Financial Literacy Types and Financial Behaviors Among Adolescents: Role of Financial Education

Alex Yue Feng ZHU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge that occurs in youth and adolescents has been understudied in the literature. Based on objective and subjective financial literacy scores, this study categorizes financial literacy into four types: financial literacy overconfidence, underconfidence, competence, and naïvete in a sample of adolescents. Data were collected from 330 students aged around 15 years old in six middle schools in Hong Kong. The results indicate that adolescents who are overconfident about their financial literacy are more likely to engage in risky financial behavior and report higher levels of financial autonomy. A randomized experimental trial was conducted to assess whether financial education could change the mismatch between financial objective and subjective knowledge. The results show a significant increase in underconfidence after the financial education intervention, but no significant change in the other three categories. The findings highlight the same type of financial literacy overconfidence in both adolescents and adults and has implications for financial counselors and educators who would improve the financial engagement of adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberJFCP-19-00051
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number2
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2021 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, U.S.A.


  • adolescents
  • financial behavior
  • financial education
  • financial literacy
  • overconfidence


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