isfaction in traditional gender roles such as the distribution of housework between spouses. Second, higher income values for women from a financial partnership perspective are negatively associated with the rate of divorce. This trend is associated with the idea that a greater income contribution by the wife decreases financial strain, especially when the husband's income is low, and increases the stability of the marital relationship.

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25 Affluence An examination of the effects of affluence on adolescents in wealthy families unveiled the reality that these children experience greater incidents of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as compared to teens of lower socioeconomic status (Luthar & D'Avanzo, 1999; Luthar, 2003). The mental anguish of affluen t youth is disregarded because society perceives their wealth as a symbol of a perfect life and reason that these kids have nothing worthy to complain about. Subsequently, this trivial attitude maintained by society causes affluent youths to experience mental health problems and to feel further alienated, invalidated, and negatively judged by society. Societal resentment and lack of sympathy become significant sources of what troubles affluent individuals of all ages. Additional research revealed two cons iderable causes for the distress suffered by affluent youth: extreme pressure to be high achievers and feelings of acute isolation from their parents (Luthar & Becker, 2002). Elderly A study performed on the effects of financial strain on the American and Japanese elderly revealed that psychological distress arises when financial difficulties are experienced (Krause, Jay, & Liang, 1991.) This aging population experiences a loss in their sense of personal control which also decreases their self worth and increases the likelihood for depression. The elderly are forced to cope with physic al senescence, which in itself can be a s ignificant challenge. Stressors associated with financial strain only compounds this situation by adding psychological distress havi ng further negative effects on their well being.

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26 Research focusing on financial strain of the elderly with respect to differences in race demonstrated that race is not necessarily relevant (Kahn & Fazio, 2005.) The negative effects of financial hardship are felt in equal measures for White Americans as they do for African Americans. Financial hardship experienced over one's lifetime negatively impacts their health and becomes a factor in poor health in the later years of life. A more recent study of low income aging Hispanics in Miami revealed similar results (Perrino, Brown, Mason & Szapocznik, 2009.) Numerous sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, marital status and financial strain were examined. Financial strain was the only significant factor relating to depression in this elderly population. These results demonstrate the importance of recognizing the impact that f inancial burdens can have on the psychological well being of the aging population. Financial Literacy: Gender, Race, and Low Income Lusardi and Mitchell (2007) performed a study about the relationship between financial literacy and how well individuals are financially prepared for their retirement. The results of this study revealed a significant def iciency in financial literacy for certain subpopulations which include women, racial minorities (Blacks and Hispanics) and individuals with low income and low education. Subsequent research by Ford and Kent (2009) na rrowed their study to examine whether or not female college students perceive financial market intimidation, interest, and awareness differently than male college students. The results confirm ed the existence of lower financial literacy in women as evidenced by higher reports of financial market intimidation and lower reports of both financial market interest and awareness. Prior research by Murphy (2005) revealed lower

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27 financial literacy amon g Black college students. A study performed in the United Kingdom demonstrated that non whites (Asians and Blacks) possessed a much lower level of financial literacy than whites (Ekanem, 2013). With respect to financial literacy among lower income individ uals, Zahn, Anderson, and Scott (2006) found substantial deficiencies in the financial understanding and knowledge within this population.

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28 CHAPTER II I METHODS AND PROCEDURES The research performed in this study was conducted in two phases. The objecti ve behind Phase 1 was to interview participants to determine what Stages of Perfindence are in existence in the American culture. These interviews were focused primarily on obtaining data that allowed the researcher to define the criteria and parameters of each Stage of Perfindence This also involved establishing what discriminated one Sta ge of Perfindence from another. Phase 2 had two fundamental objectives. First, it was essential to obtain confirmation about the Stages of Perfindence defined in Phase 1 and fine tune the parameters that define each stage when necessary. Second, information was gathered to better understand the psychological implications associated with each Stage of Perfindence Characteristic information about each participant's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors was collected to better understand the benefits, challenges, and insights gained from participant's experiences with the various Stages of Perfindence Phase 1 Study Participants Fourteen participants ranging in age from 20 to 67 years of age were interviewed (in person or over the telephone). Eleven of t he participants were over the age of 40; this was intentional because i ndividuals who have lived longer tend to have more experience with different stages of financial dependence and independence. T his study also be nefited from the inclusion of three young er participants (aged 20, 28 and 31) in order to represent individuals from more recent generations Participants were interviewed to gather preliminary information about the different conditions and

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29 circumstances these individuals have experienced through out their lifetime with respect to being financially dependent and financially independent. In addition to determining the feasibility of creat ing a developmental model of the Stages of Perfindence a goal was to determine what stages might be included in such a developmental model. Design and Methods This study was conducted utilizing an interview fo rmat. A standard list of questions was constructed as a template for the interview process (Appendix A ); these questions were designed to illicit exploration of the different financial conditions experienced throughout his or her lifetime. In addition to evaluating the participant's direct life experiences, limited indirect information related to parents, children, and spouses was collected if it was relevant to the financial support situations experi e nce d by the participant The interview er took notes documenting each participant's responses to the questions asked. A deliberate effort was made to repeat the participants answers in order to decrease the likelihood of misunderstanding or biasing the data. The researcher utilized the semi stru c tured interview method and questions were alter ed add ed or omit ted based upon the participants responses when appropriate ; this was especially the case when a question became redundant or irrelevant based on information shared by the participant when answering a previous question. This enabled the researcher to custo mize the questions as it applied to each participan t with the ultimate goal of obtaining the maximum amount of data poss ible. At times, it was necessary to ask additional questions based on specific responses in order to increase clarity and understanding of the participant's experience. Using the standar d list of questions as a template for every interview was essential in assuring that all areas of interest were investigated with each participant.

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30 Data Analysis It was determined that grounded theory was the most suitable qualitative approach for this research. Grounded theory is recommended for research that is focused on generating theories to explain human behavior, particularly when examining stages or phases of change over time (Creswell, Hanson, Clark, & Morales, 2007; Morse & Field, 1995). Glas er and Strauss (1967) developed the grounded theory as a novel method for social scientists to formulate theory using the constant comparative method. Data is collected and analyzed as the study progresses. Grounded theory offers the ability to modify and adjust the developin g theory based upon new information that is revealed during the data collection process. The grounded theory approach implements a systematic method of coding data into discrete categories while still allowing for theory development in an evolving manner (Glaser, 1965). Open coding was used to label discrete elements in the data collected. Open coding is a method of breaking the data down into fragments of information; this information is then assigned a label which represents a specific category (Strau ss, 1987; Corbin & Strauss, 2008). This allows the researcher to compare and contrast the similarly labeled data from different participants with the intention of identifying theoretical concepts that emerge (Maxwell, 2005). Strauss & Corbin (1990) coine d the term, "theoretical sensitivity" to represents the personal elements brought forth by the researcher; these personal elements include knowledge, experience, and ability. Seven a priori (Table III.1) codes for the open coding process were established based on this researcher's theoretical sensitivity of professional and personal experience and knowledge. As listed in Table III.1, five stages of financial dependence (Childhood, Transitional, Voluntary, Involuntary, and Retired/Elderly) and two stages o f financial

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31 independence (Earned and Granted) were loosely defined as a starting point for open coding. The data was analyzed in terms of defining the various Stages of Perfindence experienced by each of the participants. When data emerged that did not fit any of these seven stages, an additional category was created. Overall, four additional Stages of Perfindence emerged as a result of this process. In addition, the data revealed the need Table II I .1 A prio ri codes for the developmental S tages of Perfindence Code/Stage Description Stages of Financial Dependence (FD) Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers Transitional FD Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while working towards a longterm plan (e.g. college, between jobs, etc.) Involuntary FD Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, etc.) Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay at home parent, caretakers, etc.) Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence Stages of Financial Independence (FI) Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of selfsufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of selfsufficient, long term income and receives no external financial su pport (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.)

