Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Additional Affiliations

Brown School of Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation is designed to gain insight into the motivations, values, practices, and norms of saving in American Indian tribal communities, specifically the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. How Lumbee adults living in the community save financial resources, what they are saving for, and how those resources are spent are examined. Further, intergenerational messages on this topic are investigated. The main research question is what explains saving and building financial assets by Lumbee Indians? The aim is to identify common experiences in American Indian households that can inform a grounded theory of saving for this population.

Grounded theory is used to identify constructs and develop a theory of saving for the Lumbee Indians. The study utilizes Talking Circles (a traditional form of tribal group sharing similar to focus groups) to elicit American Indian views and experiences on this topic. A supplemental survey is administered to Talking Circle participants. The intent is that this research provides valuable information to policy makers, practitioners, and tribal leaders regarding how saving is (or is not) practiced by the Lumbee, to inform programs and policies designed to facilitate saving and building financial resources.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Michael Sherraden

Committee Members

Molly Tovar, Carolyn Lesorogol, Vetta Sanders Thompson, Bret Gustafson, David Patterson


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