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Translating discovery science: Delivering online, asynchronous financial education to service members at career and personal life transitions

APA Citation:

O’Neal, C. W., Lucier-Greer, M., Peterson, C., & McKay, B. (2023). Translating discovery science: Delivering online, asynchronous financial education to service members at career and personal life transitions. Family Relations. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12966

Abstract Created by REACH:

This study examined Service members’ reactions to 6 online, asynchronous Personal Financial Readiness trainings tailored to address Service member needs during distinct personal and professional transitions (i.e., permanent change of station, post-deployment, promotion, marriage, divorce, and new child). Each training’s participants (N = 518 - 2,772 per training) reported their reactions, including attitudes about program quality, relevance, and impact on financial behaviors, the most and least helpful topics covered, and likelihood of sharing material with a romantic partner). Differences in reactions across demographic groups (e.g., race/ethnicity, rank) were also analyzed. In general, Service members – and especially those who were Black or lower ranking – reported favorable reactions to the Personal Financial Readiness trainings.



Branch of Service:

Air Force

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member


Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)


O'Neal, Catherine Walker, Lucier-Greer, Mallory, Peterson, Clairee, McKay, Brian


Objective Grounded in the Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick model of evaluation, we examine multiple dimensions of military service members' reactions to six online, asynchronous financial family life education efforts. Background Using a “just-in-time” training model, financial literacy trainings that correspond to key family and career transitions were congressionally mandated for all service members. Program evaluation efforts are ongoing to assess training merit and inform training improvements. Method The six specific trainings evaluated occurred when service members were relocating, returning from deployment, receiving a promotion, getting married, getting divorced, and the birth of a first child. We explored various dimensions of training reactions, including training topics that were perceived as most beneficial at certain life stages or transitions; the perceptions of the trainings' quality, relevance, and impact; and finally, the likelihood of them sharing that information with their significant other. Data were collected between July 2021 and June 2023. Results Overall, service members perceived the trainings as high quality, relevant, and impactful, and most service members were likely to share the information with their spouse. Some differences were seen by demographic groups, such that trainees who were enlisted (compared to officers), identified as African American (compared to White), and had a high school diploma or associate's degree (compared to a more advanced degree) typically reported more favorable reactions. Conclusion and Implications Actionable strategies are provided to support service members and inform the development and evaluation of other family life education programs, particularly online, asynchronous training and financial-focused training.

Publication Type:

REACH Publication


finance, military, program evaluation, training reaction

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

REACH Newsletter:

  April 2024

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