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32 for the researcher to revise the original a priori definition of certain stages in order to more accurately represent the parameters of that Stage of Perfindence. Data Results Modifications were made to the descriptions of certain Stages of Perfindence based upon the data obtained during the process of using the constant comparative analysis method. Some of the data revealed the need to establish additional Stages of Perfindence Presented in Table III .2 is a list of the final eleven Stages of Perfindence generated as a result from Phase I of this study. Following is an explanation of how each Stage of Perfindence was defined and modified when appropriate Childhood Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfindence was included in the a priori codes or iginally established. It is universally understood that children are not able to financially support themselves for a number of reasons including lack of physical and mental development and legal restrictions. The original criteria for this stage were defined as, Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers ". The age of 18 was chosen because it is considered the legal age of adulthood in the American culture. During the data collection process, it be came evident that a missing criterion for Stages of Perfindence was the fact that the child is not working. Therefore, the definition of this stage was altered to include this specific component: Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are f inancially dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work." Transitional Financial Dependence. This state of financial dependence is another Stage of Perfindence included in the pre established a priori codes and was defined as "Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while working towards a longterm plan (e.g. college, between jobs, etc.)" The intention for

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33 Table II I .2 List of S ta ges of Perfindence resulting from Phase 1 of this study. Code/Stage Description Stages of Financial Dependence (FD) Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work Transitional FD* Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.) Involuntary FD* Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.) Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay at home parent, caretaker, etc.) Inter mutual FD** Time period in which people share the financial responsibilities and are interdependent upon the contribution of each other for financial support Subsidized FD** Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds from family, friends, government assistance, etc. Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or government assistance such as social security, medicare, etc. Stages of Financial Independence (FI) Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of self sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of self sufficient, long term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.) Shared FI** Time period in which more than one person shares the financial responsibilities and each person qualifies for personal earned independence or personal granted independence (i.e. neither person exhibits financial dependence and could live financially independent if they chose to) Subsidized FI** Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds Stage revised/fine tuned based on data obtained from Phase 1 **Stage established based on data obtained that did not fit any other stage

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34 this stage was to reflect the time period of life in which an individual evolves from being a fully dependent child towards becoming a member of the general work force. During this transitional age, an individual is usually focused on establishing skills rela ted to employment and prospective careers. It did not take long before it became obvious that the original definition of this stage was lacking information to properly indicate that this stage is specifically related to the time period of transitioning fr om Childhood Financial Dependence. Based on the original wording, an individual of any age could qualify for this stage as long as he or she was working towards a new career. Therefore the terminology was modified to, Time period in which one obtains fin ancial assistance temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.) This change more correctly expresses the qualities of developing from the childhood sta te into adulthood. Involuntary Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfindence was also a starting a priori code designed to represent the Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, etc.) The objective for defining this stage was to represent the period of time in which individuals are financially reliant on others due to life circumstances beyond their control at that time. This does not im ply that they are not responsible for previous actions and behaviors that led to the state of their circumstance; rather, the lack of control refers to the fact that they want to be employed but are not for various prohibiting reasons. A commonly observed condition of this Stages of Perfindence among the participants was loss of employment due to being laid off or fired. Therefore, the criteria for this stage was modified to include this prevalent circumstance in the

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35 definition: Time period in which a pers on is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.)" Voluntary Financial Dependence. This stage was another included in the pre established a priori codes. The intention behind characterizing this stage was to describe any period of life in which an individual chooses not to work and accepts that he or she will be reliant on family, friends or others for economic support. This is one of the few Stages of Perfindence in which no changes to the definition were necessary as the data supported the original description: Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay at home parent, caretakers, etc.) Inter-mutual Financial Dependence. This Stage of Perfindence was not included in the pre establish list of priori codes and was created as a result of the data collected. Some participant s expressed an age in their life in which they did not directly rely on others for financial support and that money was not given to them in the same manner as all of the other stages of dependence. Although these participants did not receive money, they did rely on others to provide their fair share of financial contributions. For example, in a typical roommate living situation each person is responsible for contributing an equitable portion of funds to cover his or her share of expenses. Collectively, r oommates can afford to live together in a manner that would be cost prohibitive otherwise. Consequentially, the description for this Stages of Perfindence of Intermutual Financial Dependence became Time period in which people share the

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36 financial responsi bilities and are interdependent upon the contribution of each other for financial support ." Subsidize d Financial Dependence. This category was another Stage of Perfindence that developed as a result of what the data revealed. Some participants describ ed a financial condition in which they relied on others to subsidize their income; additional funds w ere necessary in order to cover all of their financial expenses. This particular circumstance did not fit into any of the other Stages of Perfindence ; therefore, a new stage of dependence was developed : Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds from family, friends, government assistance, etc. Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence. This stage was also included in the predetermined list of Stages of Perfindence outlined in the a priori codes. The original definition for this stage was, "Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence." Thi s stage is similar to Childhood Financial Dependence in that it is a universally common condition in which there is lack of physical and/or mental capabilities. Senescence is a natural loss of faculties over the course of aging that occurs to all humans in differing ways and to varying degrees. Not all elderly Americans qualify for this stage; only those that are economically dependent on others meet the criteria for this Stages of Perfindence Based on the data collected, it was deemed appropriate to finetune the definition by adding clarification about the criterion of dependence: Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or government assis tance su ch as social security, M edicare, etc.

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37 Earne d Financial Ind ependence. This Stages of Perfindence was developed with the other a priori codes to describe the period of life in which one is not reliant on an other for financial assistance. Because this sta ge represent s the common goal of being financially in dependent for those living in an individualistic society (Derber, 1983), it was considered highly likely that this Stages of Perfindence would be one of the most frequently observed among study participants. The data did confirm that Earned Financial Independence is th e most encountered stage A lthough Childhood Financial Dependence is a one time experience shared by all, Earned Financial Independence was more prevalent because it can and often times does occur more than once in a person's lifetime. No changes were made to the description of this Stages of Perfindence : Time period in which a person has established a method of self sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external fi nancial support ." Granted Financial Ind ependence. This state of independence was the final Stages of Perfindence included in the a priori codes originally developed. Some individuals obtain their wealth through inheritance or winning the lottery. Others might be gifted or granted funds for a period of time such as in a s cholarship situation or money donated for an all expense paid sabbatical. It was impo rtant to establish a category that delineates this from Earned Financial Independence because the psychological and sociological impact s of having unearned money may differ from those that earn their money This was the least frequently observed Stages of Perfindence The definition of this stage did not change based on the data collected: Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of selfsufficient, long term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.)"

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38 Share d Financial Ind ependence. This Stages of Perfindence emerged as a result of observing information that did not adequately fit the other two stages of Financial Independence (Earned or Granted). Some individuals are financially independent and could live on their own but choose to share their financial obligations with another person(s). The terminology developed for this stage is the Time period in which more than one person shares the financial responsibil ities and each person qualifies for E arned Financial Independence or Granted Financial I ndependence (i.e. neither person exhibits financial dependence and could live financially independent if they chose to .) Subsidize d Financial Ind ependence. Another Stages of Perfindence was developed as a result of the data collected from study participants. Some individuals are economically independent but also receive monies from various sources. These people do not need the additional funds received in order to live independently; rather, this extra money complements their current income or wealth and might enable the individual to live a more affluent lifestyle. The criteria for this stage is the Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds ." Phase 2 Study Participants A total of six participants, 3 males and 3 females, ranging in age from 33 to 79 were interview ed in person (see Table II I .3 for demographic information.) Based on the data and results obtained from Phase 1, participants were interviewed in greater depth about their experiences with Stages of Perfindence Data was collected with the intention of confirming the criteria and parameters previously established in Phase 1. Again, although the primary focus was on direct experiences of Stages of

