An Estimate of the Mediation Effect of Risk Tolerance among Marital Status, Gender, and Investing Behavior

Heo, Wookjae;Grable, John E.;Nobre, Liana;Ruiz-Menjivar, Jorge

  • Received : 2016.03.28
  • Accepted : 2016.05.14
  • Published : 2016.06.30


This paper presents a series of path models that were developed to test whether financial risk tolerance mediates the association between the following four variables and investing behavior: (a) male and married, (b) female and married, (c) male and single, or (d) female and single. Data for this study were obtained from a proprietary consumer survey of risk-tolerance attitudes. Four path models were developed to test relationships among the variables in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. These years were chosen to represent the depth and recovery periods in the Great Recession. The total number of respondents was 29,641. Findings showed that financial risk tolerance was positively associated with risky investing behavior (i.e., equity ownership) in each of the four periods. The associations among the gender-marital status variables and investing behavior were mixed; however, findings did indicate that risk tolerance mediates these relationships by sometimes amplifying and occasionally attenuating risky behavior. Based on the findings, implications and limitation are presented.


Risk Tolerance;Mediation;Gender;Marital Status;Investing Behavior;Family Resource Management


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