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Terri L. Friedline

Associate Professor of Social Work

Terri L. Friedline
Today's lower-income households are navigating an increasingly complex and ever-evolving economic world that questions equal access to higher education and the value of a college degree, overemphasizes the roles of credit and debt for achieving economic goals, reveals employment landscapes with often insufficient compensation, and contains tax and policy structures that place them at a disadvantage for acquiring and accumulating wealth. It is within this context that Dr. Friedline conducts research to envision, redefine, and move financial and economic justice with households—particularly for those living in poverty that may be at a competitive disadvantage for navigating this economic world and providing opportunities for their young people. Her research aims to study financial inclusion and access as a bridge to the economic world, an alternative or complement to credit and debt for achieving economic goals, and an opportunity for acquiring and accumulating wealth. Her research has been published in top journals such as Social Service Review, Social Science Research, and Journal of Consumer Affairs and covered by national media including TIME, The Huffington Post, CBS News, and Bloomberg Business News. Dr. Friedline conducts this research as an Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Faculty Associate within the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion, and Research Fellow at New America in Washington, DC. She holds an MSW and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.

Research Interests/Focus

Improving lower-income households' well-being through saving, asset-building, educational attainment, theories on saving, public policy, advanced quantitative analysis


Year Degree   School
2012 PhD Social Work University of Pittsburgh, PA
2005 MSW Community Organization & Social Administration University of Pittsburgh, PA
2004 BASW Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., de Ruyter, A., Guo, S., Oliphant, J., & Friedline, T. (in press). Bank account ownership: Effects of a tax-time savings intervention on household financial behavior. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning.

Huang, J., Sherraden, M. S., Despard, M., Rothwell, D., Friedline, T., Doran, J., Zurlo, K., Birkenmaier, J., Callahan, C., & McKinney, R. (in press). Financial capability for all. Oxford/NASW Press.

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Huang, J. (in press). Financial inclusion: The goal of financial access. Encyclopedia of Social Work.

Friedline, T., Rauscher, E., West, S., Phipps, B., Kardash, N., Chang, K., & Eckert, M. (2017). “They will go like I did”: How parents think about college for their young children in the context of rising costs. Children and Youth Services Review, 81, 340-349.

Rauscher, E., Friedline, T., & Banerjee, M. (2017). “We’re not rich, but we’re definitely not poor”: Young children’s conceptions of social class. Children and Youth Services Review, 83, 101-111.

West, S., Banerjee, M., Phipps, B., & Friedline, T. (2017). Coming up short: Family composition, income, and household savings. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 8(3), 355-377.

Banerjee, M., Friedine, T., & Phipps, B. (2017). Financial capability of parents of kindergarteners. Children and Youth Services Review, 81, 178-187.

Friedline, T., & Kepple, N. (2017). Does community access to alternative financial services relate to individuals' use of these services? Beyond individual explanations. Journal of Consumer Policy, 40(1), 51-79.

Friedline, T., West, S., Rosell, N., Serido, J., & Shim, S. (2017). Do community characteristics relate to young adult college students’ credit card debt? The unique role of collective institutional efficacy. American Journal of Community Psychology, 59(1-2), 80-93.

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & Chowan, G. A. N. (2016). Preventive policy strategy for banking the unbanked: Savings accounts for teenagers? Journal of Poverty, 20(1), 2-33.

Despard, M., Perantie, D., Taylor, S., Grinstein-Weiss, M., Friedline, T., & Raghavan, R. (2016). Student debt and hardship: Evidence from a large sample of low- and moderate-income households. Children and Youth Services Review, volume(70), 8-18.

Friedline, T., & West, S. (2016). Financial education is not enough: Millennials may need financial capability to demonstrate healthier financial behaviors. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 37(4), 649-671.

Friedline, T., & West, S. (2016). Young adults' race, wealth, and entrepreneurship. Race and Social Problems, 8(1), 42-63.

Friedline, T., & Freeman, A. (2016). The potential for savings accounts to protect young adults from unsecured debt in periods of macroeconomic stability and decline. Social Service Review, 90(1), 83-129.

West, S., & Friedline, T. (2016). Coming of age on a shoestring budget: Associations between financial capability and financial behaviors of lower-income Millennials. Social Work, 61(4), 305-312.

Friedline, T., Scanlon, E., Johnson, T., & Elliott W. (2015). Educational and financial institutions partnering to implement CSAs: Evaluation of financial partners' perspectives from the 2011 GEAR UP invitational priority. Journal of Community Practice, 23(2), 203-237.

Friedline, T. (2015). A developmental perspective on children's economic agency. Journal of Consumer Affairs [Special Issue: Starting Early for Financial Success: Capability into Action], 49(1), 39-68.

Friedline, T., Masa, R., & Chowa, G. (2015). Transforming wealth: Using the inverse hyperbolic sine (IHS) and splines to predict youth's math achievement. Social Science Research, 49, 264-287.

Friedline, T. (2014). The independent effects of savings accounts in children’s names on their savings outcomes in young adulthood. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 25(1), 69-89.

Friedline, T. (2014). Extending savings accounts to young people: Lessons from two decades of theory and research and implications for policy. In R. Cramer & T. Williams Shanks (Eds.), The assets perspective: The rise of asset building and its impacts on social policy (pp. 203–223). New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Friedline, T., Johnson, P., & Hughes, R. (2014). Toward healthy balance sheets: Are savings accounts a gateway to young adults' asset diversification and accumulation? Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review, 96(4), 359-389.

Friedline, T., & Nam, I. (2014). Savings from ages 16 to 35: A test to inform Child Development Account policy. Poverty and Public Policy, 6(1), 46-70.

Friedline, T., Nam, I., & Loke, V. (2014). Households' net worth accumulation patterns and young adults' financial well-being: Ripple effects of the Great Recession? Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 35, 390-410.

Friedline, T., & Rauktis, M. (2014). Young people are the front lines of financial inclusion: A review of 45 years of research. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 48(3), 535-602.

Cheatham, G., Smith, S. J., Elliott, W., & Friedline, T. (2013). Family assets, postsecondary education, and students with disabilities: Building on progress and overcoming challenges. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(7), 1078-1086.

Friedline, T., & Elliott, W. (2013). Connections with banking institutions and diverse asset portfolios in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(6), 994-1006.

Elliott, W., Nam, I., & Friedline, T. (2013). Probability of living through a period of economic instability. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), 453-460.

Elliott, W. & Friedline, T. (2013). “You pay your share, we’ll pay our share”: The college cost burden and the role of race, income, and college assets. Economics of Education Review, 33, 134,-53.

Friedline, T., Elliott, W., & Chowa, G. (2013). Testing an asset-building approach for young people: Early access to savings predicts later savings. Economics of Education Review, 33(1), 31-51.

Friedline, T., Mann, A., & Lieberman, A. (2013). Ask the audience: Using student response systems (SRS) in social work education. Journal of Social Work Education, 49(4), 782-792.

Friedline, T., & Song, H. (2013). Accumulating assets, debts in young adulthood: Children as potential future investors. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(9), 1486-1502.

Friedline, T., Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2013). Small-dollar children's savings accounts and children's college outcomes by race. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(3), 548-559.

Elliott, W., Choi, E., & Friedline, T. (2013). Online statistics labs in MSW research methods courses: Reducing reluctance toward statistics. Journal of Social Work Education, 49(1), 81-95.

Friedline, T., Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2012). Predicting savings and mental accounting among adolescents: The case of college. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(9), 1884-1895.

Friedline, T. (2012). Predicting children's savings: The role of parents' savings for transferring financial advantage and opportunities for financial inclusion. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 144-154.

Elliott, W., Destin, M, & Friedline, T. (2011). Taking stock of ten years of research on the relationship between assets and children’s educational outcomes: Implications for theory, policy and intervention. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(11), 2312-2328.

Elliott, W., Jung, H., & Friedline, T. (2011). Raising math scores among children in low-wealth households: Potential Benefit of Children’s School Savings. Journal of Income Distribution, 20(2), 72-91.

Friedline, T. & Elliott, W. (2011). Predicting savings for white and black young adults: An early look at racial disparities in savings and the potential role of children's development accounts (CDAs). Journal of Race and Social Problems, 3(2), 99-118.

Friedline, T., Elliott, W., & Nam, I. (2011). Predicting savings from adolescence to young adulthood: A propensity score approach. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 2(1), 1-22.

Elliott, W., Jung, H., & Friedline, T. (2010). Math achievement and children’s savings: Implications for child development accounts. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 31(2), 171-184.

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