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39 Table II I .3. Study participants' demographics. Perfindence limited indirect data related to parents, children, and spouses was collected when relevant. In addition, m ore focus was placed on gathering information related to the challenges and benefits encountered with each of the different Stages of Perfindence that parti cipants have experienced. Design and Methods The general interview guide approach was chosen as the most suitable method for collecting data in this study because it allows the researcher to adjust questions focused around a standard topic in a way that is unique to each participant based upon his or her personal life experiences (Turner, 2010). Each participant was questioned about his/her background with Stages of Perfindence in chronological order from childhood to present day experiences. A tim eline template (Figure III .1) was utilized during each interview to help keep the interview on track and to minimize the chances of inadvertently omitting any significant periods of the participant's life. This timeline template includes empty blanks for the researcher to record each participant's assigned number (for confidentiality purposes), ethnic identity and age. In addition, each timeline was customized specific to the participant's life experience; most timelines were apportioned into ten year incr ements. The researcher Parti cipant Gender Age Ethnic Identification 1 Male 33 White Filipino 2 Male 67 Italian American 3 Female 60 Scottish Irish Coloradoan 4 Male 79 Hispanic American 5 Female 48 White 6 Female 45 White

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40 Figure II I .1. Timeline template utilized for each interview. took rough notes on this timeline merely for the purposes of keeping the interview focused on the chronological order of life events. Special emphasis in the questioning process was placed on how each phase of his or her life was funded; focus was also placed on asking the participant about the challenges and benefits he or she experienced with each stage. Each interview was audio recorded at the time of the interview then transcribed for subsequent data analysis. Data Analysis Line by -line open coding was performed using Dedoose software (2014) on the transcribed interviews utilizing the eleven Stages of Perfindence previously resulting from P hase 1 of this study. These eleven stages served as the initial eleven codes applied to the data. When warranted, these Stages of Perfindence were modified to better represent the gathered data as part of the constant comparative analysis process. Axial coding is the process of linking codes/categories to subcategories that relate to properties and c haracteristics of the parent code (Strauss, 1987; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Subcategories did emerge for each Stages of Perfindence ; these categories further characterized each stage with personal experiences for each participant. For example, one particip ant may have perceived getting a job in high school as a benefit in that it provided

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41 extra spending money and a sense of freedom. This data qualifies for the Transitional Financial Dependence code in the general sense that it occurred while the individual was still a child (not yet an adult) and still being financially pro vided for by his/her parents. In this instance, a subcatego ry that was applied was "benefits of Transitional Financial Dependence". When applicable, subcategories were created to repres ent benefits, challenges and general insights gained for each category. During the coding process, inquiries were made to participants via email anytime clarification w as needed for proper coding. Once the coding process for each participant was completed, a participant summary for each interview was created. This participant summary included a list of the eleven stages with definitions provided for each. This was the first time each participant was introduced to the model of Stages of Perfindence E ach summary also clearly depicted which stages were experienced by each participant based on the data received. I n addition, specific details were provided to help the participant understand what data was used to determine each of the stages experienced. Each part icipant was asked to review his/her summary which served as a valuable method of member checking. Member checking involves sharing the interpretations made from the data to ensure that the researcher understood the information correctly; this s tep is a form of validity testing in that it allows the participant to substantiate the credibility of the data as it was applied (Creswell & Miller, 2000; Baxter, Eyles, Bailey, White & Pain, 1999) to the Stages of Perfindence model. Each member responded with confirma tion as to the stages he/she had and had not experienced. Criteria Adjustments for Stages of Perfindence. As previously stated, one of the objectives for Phase 2 of this study was to confirm the defined parameters and

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42 conditions for each Stage of Perfindence established at the end of Phase 1 (see Table III .2). As expected, additional information obtained by interview participants did require additional finetuning for some of the stage definitions. A list of the final defined s tages are provided in Table III .4. For the following stages, no changes were made because the data obtained provided confirmation that the definition formulated at the end of Phase 1 accurately represents each Stage of Perfindence : Childhood Financial Dependence, Transitional Financial Dependence, Involuntary Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial Dependence, Retired/Elderly Financial Dependence, Earned Financial Independence, Granted Financial Independence, and Subsidized Financial Independence. However, modifications were made to the defined parameters for the following Stages of Perfindence based upon the interview data obtained: Shared Financial Dependence. Based on the additional data collected during Phase 2, it became evident that the title and descrip tion for this Stages of Perfindence needed to be modified. First, it was decided that altering the title of this stage would eliminate confusion about the term, "inter -mutual", which is not officially included in most dictionaries. In addition, changing "inter mutual" to "shared" provides uniformity with the counterpart Shared Financial Independence stage, similar to how "subsidized" is utilized for both a financially dependent and a financially independent Stage of Perfindence Second, the definition e stablished at the end of Phase 1 was the Time period in which people share the financial responsibilities and are interdependent upon the contribution of each other for financial support ." Closer examination of the data revealed that this stage might be true for one individual in the partnership or group, but is not

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43 Table II I .4 Final l ist o f Stages of Perfindence resulting from Phase 2 of this study. Code/Stage Description Stages of Financial Dependence (FD) Childhood FD Time period in which children (under the age of 18) are financially dependent on parents/caregivers and do not work Transitional FD Time period in which one obtains financial assistance temporarily while transitioning from Childhood Financial Dependence and working towards developing career skills (e.g. college, trade schools, etc.) Involuntary FD Time period in which a person is unable to work due to injury, disability, criminal status, losing a job, and/or other life situations (e.g. disabled, incarcerated, unable to secure work due to bad economy, etc.) Voluntary FD Time period in which an individual has made a conscious decision not to work and must depend on others for financial support (e.g. stay at home parent, caretaker, etc.) Shared FD Time period in which a person shares the financial responsibilities with other(s) and is dependent upon the equitable financial contribution of the other(s) in order to live in an autonomous manner Subsidized FD* Time period in which a person earns income and require s additiona l financial assistance from family, friends, government assistance, etc. Retired/Elderly FD Time period for individuals that qualify for retirement or are unable to work due to senescence; financial support is provided by family, friends, or government as sistance such as social security, Medicare, etc. Stages of Financial Independence (FI) Earned FI Time period in which a person has established a method of self sufficient income, assets, or wealth and receives no external financial support Granted FI Time period in which a person has been granted a sum of money or a method of self sufficient, long term income and receives no external financial support (e.g. inheritance, trust fund, lottery winner, etc.) Shared FI* Time period in which financial respon sibilities are shared with one or more other individuals; p erson does qualify for E arned Financial Independence or Granted Financial I ndependence but chooses to share financial costs with others Subsidized FI Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds (from family, friends, government assistance, or otherwise) but is not financially dependent on these additional funds Stage revised/fine tuned based on data obtained from Phase 2

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44 necessarily the circumstance of all the individuals in the partnership or group. For example, a person experiencing Shared Financial Dependence could be living with a roommate that qualifies for being in a Shared Financial Independence stage. Therefore, the definit ion needed to be changed to represent that the conditi on experienced only reflects the circumstance of that particular individual and is not dependent upon the Stages of Perfindence experienced by the other(s). The adjusted description for this stage is t he Time period in which a person share s the financial responsibilities with other(s) and is dependent upon the equitable financial contribution of the other(s) in order to live in an autonomous manner." Subsidized Financial Dependence. A slight change in the definition for this stage was deemed necessary based on the new information received. At the end of Phase 1, this Stage of Perfindence was characterized as the Time period in which a person earns income and receives additional funds from family, f riends, government assistance, etc." It was recognized that the word, "funds", needed to be changed to "financial assistance" because not all individuals received money as a form of financial aid. Some participants received financial assistance in the form of food, rent, and/or babysitting services, all of which can provide significant support of their financial situation. Additionally, the original terminology does not accurately represent that the financial assistance received is necessary which distinguishes this category from Subsidized Financial Independence. For this reason the word, "receives" was replaced with "requires". The final definition for this Stages of Perfindence is the Time peri od in which a person earns income and require s additional financial assistance from family, friends, government assistance, etc.

