Evidence type: Insight i
Qualitative research is more exploratory, and uses a range of methods like interviews, focus groups and observation to gain a deeper understanding about specific issues - such as people’s experiences, behaviours and attitudes.
Quantitative research uses statistical or numerical analysis of survey data to answer questions about how much, how many, how often or to what extent particular characteristics are seen in a population. It is often used to look at changes over time and can identify relationships between characteristics like people’s attitudes and behaviours.
The experiences of children and young people relating to money and finance have a deep and lasting effect on their financial behaviours and financial capability throughout the rest of their lives. All children require some form of financial education and support to manage their money effectively, but some children, because of where they live or their family circumstances, may face additional challenges pertaining to financial capability and benefit from more tailored and targeted support.
This 2018 report uses the Money Advice Service’s Children and Young People Financial Capability Survey to explore the connections between children’s individual characteristics, skills, and contextual factors, and their financial capability. It attempts to pinpoint the key elements that are linked to lower overall financial capability, identifying the children who have lower levels than their peers, who may be considered financially ‘vulnerable’.
While there is no single definition of vulnerability, this report defines vulnerable children and young people as those who are at increased risk of poor financial capability, and/or at risk of disproportionately negative impacts of poor money decisions.
The survey data was collected in 2016 and contains responses from 4,958 children and young people aged 4-17, along with a parent or carer for each participant. The responses are weighted to be representative of the population of the United Kingdom. This report only focuses on those aged 7-17.
Statistical significance testing and correlation analysis was performed to determine whether observed differences in levels of financial capabilities between groups of participants are significant. The report also used logistic regression to determine whether significant differences remained between groups of children that are similar in other respects. Where a particular characteristic of vulnerability remained, it suggested that this vulnerability may be a key factor in explaining differing levels of financial capability.
Individual skills and behaviours
The findings from this research were used to inform the Money Advice Service’s Needs Analysis, which set out the extent of the Service’s knowledge relating to children and young people’s financial capability so far, and suggests which groups may benefit from extra support regarding their financial capability.
Methodological strengths and limitations: