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Terri L. Friedline

Associate Professor of Social Work

Terri L. Friedline

Dr. Friedline's research focuses on financial system reform and consumer protections to ensure that people and communities have access to safe and affordable financial products and services. Basic financial products like checking and savings accounts are essential for conducting a wide range of transactions, including securing affordable credit, obtaining auto insurance, and paying bills and utilities. People and communities that cannot access and use basic financial products pay higher costs to participate in today's capitalist economy. It is within this context that Dr. Friedline conducts research to envision, redefine, and move financial and economic justice—particularly with people and communities that have been historically excluded from and marginalized by the financial system. Her most recent research, Mapping Financial Opportunity, investigates the financial system from a macro or structural perspective and the racialized ways that banks, credit unions, and payday lenders invest in communities. Dr. Friedline's research has been published in top journals such as Social Service Review, Social Science Research, and the Journal of Consumer Affairs, and covered by national media including The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Business News, CBS News, and TIME. She conducts this research as an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, Faculty Director 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. Before entering academia, she worked for several years as a clinical social worker in the juvenile justice system.  

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

Friedline, T., Franklin, T., Morrow, S., & Kugiya, J. (in press). The promises and perils of community benefits agreements: Evidence from public comments to a large bank merger. Journal of Community Practice.

Despard, M., Friedline, T., & West, S. (2020). Why do households lack emergency savings? The role of financial capability. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 41, 542-557.

Friedline, T., & Chen, Z. (2020). Digital redlining and the fintech marketplace: Evidence from United States zip codes. Journal of Consumer Affairs.

Friedline, T., Naraharisetti, S., & Weaver, A. (2020). Digital redlining: Poor rural communities’ access to fintech and implications for financial inclusion. Journal of Poverty, 24(2), 168-192.

Friedline, T. (2020). Banking on a Revolution: Why Financial Technology Won’t Save a Broken System. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Friedline, T., Chen, Z., & Morrow, S. (2020). Families’ financial stress & well-being: The importance of the economy and economic environments. Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Faber, J., & Friedline, T. (2020). The racialized costs of “traditional” banking in segregated America: Evidence from entry-level checking accounts. Race and Social Problems.

Birkenmaier, J., Despard, M., Friedline, T., & Huang, J. (2019). Financial inclusion: The goal of financial access. Encyclopedia of Social Work.

Friedline, T., Dunham, I., & O’Brien, M. (2019). The financial services environment and schools’ savings rates in the San Francisco Kindergarten to College program. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 53(4), 1797-1824.

Friedline, T., Despard, M., & West, S. (2019). Does the composition of financial services in a community relate to an individual’s savings account ownership? Journal of Community Practice, 27(1),

Despard, M., Grinstein-Weiss, M., de Ruyter, A., Guo, S., Oliphant, J., & Friedline, T. (2018). Effects of a tax-time savings intervention on savings account ownership among low- and moderate-income households. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 29(2), 219-233.

Huang, J., Sherraden, M. S., Despard, M., Rothwell, D., Friedline, T., Doran, J., Zurlo, K., Birkenmaier, J., Callahan, C., & McKinney, R. (2018). Financial capability for all. Oxford/NASW Press.

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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