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45 Shared Financial Independence. The terminology developed at the end of Phase 1 for this stage was the Time period in which more than one person shares the financial responsibilities and each person qualifies for E arned Financial Independence or Granted Financial I ndependence (i.e. neither person exhibits financial dependence and could live financially independent if they chos e to .)" Again, it was necessary to properly reflect the possibility that not all individuals in this shared circumstance is experiencing the same status. Rather, it was necessary to remove this as part of the qualifying criteria for this Stages of Perfin dence : "Time period in which financial responsibilities are shared with one or more other individuals; person does qualify for Earned Financial Independence or Granted Financial I ndependence but chooses to share financial costs with others."

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46 CHAPTER I V DATA RESULTS AND INTERPRETATION Defining Stages of Perfindence Data collected in Phase I and Phase II from 20 participants were combined and evaluated to define the specifications of the eleven Sta ges of Perfindence Three coding strategies construed by Lincoln and G uba (1985; Miles & Huberman, 1995) were implemented: extension, bridging, and surfacing. Extension is the process of refining previously established codes by building and/or modifying them as the data dictates. Extension was meticulously enforced in the constant comparative analysis process and modifications to the defined Stages of Perfindence were made as warranted. Bridging is the coding strategy that involves exposure of new relat ionships between previously misconceived information which might require the establishment of new codes or categories. Surfacing occurs when new categories emerge as a result of the data not matching any of the previo usly established a priori codes. This s tudy began with seven a priori Stages of Perfindence ; bridging and surfacing resulted in the addition of four additional Stages of Perfindence. Stages that appeared to belong together were separated once it became apparent that specific conditions actually distinguished one stage from another. In addition, new Stages of Perfindence were established when data revealed a unique stage not previously included in the a priori codes. E xtension, bridging, and surfacing were diligently performed until theoretical saturation, the point at which no new information is reveal ed from additional analysis (Strauss, 1987), was achieved. See

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47 Table II I .4 for a final list of all Stages of Perfindence established as a result of this process. Prevalence of the Stages of Perfindence Most participants reported direct ly experiencing a total of 7 Stages of Perfindence throughout their lifetime up to the time of being interviewed (see Figure IV .1). The greatest number of Stages of Perfindence directly experienced by any part icipant w as 10 stages. The youngest participant at 20 years of age had only encountered 3 Stages of Perfindence Being older does naturally increase the likelihood of encountering a variety of financial conditions and therefore, potentia lly more Stages o f Perfindence Therefore, the 3 stages reported by the 20 year old participant only represent the first portion(s) of her life and would not be a true depiction of all the Stages of Perfindence she will experienced throughout her lifetime. The same applies to all the participants, especially those that are younger. The oldest study participant at 79 years of age had experienced 7 Stages of Perfindence Figure IV .1 Number of Stages of Perfindence Experienced by Study Participants 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Number of Partipants Number of Stages of Perfindence

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48 All 20 participants had lived through the stages of Childhood Financial Dependence and Transitional Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1). Of course, it is not surprising that all individuals experience Childhood Financial Dependence since children are not physically, mentally, and/or legally capable of financially supporting themselves. Prior to data collection, it was not known how many individuals might experience Transitional Financial Dependence. Observing all 20 participants hav ing encountered the T ransitional Financial Dependence indicates that this is a developmentally significant Table IV .1 Frequencies of Stages of Perfindence experienced by the 20 participants. Code/Stage Number of Participants w/ Direct Experience Frequency of Participan ts w/ Direct Experience Number of Participants w/ Indirect Experience Number of Participants w/ Direct and/or Indirect Experience Frequency of Participants w/ Direct and/or Indirect Experience Stages of Financial Dependence (FD) Childhood FD 20 100% 13 20 100% Transitional FD 20 100% 6 20 100% Involuntary FD 12 60% 5 15 75% Voluntary FD 12 60% 14 15 75% Shared FD 15 75% 4 16 80% Subsidized FD 14 70% 3 16 80% Retired/Elderly FD 3 15% 2 4 20% Stages of Financial Independence (FI) Earned FI 18 90% 17 20 100% Granted FI 4 20% 0 4 20% Shared FI 13 65% 0 13 65% Subsidized FI 6 30% 2 8 40%

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49 stage in which most, if not all, individuals pass through in life towards achieving adulthood. With respect to Earned Financial Independence, all 20 participants provided data that either directly or indirectly substantiated this Stages of Perfindence Only two individuals had not directly experienced Earned Financial Independence. One of these part icipants was 20 years of age, still in college and progressing through Transitional Financial Dependence at the time of the interview. The other participant was 48 year old female who had spent most of her adult years in Voluntary Financial Dependence rai sing three children as a stay at home mother a nd wife. Both participants stated that their parent(s) experienced Earned Financial Independence, which provided financial support during their stages of Childhood Financial Dependence. The stay at home mothe r/wife also disclosed that her husband was in the Earned Financial Independence stage and supported her and the family while she had chosen to live in Voluntary Financial Dependenc e. Psychological and Sociological Impacts Six participants were interviewed about the benefits, challenges and insights gained as a result of experiencing various Stages of Perfindence The purpos e was to collect data about how the conditions of financial dependence and/or independence have impac ted the lives and relationships of these individuals. Because each Stage of Perfindence represents different circumstances, comparing and contrasting the participant's experiences for each stage might help provide a better understanding of how these stages influence a person's psychological and sociological well being.

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50 Childhood Financial Dependence. As expected, every participant reported experiencing the stage of Childhood Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1) during their childhood. Although most individuals ended this stage at the age of 18, one participant reported no longer receiving any financial support from his parents at the age of 15 and another participant lived at home being financially supported until the age of 20. Three participants that grew up in very poor conditions shared a similar philosophy about money and finances They expressed that money was not an important factor in their lives; rather, money is viewed as a mere tool necessary in life. One participant describ ed it in these terms, "... we were poor but we didn't even think about being poor ." All three of these individuals revealed that any periods of financial strain experienced in their adulthood were not viewed as drastic compared to the poverty of their chil dhoods; therefore, financial hardship experiences as an adult do not produce high levels of stress or concern because they had known conditions much worse. Here is an example quote representing this perspective, Money has never been that important to me. It was just surviving and doing what I wanted to do... I started with nothing and if I end up that way then I'm ok with it. One participant expressed how this apathetic view about money has caused contention in romantic relationships with partners that v iew money as an important factor in their lives. A common theme among all participants interviewed was the experience of being sheltered as a child from the family finances. Those individuals experiencing poverty may have known they were poor but it did n't matter that much. The participants that grew up in financially secure environments reported that they felt sheltered from any potential financial worrie s that their parents might have been experiencing. The general

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51 consensus was a lack of knowledge or understanding of financial concerns during childhood. While discussing this time of their lives, most individuals expressed having a naive innocence about money, bills, and other financial obligations or considerations. Transitional Financial Dependence. Every participant reported experiencing this stage of Transitional Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1). Most participants reported first experiencing Transition al Dependence in their high school years at about 1518 years of age Two male participants who reported growin g up in poverty began earning money at earlier ages of 8 and 13 years old. All but one participant stated that they obtained part time employment during this transitional period. The other individual practiced theft and robbery as a means for acquiring money. Most reported that the primary motivation for getting their first job was to earn spending money for desired items such as CD's, clothing, and gasoline and social activities Additional reasons for gettin g a new job during late childhood include "to keep busy", "to escape the home", and "to save mo ney to buy a car." The Transitional Financial Dependence stage of life appears to be a very important one in that it begins the path towards independence and financial accoun tability Regardless of socioeconomic status, a lack of understanding about financial demands, obligations, and worries still exists in this stage of Transitional Financial Dependence. Although an increased awareness about financial responsibilities do es become apparent shortly after one begins earning money, participants still felt sheltered from the true extent of financial concerns that might have been experienced by their parents. Participants expressed that this time period characterized by naivety and

