Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Sandra Guzman-Foster


Leslie Martinez


Alicia Rubio


The purpose of this ethnographic action research study was to better understand the financial self-efficacy of Puerto Rican women in the United States. There is a gap in the literature in identifying the relationship between middle-class Puerto Rican women and financial literacy. In a pilot study, four major findings emerged from the survey about Puerto Rican women and their relationship with finances: (a) as children, mothers taught them to save, and as adults, they rely on the male figures in their families; (b) the traditional education systems did not provide financial education; (c) the childhood culture of poverty and scarcity shaped their need for financial security as adults; and (d) as adults, the struggle still exists to find financial guidance. There is a paucity of literature written to understand the financial self-efficacy of Puerto Rican women. This study had the following primary research question: What is the financial self-efficacy among Puerto Rican women? Fourteen codes were identified through the course of the five weeks: discussions about money, financial struggles, generational wealth, parental roles, family, never giving up, faith, health, parental influence, accounts for life events, credit as a tool, learning by trial and error, investing encouraged by employment, and financial self-efficacy. The codes were then synthesized into four categories: culture, family, perseverance, and education as power. The categories were further synthesized into three emerging themes: Lo Cotidiano, Financial Self-Efficacy, and Financial Cultural Humility.