Methods. Data are from a 5-year randomized control trial (RCT) conducted between 2015 and 2020 which targeted low-income individuals residing in a large, urban, southwest U.S. region for participation in a HMRF program. Analyses for this study focus on survey data from the sample subset of U.S. and Foreign-born Hispanic women who participated in the program (N=725). Treatment group participants (n=380) completed a 7-week program and control group participants (n=345) were waitlisted for 1 year with low-level case management services. We examined financial/economic profiles pre- and post- program participation, cross-tabulated the treatment and control group participants, and conducted chi-square tests.
Results. Financial/Economic profiles reveal important socioeconomic factors related to public assistance, difficulties finding or keeping a job, and banking; acculturation, educational attainment, parenting, and marriage or cohabitation. Chi-square tests revealed significant program effects in favor of the treatment group on measures of having checking (56% treated vs. 43% control for checking or 30% higher) and savings accounts (36% vs. 24% control for savings or 50% higher), meaning the proportion of participants who reported having a checking (x2=5.629; p=0.017) and/or a savings (x2=5.704; p=0.017) account was significantly higher in the treatment group.
Conclusions/Implications. Findings suggest program effects that benefit low-income Hispanic women and their families on banking, which is an important aspect of financial/economic stability. Based on the profiles of Hispanic women in this study, implications for improving the financial/economic security of Hispanic women include access to education, training, and affordable childcare; employment that pays a living wage; and legal assistance specific to documentation barriers. Financial literacy classes, offered in Spanish and focused on banking skills, are likely to prove helpful to low-income Hispanic women in navigating financial insecurity and reducing the gender wage gap.