Skip to main content

The research behind the building blocks

The building blocks for financial capability and the strategies for teaching them were developed from two of CFPB's related research priorities: an investigation into the development of financial capability in youth, and identification of effective strategies that support this growth.

A financial capability development model 

Our first research area aimed to better understand how, when, and where children and youth typically acquire critical traits, skills, and opportunities that form the foundation of financial capability and adult financial well-being. It led to the creation of a financial capability developmental model.

This research involved:

  • Analysis of previous CFPB research into adult financial well-being to understand experiences in youth that contribute to financial identities and values
  • Extensive review of published studies
  • Consultation with national experts from a variety of disciplines

Strategies for educators

Our second research area identified promising practices and strategies that support development of financial capability skills among youth. This research generated a set of recommendations for teaching the building blocks of financial capability.

Researchers identified recommended strategies through:

  • A field scan of more than 200 programs and practices in youth financial education and youth development
  • Consultation with experts in youth financial education and related fields
  • Gap analysis of existing programs and practices to pinpoint any key elements of the developmental model that were not present


Learn more about the building blocks research.