Session: Exploring the Intersections of Financial Capability, Mental Health, and Behavioral Health (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

171 Exploring the Intersections of Financial Capability, Mental Health, and Behavioral Health

Friday, January 13, 2023: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Alhambra, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Inequality, Poverty, and Social Welfare Policy
Symposium Organizer:
Christine Callahan, PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore
Financial capability and financial empowerment have been emerging as critical topics within social work practice for the past 25+ years. Addressing these along with financial well-being are critical to consider in practice with individuals, couples, families, and communities. The impact of financial capability on emotional health is more critical than ever, and numerous studies have demonstrated that paying attention to financial capability significantly affects individual adjustment and well-being. This symposium will delve into three studies that explore the impact of financial capability and financial empowerment on mental health, financial behavioral health, and overall well-being. Moreover, the variety of settings described also demonstrate that financial capability interventions and research can occur within a wide range.

The first paper describes an international project taking place in Mozambique with a focus on building savings and asset building in a group of women. It discusses not only the positive impact of this intervention on participants' financial resources and social supports, but also on depressive symptoms. The second paper delves into building an empirical basis for financial behavioral health (FBH), composed of financial precarity, financial self-efficacy, and financial well-being, and analyzes data from the 2018 National Financial Capability Study with a particular focus on the way FBH may impact investment risk willingness. This is also explored with implications for the racial wealth gap. The final paper describes a qualitative study that took place in the Maryland drug court system and the impact of financial education (or lack thereof) on drug court participants' sense of overall financial and emotional well-being. The paper argues for greater integration of financial capability education and intervention as a critical component of programming within drug courts.

All of these papers demonstrate that financial capability and financial empowerment are crucial elements in mental health and overall emotional well-being and that social work practice becomes more comprehensive and effective when these intersections and dynamics are acknowledged and addressed. The symposium will discuss not only the growing recognition of financial capability research generally, but also its undeniable impact on mental and emotional health. The nuanced views of financial and emotional health and how these are intertwined will also be explored.

* noted as presenting author
Exploring Financial Capability Needs in Participants of Maryland Drug Courts
Christine Callahan, PhD, University of Maryland School of Social Work
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