Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Julie Honnold

Second Advisor

Judith Bradford

Third Advisor

Adrienne Keller


Financial security in retirement is an important social issue, yet many affluent women may have behaviors, attitudes or perceptions that could be detrimental to their financial security—putting them at risk for poverty in their retirement years. A survey was developed and implemented in 2009 to investigate the behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions regarding financial management among affluent ($250,000 or more of household investable assets) United States women in their prime years (aged 50–69) to determine if Social Norms Theory could be applied to this population. Three hypotheses were tested: 1.) most affluent prime-of-life women have “healthy” financial behaviors and attitudes; 2.) the majority of women in this group misperceive the reality, underestimating the percent of their peers who have “healthy” financial behaviors and attitudes; and 3.) the minority of women who have unhealthy financial behaviors/attitudes will be more likely than those who have healthy behaviors/attitudes to misperceive their peers as having unhealthy financial behaviors and attitudes. The results determined that Social Norms Theory does apply to affluent women in their prime years and that a Social Norms Marketing approach may be useful.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011