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52 continued protection of financial worries or burdens was "an extens ion of childhood" in this respect None of the participants even those raised in extremely impoverished conditions, were expected to financially contribute to the family and all we re permitted to keep any money earned or obtained during this stage Those that were raised in very poor economic conditions did obtain jobs as teenagers enabling them to voluntarily cover their personal expenses (clothing, toiletries, etc.). This afforded their parents the opportunity to spend family money elsewhere, thus contributing indirectly to the family's economic circumstances and providing some financial relief. Some i ndividuals stated that they took the initiative to increase their contribution to the household finances in other ways such as bringing groceries home, buying family dinners on occasion, or sending money to a sibling to help with college costs ; doing so resulted in accompanied feelings of pride and independence For five participants, a significant component of the Transitional Financial Dependence stage was attending college. Higher education was accomplished mostly through parental financial contributions, although s ome reported getting scholarships, grants, loans and/or part time jobs to attend college. One participant, whose parents paid for her entire college education and only need ed to work part time during the summers, expressed that she did not have an appropriate appreciation for the cost of her education; she sta ted that she may have taken college more seriously and not "partied" so much if she had experienced some worry about finances Another individual who relied on loans to subsidize his education, conveyed that he had no understanding what he was agreeing to because he had no comprehension of interest rates and the long term implications of

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53 accruing debt. Years later once he gained a better understanding of how loans work, he felt regret ab out borrowing this money because it created an added burden that he did not expect nor want Involuntary Financial Dependence. Sixty percent of the participants interviewed in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 experienced Involuntary Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1), primarily because of an unexpectedly loss of employment. As a result, these individuals became dependent on government assistance and/or financial help from their families or loved ones until another job was secured. One participant received vocational rehabilitation which is government funding provided to individuals with disabilities in assisting them with education and other services that will integrate them into the work force. O ther reasons reported for experiencing this stage were related to marriage and divorce. One participant married, moved to live with her husband, and was unable to find work for months. Another participant who had been a homemaker for over 10 years, was presented with an unexpected divorce; this left her needing to rely on child support and spousal maintenance while she attended higher education in efforts to obtain career skills to reintegrate into the work force. For two participants, government assistance in the form of unemployment benefits and vocational rehabilitation provided opportunities that were otherwise unimaginable to them Both experienced unexpected, extreme financial hardship which led them to applying for and receiving these benefits. One of the participant s received unemployment benefits after suddenly losing an extremely high paying job ; this individual had been devo ting his life and future to this job and career Another individual received vocational rehabilitation after he had broken his hip in a sports accident, was

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54 unable to work, and feared not being able to complete his higher education as a result. Both of the se individuals described these events as major life crises which caus ed a dramatic shift in their worldview perspective and changed the course of their lives. Both participants were able to obtain further education and get back on their feet as a result of government assistance. As a result of the availability and access to these funds both participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity this afforded them because it provided much needed "hope" during an especially difficult period in their lives. A notable difference between these two circumstances was observed. The individual receiving unemployment benefits also expressed shame and guilt associated with being unemployed and accessing these government funds. The person receiving vocational rehabili tation benefits expressed a very different attitude of feeling that he had a right to these funds, based on his circumstances. The other people interviewed about receiving unemployment benefits also conveyed a sense of embarrassment associated with this t ime period of their lives. Therefore, it appears that the specific type of and/or the reason for collecting government assistance in Involuntary Financial Dependence can have different psychological effects. Voluntary Financial Dependence. Three quart ers of the participants interviewed provi ded data that qualified for the stage of Voluntary Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1); the majority of these participants were female homemakers and /or mot hers deciding to stay at home to raise their children. Most of the participants reported experiencing a childhood in which their mother chose not to work. Some female participants disclosed that they themselves and some male participants stated that their spouses made the choice to not work in order to provide their children the support and

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55 direct attention they felt was necessary. From the adult children's perspective, the consensus was that having their mother not working and being at home during their childhood was a positive experience for them This favorable attitude was also share d by some male individuals who reported that their wives were stay at home mothers when their children were young. Two female participants from phase 2 of this study had experienced Voluntary Financial Dependence first hand and shared some common benefits and challenges. First, both of these stay at home mothers were enthusiastic about how rewarding and fulfilling it was for them to have the freedom to not work while focusing primarily on raising their children. Both women also reported how being financially dependent on their husbands created significant strain on their relationship for many years. In addition to disagreements about how money should be spent, a power differential between the working husbands and the financially dependent wives became a large contention in their marriages. One marriage ended as a result of these financial issues, once the children were grown and out of the home. The other marriage is currently in a state of separation, and is ri ddled wi th resentment and bitterness by and for both partners ; this participant stated that this marriage only lasted as long as it did because t hey were trying to maintain the family unit for the sake of the ir three children ranging in age from 11 to 15 y ears old. This couple has already separat ed once before and divorce is a desirable option that is seriously being considered. These same two women, although having similar experiences with the Voluntary Financial Dependence stage of their lives, have v ery different attitudes about their choice to not work and stay at home raising their children. The first of these two female

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56 participants, continually expressed concerns about how she is perceived by society. When asked questions about what she thought a nd felt about the circumstances of her life during this time period, she would often answer either defensively or in a manner that represents what she perceives that others might think about it. For example, when asked how she felt about a specific situat ion, she would reply by saying, "Well, it could be good, it could be bad, it depends how you look at it ." The researcher made effort s to redirect the interview focus ing on what she not others, felt and thought about it. I t was apparent that she felt neg atively judged by others about her choice to be a stay at home mother and that it greatly impacted her need to defend her position. She described how her parents and siblings tell her that the level of involvement in her children's lives is "ridiculous" and "overkill." In addition, she reported that her husband uses his power of being the breadwinner to "torment" her by restricting the amount of money he gives her for household necessities and degrading her for not making financial contributions to the family. Although this participant was confident and proud about her decision to be voluntarily depe ndent on her husband, she often finds herself needing to defend this choice to her husband, extended family and others She expressed frustration at havin g to justify a choice that others do not understand or support. The second female participant that chose to be a homemaker, did not express any defensiveness about this choice and instead conveyed a sense of delight and satisfaction about having stayed home to raise her children. This participant also reported having a child with Down's Syndrome and receiving a large inheritance when this child was about 10 years old. Another substantial difference is that this participant raised her children years ago and was reflecting back on this time in her life; whereas, the first stay at home

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57 described above is currently experiencing this stage of voluntary dependence and raising her children. These factors may explain the difference in attitude and personal judg ment expressed by these two women about their decision to be a homemaker ; one demonstrated the need to defend her opinions and choices, while the other did not. Another small fraction of those that experienced Voluntary Financial Dependence were not home makers ; rather they report ed being financially dependent on others such as parents or spouses/partners, but only temporarily for approximately six months or less One participant chose to be financially dependent on her partner during a time in her life w hen she was fighting a drug addiction and getting clean. She explained that she was capable of getting a job, but her and her partner decided it would be best if she concentrated on her recovery because they could afford for her not to work at that time. A nother individual experienced a sudden loss of employment and chose to move back in with his parents while he reassessed his career choices, decided upon a new professional path, and recovered financially This participant also expressed having symptoms o f depression during this time of his life related to both the loss of his job and feeling as though he was taking a step backwards by once again became financially dependent on his parents. He described negative feelings, such as low self esteem, associat ed with not being able to pitch in to the household finances and relying on his parents for food and shelter. On the other hand, this participant also reported a positive outcome of this experience ; he stated that moving ba ck home gave him the opportunity to reconnect with his parents and spend quality time together as a family. Shared Financial Dependence. A large majority 75 percent of the people interviewed had personally experienced the stage of Shared Financial Dependence (see

