Financial help-seeking behaviors of civilian military spouses



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Texas Tech University


Recent financial wellbeing initiatives by the Department of Defense (DoD) have excluded the mandatory financial education of the civilian military spouse. Lack of financial education to this population may be hindering the DoDs efforts to gain control of the financial burden that has been placed on the US Government due to the lack of recruit retention and lost security clearances from military family personal financial mismanagement. This has prompted the assessment of civilian military spouse usage of both military and civilian financial resources. Although many financial educational professionals and services are available to assist with the financial wellbeing needs of individuals, many civilian military spouses are not utilizing them. Drawing upon the financial help-seeking predictors of a sample of university faculty and staff by Grable & Joo, this study focused on the financial help-seeking behaviors of 199 civilian military spouses in the four primary branches of the US military (Air Force, Army, Marines, and Navy). The study determined the extent to which demographics predict usage of specific financial resources. Also, based on the extent of use and usefulness ratings of each resource, this study analyzed which resources and communication channels military spouses were more likely to use. There were significant differences in enlisted and officer ranked civilian military spouses in the use of both military versus civilian and formal versus informal financial resources. Overall, it was determined that civilian military spouses are in great need of financial literacy attention but many of the current financial resources established by the military are not consistent with these needs.



Helpseeking, Military spouses, Financial counseling