Financial Adjustments

Measures of financial adjustments capture the financial behaviors (e.g., selling household items, reducing spending) one engages in to meet financial obligations.


Source: Wadsworth ME, Santiago CD. Risk and resiliency processes in ethnically diverse families in poverty. Journal of Family Psychology. 2008;22(3):399-410.

Psychometric properties: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.74
r = 0.30 (statistically significantly correlated with family poverty-related stress)

In order to save money or get money to cover household expenses during the past year, did you:

Yes* No*
Sell possessions
Move to a cheaper residence
Move in with relatives
Reduce spending on vacations
Reduce spending on clothes
Substitute cheaper food products
Eat less meat
Trade your car for a cheaper model
Cut back on entertainment expenditures
Reduce spending on nonessentials
Borrow or were given money by a relative

*Response options changed to “yes/no” for the Money-Health Connection study. In the Wadsworth and Santiago (2008) study, respondents completed questions on a 5-point scale, indicating how often each of 11 items was true for them in the past 6 months.


Source: Lempers JD, Clark-Lempers D, Simons RL. Economic hardship, parenting, and distress in adolescence. Child Development. 1989;60(1): 25-39.

Psychometric properties:
Cronbach’s alpha = 0.86 of 11-items from a 12-item scale of “Economic Hardship.”

During the last 6 months, how often did your family:

Never Sometimes Often Very often
Cut back on social activities and entertainment expenses
Postpone major household purchases
Postpone clothing purchases
Change transportation patterns to save money
Change food shopping or eating habits to save money
Cut back on charitable contributions
Reduce household utility use
Sell some possessions
Postpone medical care to save money
Take additional employment to help meet expenses