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58 Table IV .1). This commonly experienced co habitation living arrangement involves an equitable distribution of household expenses between roommates and/or their partner/spouse Some described this living situation as necessary in order to make ends meet, while others r eported that it was more desirable for them to share expenses in order to have the freedom to spend their money on other things. One participant explained that he had the option of living alone in a small apartment located in a less expensive part of town far from work or sharing the costs with other(s) to live in a larger apartment/condo in a more desirable location. Though many expr essed financial motives for sharing living space with others, some did explain that furthering their relationships was the pr imary intention for moving in with their significant other and the resulting financial relief was simply an added bonus. Although, individuals in this stage were financially dependent on the contribution of others, they had a sense of independence because they all pay their fair share. Many reported similar behaviors and attitudes as those individuals experiencing Earned Financial Independen ce. The only complaint reported about this stage of Shared Financial Dependence was personality conflicts that wo uld occ ur with roommates, especially when they were strangers before moving in together. Subsidized Financial Dependence. Seventy percent of those interviewed reported experiencing Subsidized Financial Dependence (see Table IV .1). In this stage, indiv iduals are earning income and also receiv ing funds or financial assistance as a supplement to their earnings. Financial assistance was reported in three discernible forms: government assistance, money taken or received from others and family provided room and board. First, welfare benefits and unemployment benefits were specific

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59 examples of government funding that participants received to subsidize their income. Most of the money earned was not reported to the government because these unemployment bene fits would be compromised or discontinued. One woman was a piano teacher receiving welfare and another participant was a business owner who laid himself off to receive benefits The second method of financial assistance involves taking or receiving money from others. One individual stated that she would steal from others and sell these stolen items to obtain additional funds. Receiving lump sums of money from family members was reported by a few participants. For some, this gifted money was provided out of necessity for survival such as one participant who reported financially supporting six family members by giving them money monthly for a period of a few years. Others reported receiving money by parents for a down payment when purchasing a home or in the form of early inheritance for tax purposes. The third category of subsidized financial support was family provided room and board which was often times observed in the form of moving in with family or friends and either contributing a nominal amount of money or not contributing at all to the household expenses for a period of time. This was obse rved in various ways such as a son in his mid 20's moving back in with his parents while he works to save money and get back on his feet or the housewife who decided to work part time for fun money while the husband continues to be responsible for paying all household expenses. All individuals that reported receiving financial assistance in this stage believed that the financial aid was helpful and in some cases, made all the difference for them in meeting their financial obligations. On the flip side, some individuals complained about how difficult it can be to rely on others, especially in the circumstance of moving in with someon e else; some

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60 described the need to pitch in by providing other forms of financial contribution such as performing house chores or buying some groceries, etc. Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence. Only 20% of the participants in this study reported expe riencing Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence either directly or indirectly (see Table IV .1.) It is important to point out that this number is not a true representative of the general population because most of the participants interviewed were not old enough to qualify for this stage. Therefore, many of the participants may still experience this type of dependence in their future. Two of the six participants interviewed during phase 2 of this study were experiencing Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence Both individuals expressed dissatisfaction and bitterness towards the United States Social Se curity system. The first participant expressed that after almost 50 years of contributing to the Social Security System, he resents the fact that it is now ref erred to as a "federal benefit credit" which is also the term used to describe welfare payments. Additionally, he explained that because he was self employed at a family owned business, he paid more into the Social Security system than the average person and was bitter because "t hey act like they are giving us something after we paid in all these years. This same participant complained about the different age and salary requirements that the government has implemented which severely affects the monthly am ount he receives; he expressed that he has experienced financial hardship as a result. The second participant was unhappy with the structure of the social security system due to the restrictions enforced on public employees because he was an educator for most of his working years. He does receive a nominal amount of Social Security each

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61 month. He claims that receiving a public employee pension instead of the full social security benefits has resulted in receiving less overall. Earned Financial Independ ence. Earned Financial Independence is a stage in which 90% of the participants had directly experience and 100% had either direct and/or indirect experience (see Table IV .1). This means that all participants either personally earned or were dependent upon someone else who self sufficiently earned all the household income with no external financial support. A high frequency of occurrence for this stage might have be en expected because Earned Financial Independence is a construct that represents the aspir ation to be financially independent as part of the American Dream (Adams, 1993; Derber, 1983; Kasser & Ryan, 1993.) In fact, all of the male participants interviewed in phase 2 of this study indicated that they felt it was important to achieve the cultural expectations of being financially independent, especially those that had a spouse and children. One particip ant in phase 2 of this study expressed that one benefit of Earned Financial Independence was a sense of security. Having enough money to cover all his expenses meant that he was no longer dependent on a roommate; this removed the threat of possibly having to move or find another roommate if the current one was unreliable. Some participants reported feeling a sense of thrill or excitement about having extra mo ney to do things such as travel and laser vision correction, especially if they did not have the financial means prior. Sudden, unexpected loss of employment for those experiencing Earned Financial Independence was traumatic for individuals w ho were no longer accustomed to relying on others for financial contribution. Numerous participants reported worry and struggle

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62 about having to modify their budgets and lifestyles upon a sudden loss of income. Those that did experience this also stated t hat they learned a valuable lesson as a result which changed the way they approached their financial situation moving forward. The two older male participants in phase 2 of this study that had financially dependent spouses and children did not express any dissatisfaction or concerns about being the breadwinner or having them depend on him In fact, one male participant revealed that he continues to financially support his adult children to this day. The younger male participant did express resentment an d bitterness about being financially responsible for one of his past live in girlfriends; although, he initially agreed to the arrangement, over time he became upset with the fact that she was not meeting his expectations in completing her education or honoring the goals she had set as part of the agreement. A s a result of this experience, he has been extremely cautious about defining and maintaining financial boundaries with all subsequent partners. Granted Financial Independence. Only 20% of the pa rticipants in this study reported experiencing Granted Financial Independence first hand (see Table IV .1.) A customary occurrence in American culture is the inheritance of land, property, and wealth to fa mily members upon one's death; this was the case fo r only one of the 20 individuals included in this study. More than half of the participants interviewed still have living parents; therefore, the occurrence of 20% only reflects those having experienced this stage at the time of the interview and does not represent whether or not they may still experience this stage at some point in their future. This one participant that received a substantial inheritance reported numerous benefits and challenges associated with receiving these funds. First, she experi enced the

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63 stress relief that wealth can provide with respect to having no debt and affording her and her family the ability to travel and do things that they might not have otherwise been able to. Second, she was able to use the money for altruistic purpo ses. S he expressed donating money and time to homeless shelters. A lthough she did not have to work, she chose to open a massage business in a small mountain town she lived in at the time in order to provide much needed jobs for women in the area. Third, ha ving this inheritance allowed her to follow her dreams later in life by opening up an art studio where she is able to not only display her own art, but help other talented artists get a jumpstart as well. A disadvantage this participant experienced was that her husband chose to stop working and subsequently lost his identity as a result. Additionally, the differences in their approach to saving and spending money were exposed and became a big issue of contention between them. These factors contributed t o the major issues in their marriage, whic h ultimately ended in divorce. Another negative outcome reported by this participant was how different people treated her once they become aware of her wealth. In fact, she chooses to hide it from most people becau se she does not like the contrast in how she is treated. Additionally, she does not socialize much with people that "have an equivalent amount of money" because she cannot relate to them. She stated that she did not agree with their privileged and mostly conservative worldviews. Other forms of Granted Financial Independence were also observed. One participant applied for and received a full ride scholarship to obtain his Masters degree during his mid30's. This scholarship included all academic and l iving expenses for him and his family. This event did not qualify for Transitional Financial Dependence because of his age; therefore, he experienced Granted Financial Independence because the money

