Researchers set out to see how financial socialization from three different sources affects life outcomes and well-being in young adults. The three sources they looked at were the young adults’ parents, the young adults’ romantic partner and the young adults themselves.

According to the findings, young adults’ own financial behaviors, unsurprisingly, had the most impact on their well-being. In second place were the financial behaviors of their romantic partners, while financial expectations of parents — who undoubtedly have the earliest financial influence in children’s life — seemed to have the least impact.

“Financial socialization means how do individuals — in this case, young adults — learn about finances? How do they learn how to save, how to budget, how to responsibly borrow, basically anything about finances,” said Melissa Curran, lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

“The fact that young adults are perceiving that what their romantic partner does, financially, impacts them is really interesting, especially because most of them are not married and not cohabitating,” said Curran, associate professor in the UA’s John & Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “They’re young in relationships, which really goes to say that even in these non-marital, non-cohabitating relationships, the person who you are with matters. Their finances matter for your relationship outcomes and well-being.”

Read more at University of Arizona