Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies


Information Management


John Jordan


ethnolinguistic gatekeepers;financial literacy;Haitian American;information-seeking behaviors;savings circles;sociocultural


Sociocultural behaviors related to information-seeking are common among Haitians, where a line firmly separates the roles of adults and children. This study assessed how the children of Haitian immigrants sought information about financial literacy despite sociocultural behaviors that restrict financial conversations between adults and children. Utilizing Reijo Savolainen’s study of six sociocultural barriers to information-seeking, this mixed methods study explored whether cultural behaviors affected the financial literacy of Haitian Americans. Data was aggregated from a combination of survey responses and semi-structured interviews. The demographic (n=131) was limited to the Millennial and Generation Z children of Haitian immigrants. Participants reported how strict, traditional Haitian culture significantly influenced adults’ approach to discussions about finances with children. Several factors affected the frequency and depth of how finances were discussed in Haitian households. In contrast to previous literature, factors included the legacy of civil instability in Haiti, the persistence of pre-migration social class systems, varied socio-economic status, and general misinformation within the Haitian community. Financial literacy was enhanced through self-education about finances in the U.S., advice from trusted financial influencers, and participation in community-based savings systems. This study also explained why middle-class, college-educated second-generation participants trusted and successfully used grassroots savings circles to fund college tuition, real estate investments, and auto loan payments. The implications of this study will be shared with affiliated advocacy groups to help them develop targeted, culturally-sensitive financial literacy initiatives and policies beginning with Haitian matriarchs and trusted insiders in the Haitian community.


Open Access

Available for download on Saturday, June 14, 2025