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64 was given to him with no stipulations of paying the funds back at a later time. Another participant experienced a similar circumstance in which a mentor/friend had given him a large sum of money for reasons that were not specified. He then chose to be unemployed and use this money to live off of for about 68 months. Both of these individuals expressed gratitude for the opportunity that had been afforded them when they were given the funds to pursue personal interests. Both also expressed an understanding that not everyone encounters these types of rare fortunate circumstances. A fourth participant experienced this stage of Granted Financial Independence as a result of getting pregnant while in college. Her parents had given her a sum of money to attend college during a Transitional Financial Dependence stag e at the age of 21. When she got pregnant, she chose to leave school not work and used the money provided by her parents to support herself and her child for a period of time. Shared Financial Independence. Most of the total participants (65%) disclose d life circumstances that qualified for the stage of Shared Finan cial Independence (see Table IV .1) Similarly, o f the six participants in phase 2 of this study, four of them (or 66.6%) reported experiencing this stage at some point in their li ves This d emonstrates that the same rate of occurrence was observed in both phases. This stage represents those individuals who were financially strong enough to live independently but chose to live with others for various reasons. Some participants reported living and sharing expenses with friends, parents, or siblings mostly in their younger years because they were trying to assist their housemates (by providing a financial contribution which reduces the contribution of others), they were trying to save up some m oney, and/or they did not want to live alone. In later years, many of the circumstances for Shared Personal Independence

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65 reflected married individuals that made enough money to live alone, but obviously were not because they lived with their spouse and/or children. In other words, the primary motivation is sim ply choosing to be together and the financial benefits were a bonus Some individuals stated that living in a double income household was a choice that a llowed them other opportunities. One particip ant stated we were able to enjoy life a little more and buy things ... instead of struggling watching every penny. W e had a little more freedom ." Subsidized Financial Independence. About one third of the total participants provided data that qualified for directly experiencing this stage of Subsidized Financial Independence (see Table IV .1) Up to 40% of the participants reported having either experienced this stage themselves or having someone close to them in their lives that experienced this stage. Individuals experiencing Subsidized Financial Independence are those that receive additional monies from various sources, however, they do not need this money in order to live in a financially independent manner. Examples of additional income include vol untarily working (when unnecessary), receiving inheritance, gifts given by parents, and mineral rights revenue. Most of the circumstance qualifyin g for this stage involved partners/spouses in which one earned enough money to cover all of their expenses and the other partner worke d which provided extra funds. This allowed the couples to have more money for leisure, entertainment and other non essential activities. Another participant who had inherited a significant amount of money did not need to work but received additional income as a result of choosing to work for other reasons such as personal fulfillment and wanting to help others. This same participant decided to work part time at a bakery for a

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66 period of time simply to prove to her husband that s he was able to take direction from others. Another participant reported that she lived with her girlfriend during a time in which she was recovering from drug addiction. Her girlfriend made enough money t o cover their living expenses. H owever, she sec ured a part time job as a step towards helping her recovery process because it kept her busy, kept her interacting with others, and provided her with an exercise in accountability. One male participant did express contention in his marr iage as a result of both partners working when it wasn't financially necessary. He felt that there was an added burden placed upon him during time periods in which his wife wanted to work. Not only did they have to coordinate their work schedules in order to tend to the children, there were added responsibilities placed on him when he was not working. He had to take on some of t he household chores and child rearing tasks that his spouse did when she was unemployed. Because of the strain that this caused on the family and the marriage, he stated that these periods of her working did not last very long. This same participant also complained that although having extra money was advantageous in that it allowed them to travel and have more fun, it also created contention with his siblings who expressed envy and resentment.

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67 CHAPTER V DISCUSSION, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS Comparison to Literature In the experimental framework established in Chapter 1, a number of theories and developmental models were summarized. Experts in the field of psychology and sociology such as Freud, Erikson, Piaget and Maslow have provided valuable developmental models ab out specific aspects of the human condition. These models are considered to be fundamental in our understanding of psychology and sociology and have laid the groundwork for many counseling theories and techniques. In addition, Voydanoff's framework for economic distress and Powles' Model of Financial Independence from the Family were outlined as two potentially relevant theories with respect to the research of Stages of Perfindence performed in this study. A n examination of each theor y or model and as it applies to the results of this study is summarized below. Freud and Piaget. As summarized in Chapter 1, Freud developed a 5 stage model of sexual development and Piaget established a 4 stage model of cognitive development (Freud, 1936; Freud, 1986/1905; Freud, 1976/1924; Heller, 2005; Piaget, 1972; Flavell, 1963.) For both of these models, all of the stages occur in childhood with the last stage taking place in puberty and adolescence. For both of these models, all stages correspond with Childhood Financ ial Dependence ; however, the final stages in both models might qualify for Transitional Financial Dependence depending on the individual. Some teenagers may seek part time work during Freud's or Piaget's final stages of development.

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68 Erikson. Erikson's model of psychosocial development does span the entire lifetime ( Erikson, 1963; Corey, 2009.) The first four stages all take place during early and middle childhood which would all qualify for Childhood Financial Dependence. The fifth stage of identity versus role confusion occurs during adolescence; therefore, depending on the individual he/she could also be experiencing the Transitional Financial Dependence stage. Erikson's sixth stage of intimacy versus isolation generally occurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years old and his seventh stage of generativity versus stagnation is typically experi enced between the ages of 35 and 60. Because these stages represent adulthood and span across over 40 years, any of the Stages of Perfindence can apply with the exception of Childhood Financial Dependence. Because Erikson's last stage, integrity versus d espair, occurs over the age of 60 years old, it would be expected that many of these individuals would qualify for Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence. Maslow. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs outlines five tiers/categories of basic needs in order of priority (Maslow, 1943.) These categories do not correspond with age ranges in the same manner as Freud and Piaget's models. Rather, Maslow's model involves an understanding of how humans will not concern themselves with the needs in a higher tier until the p revious one is met. There is no direct correlation between Maslow's categories and any of the Stages of Perfindence This is not to say, however, that Maslow's model is irrelevant to factors of financial dependence or i ndependence; rather, an understandi ng of the hierarchy of needs does provide insight as to the manner in which individuals handle their financial conditions. In summary, any of the categories of basic needs can apply to any of the Stages of Perfindence

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69 Voydanoff. Voydanoff 's (1990) ana lysis of the relationship between economic distress and the impact it has on relationships is another model that does not apply to specific age ranges. Instead, Voydanoff's research describes a framework to describe four types or categories of economic di stress: employment instability, employment uncertainty, economic deprivation, and economic strain. Each of these categories will be addressed below: Employment instability is experienced by i ndividuals who are employed and distressed because they do not feel that they have job security. This can be due to the economy, the job market, and/or the financial strength of the company or business one works for. Certain Stages of Perfindence can be ruled out for the potential of employment instability. Childhood Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial Dependence, Involuntary Financial Dependence, and Elderly/Retired Financial Dependence are three stages in which the individual is not working; therefore, these stages would not be faced with potential loss of employment or the economic distress that is also experienced. Granted Financial Independence is another category that would not be affected b y employment instability because they do not have to work; for those in this stage that choose to work losing their job does not carry the same distress level because these individuals are not financially dependent on their employment. However, the remaining seven Stages of Perfindence can experience employment instability. Employment uncertainty occurs when an individual is distressed about the prospects of future employment. This is primarily experienced by those that are unemployed but can also impact those that are employed but want to change careers or be promoted. Man y factors can contribute to employment uncertainty such as the

