Financial well-being among young adults is an emerging and important field of research. This study aims to shed light on the current insights and future directions for young adults’ financial well-being research.
A systematic review was performed using (1) the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses protocol to curate the corpus and (2) the bibliometric-content analysis technique to review that corpus on young adults’ financial well-being research.
Young adults’ financial well-being is influenced by contextual factors such as changes in macroeconomic environment, market factors, technological advancement and financial social comparisons, as well as personal factors such as sociodemographics, personality traits and values, skills and attitudes, financial practices, financial socialization, lifestyles and early life experiences, and subjective financial situation and mental health. Noteworthily, interest in this field is growing with a plethora of journals, countries, authors, theories, methods and measures.
Several noteworthy gaps exist in the literature on young adults’ financial well-being, which include the lack of international collaboration, the lack of interventions to improve young adults’ financial well-being, the limited range of theoretical lenses, the limited consensus on measuring young adults’ financial well-being, the limited understanding of contextual factors, and the inconsistencies between personal factors and young adults’ financial well-being. Potential ways forward are proposed to address these gaps.
This review contributes to a seminal synthesis of young adults’ financial well-being research, providing both retrospective insights and prospective ways forward.