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70 unemployment rate, the economy, the demand (or lack thereo f) in one's area of expertise, etc. Those experiencing Childhood Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial Independence, Granted Financial Independence and Elderly/Retired Dependence are not concerned with finding employment and therefore do not face employment uncertainty. Individuals who are in the stage of Involuntary Financial Dependence do experience employment uncertainty, especi ally during the process of seeking a new job. It is also likely that individuals in the Transitional Financial Dependence stage who are ending their educational period and beginning to seek career employment face employment uncertainty. Economic depriv ation is characterized by two main factors: "a ) the inability to meet current financial needs and b) the loss of financial resources and income over a period of time" (Voydanoff, 1990, p 1103). With the exception of Childhood Financial Dependence and Gra nted Financial Independence, it is conceivable that any of the remaining Stages of Perfindence could experience economic deprivation depending on their financial circumstances. Stages that would be more likely to experience economic deprivation are the In voluntary Financial Dependence, Voluntary Financial Dependence, Shared Financial Dependence and Subsidized Financial Dependence due to the fact that they need to rely on others to make ends meet. Economic strain is a more general type of financial distr ess. Worries and stress associated with financial matters of any kind fall into this category. Reviewing all of the Stages of Perfindence examples can be found for economic strain in every single stage. Even those in Granted Financial Independence might experience economic strain if there is a stock market crash or a natural disaster. Based on all the data collected in this study,

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71 it appears that no one is immune from facing economic strain of some kind during their lifetime. Powles. As described in Chapter 1, Powles (1986) performed a government study that evaluated the current financial conditions for young adults in college. From this study, she defined a seven stage developmental Model of Financial Independence from the Family. Th e discovery of Powles' publications by this researcher occurred between phase 1 and phase 2 of this study which was subsequent to the raw formulation of the eleven stages that are presented in Table II I .2. The model developed by Powles only partiall y coincides with the eleven stage model defined in this study (see Table V.1 .) Because Powles research is limited to the stages one might experience in adolescence and very early adulthood, it is not unexpected that there would be only slight overlap between her model and the model presented in this study which includes stages extending across the entire life span. All seven of Powles' stages correspond to only four of the eleven stages presented in this study (see Table V.1 .) These four stages include: Childhood Financial Dependence, Transitional Financial Dependence, Shared Financial Dependence, and Earned Financial Independence. Conclusions Individuals experience different developmental phases of financial dependence and independence throughout their lifetime. Based on the interviews of 20 study participants, 11 distinct categories or Stages of Perfindence were identified (see Table II.2) based on the data collected in this study. In addition, psychological and sociological factors that affect one's well being as a result of the conditions related to financial dependence and independence that one experiences were observed. Notable differences

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72 Table V.1 Comparison of the Stages of Perfindence with Powles' Model of Financial Independence Stage of Perfindence Equivalent Stage (s) in Powles' Model Stages of Financial Dependence (FD) Childhood FD Stage 1: Childhood Dependency Stage 2: Controlled Independence Transitional FD Stage 3: Partial Financial Independence without Family Contributions Stage 4: Partial Independence with Family Contributions Involuntary FD N/A Voluntary FD N/A Shared FD Stage 5: Interdependence Stage 6: Testing Independence Subsidized FD N/A Retired/Elderly FD N/A Stages of Financial Independence (FI) Earned FI Stage 7: Independence Granted FI N/A Shared FI N/A Subsidized FI N/A were seen between individuals of differening Stages of Perfindence. Gaining a better understanding of the common experiences individuals have with each of these Stages of Perfindence might enable mental health professionals in better serving their clients. Having the ability as a counseling practit ioner to understand the expected benefits and challenges associated with each Stage of Perfindence will facilitate the ability to meet the

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73 client where he/she is at and develop interventions that cater to the client's circumstances. This study merely touches the surface of defining all the qualities, characteristics, and impacts that these Stages of Perfindence exhibit. Recommendations The results of this study demonstrate that there are numerous further studies that could be performe d to better define and understand how the conditions of being financially dependent or financially independent impacts an individual's life. The first considerable area of research that could be done is to expand the study to include a greater number of individuals at varied ages and ethnic groups to gain a better understanding of any gender, generational, and racial/ethnic differences and commonalities that might exist for each of the Stages of Perfindence For example, the number of women experiencing Voluntary Financial Dependence (characterized by a conscious decision to not work and depend financially on others) might be much higher in cultures where women are not as empowered or lack agency then it would be for those in the United States. In order to better understand the implications of each developmental stage, it is also important to distinguish how particular cultures and genders are affected differently. Further, because so few individuals included in this study have not yet experienced Elderly/R etired Financial Dependence, more data collected from the aging population would be recommended. Second, i t was apparent that some Stages of Perfindence might be able to be further differentiated into subcategories. For example, individual experiences w ithin the Shared Financial Dependence stages can vary greatly. This stage is characterized as being interdependent on the financial contribution of others in order to make ends meet.

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74 The contribution percentages varied greatly with some participants carr ying the larger portion of the financial responsibility and depending less on others while other participants contributed less and relied more heavily on others. It was apparent to the researcher that the psychological implications associated with contribu ting more and contributing less were not equal. Therefore, a closer examination of the sub types of Shared Financial Dependence might reveal more specific differences and commonalities experienced by individuals in this stage. Third, an updated understanding of the "American Dream" concept and the current expectation of financial success in America might be appropriate and provide a greater understanding of the impact of each of these Stages of Perfindence on future generations. Depending on the generation in which one was raised here in America, the reality of achieving financial success may or may not be realistic today. In addition, there might be psychological and sociological implications associated with the disappointment and/or failure associated w ith not truly having the means and opportunity to achieve what was once termed the "American Dream." Other Considerations for Utilization of This Model Numerous questions arise at the consideration of the implementation and common utilization of a Developmental Model of Stages of Perfindence Could economists utilize this model and the psychological/ sociological implications to further refine predictive models of future economic trends? Could economists use this model to update our expectations about the possibilities of attaining financial success?

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75 Could greater acceptance of these eleven stages help provide a better representation of how many people generally experience each stage; thus helping to remove stereotypic judgment associated with some of the stages? Could the application of this model provide greater exposure to the factions of our society that need attention and change, especially for tho se that experience Involuntary Financial Dependence?

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84 APPENDIX A Phase 1 Study List of Questions Used as an Interview Guide 1. Describe how you were financially supported as a child. To the best of your knowledge, how did your parents or guardians obtain funds to support you? 2. In general terms describe the circumstances of obtaining your first job. Age? Full/part time? Did you earn enough to live independently or were y ou still financially supported in other ways? 3. Did you attend college? If so, how was your college education and living expenses funded? 4. Have you ever received government funding such as unemployment, food stamps, housing, etc? If so, please describe the t ype of funding received. 5. Describe the different stages throughout your lifetime in which you were f inancially dependent on others or in which financial support was provided to you. 6. Describe any circumstances in which you were financial interdependent upon or shared financial responsibility with one or more individuals. Were the contributions of each party equal? If not, approximately what percentage was your contribution to the monthly income? Was this earned income or funds obtained from another source ? 7. Briefly describe any timeframe throughout your life in which you were financially independent requiring no funding or financial help from others. 8. Briefly describe the circumstance by which you were financially responsible for another individual.

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85 9. Have you e ver been in the military, lived in a communal living situation, incarcerated, or spent time in a long term living facility? If so, please briefly describe the circumstances surrounding these life events and how it was funded. 10. Have you ever voluntarily been financially dependent on another person? If so, please briefly describe the circumstances surrounding this. 11. Have you ever involuntarily been financially dependent upon another person? If so, please briefly describe the circumstances surrounding this. 12. Have you received any inheritance or other large monetary gifts?