University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

Joyce Serido, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
Take Charge America Institute
650 N Park Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078
(520) 621-5820

I have always been an observer of people — as a child within my large, extended Italian family, in school and in my career. I am intrigued by people’s behavior.

As a former business analyst, I led teams of software engineers and business clients in the design and implementation of complex information systems solutions for companies in the New York Metropolitan area. I learned that the demands of a situation change the behaviors of even the most reasonable people, so I changed my career path to study what shapes people’s behaviors and how behaviors change. I am interested in how people manage the ordinary ups and downs of life, such as juggling the demands of work and family, and how they change their behaviors in the face of challenging situations.

One of my favorite things to do is travel to new places and observe people going about their day-to-day lives in settings different from my own. These experiences fuel my imagination and raise new questions about why people do what they do and how they feel about the choices they make.

Areas of expertise: 
Financial coping behaviors
Financial stress and well-being
Family environment and financial well-being
Positive youth development
Financial literacy among lower income youth and families
Research Focus: 

Given my business background and my interest in people, my passion for grounding research insights on human behavior into information that is useful in the everyday lives of individuals and families is not surprising. I have both field and research experience working with youth and adult individuals and groups from youth through adulthood. Broadly speaking, my research emphasizes the social interactions that shape individual health and well-being in adults, particularly interactions that occur during adolescence and emerging adulthood.

As the co-principal investigator and project manager of the Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS) project, I collaborate with a cross-disciplinary team of researchers and campus administrative personnel investigating how young adults develop financial capability. We are following 2,000+ UA students (30% of the 2007 cohort) into adulthood, surveying them every 2-3 years to understand how their financial behaviors change over time, and what accounts for the changes. This research will help us to develop a theory to better predict financial behaviors of young adults and the link between early financial behaviors and well-being in later life.

As a co-investigator on a recently awarded NIH/NIAAA R01 grant, we are examining the long-term effects of family financial stress and parent-child relationships during adolescence on young adult family relationships, financial stress, and alcohol problems, using four waves of AddHealth data. Considering potential mechanisms and directions of influence among these key constructs has the potential to inform future prevention and intervention research.

Because Interventions based on findings from social science research have the potential to benefit vulnerable populations in diverse ways — for example, improving educational outcomes, providing job and life skills, and reducing risky behaviors (e.g., drug/alcohol use) — I have also led several evaluation studies of educational and other program interventions.

Current Projects: 


  • Co-Investigator, (Stephen Russell, PI). Precursors to Financial Stress and Alcohol Problems in Young Adulthood: $876,801. NIH/NIAAA
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Soyeon Shim, PI). Preparing for Young Adulthood: APLUS Wave 2.0. Funding: $150,000, National Endowment of Financial Education (NEFE).
  • Co-Principal Investigator (Soyeon Shim, PI). Preparing for Young Adulthood: APLUS Wave 2.0. Funding: $150,000, Citi Foundation.  
Select Publications: 

Please contact Dr. Joyce Serido if you are unable to locate one of the publications listed below.

Serido, J., Borden, L. & Bracamonte-Wiggs, C. (In Press). Breaking down potential barriers to continued program participation. Youth and Society.

Shim.,S., Serido, J., & Tang, C. (2011).The ant and the grasshopper revisited: The present psychological benefits of saving for tomorrow. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(1), 155-165.

Xiao, J. J., Tang, C., Serido, J., Shim, S. (2011). Antecedents and Consequences of Risky Credit Behavior Among College Students: Application and Extension of the Theory of Planned Behavior.Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 30(2), 239-245.

Shim, S., Serido, J., & Barber, B. L., (2011). A consumer way of thinking: Linking consumer socialization and consumption motivation perspectives to adolescent development. Journal of Research on Adolescence: Decade in Review, 21(1), 290-299

Serido, J., Shim, S., Mishra, A., & Tang, C. (2010). Financial parenting, financial coping behaviors and well-being of emerging adults. Family Relations: Special Issue, 59,453-464.

Curran, M., Totenhagen, C., & Serido, J. (2010). How Resources (or Lack Thereof) Influence Advice Seeking on Psychological Well-Being and Marital Risk: Testing Pathways of the Lack of Financial Stability, Support, and Strain. Journal of Adult Development, 17(1), 44-56.

Shim, S., Barber, B., Card, N., Xiao, & Serido, J. (2009). Financial socialization of young adults: the role of family, work, and education. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(12), 1457-1470.

Borden, L. M. & Serido, J. (2009). From program participant to engaged citizen: A developmental journey. Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 423-438.

Lee, S., Borden, L. M., Serido, J., & Perkins, D. (2009). Ethnic minority youth in youth programs: Feelings of safety, relationships with adult staff, and perception of learning social skills. Youth & Society, 41(2), 234-255.

Borden, L. M., Lee, S., Serido, J. & Collins, D. (2008). Does participation in a financial seminar change financial knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of college students? Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29, 23-40.

Brown, G. W., Craig, T. K. J., Harris, T. O., Handley, R. V., Harvey, A. L., Serido, J. (2007). Child-specific and family-wide risk factors using the retrospective Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse (CECA) instrument: A life-course study of adult chronic depression.  Journal of Affective Disorders, 103, 225-236.

Almeida, D. M., Neupert, S. D., Banks, S., & Serido, J. (2005). Do daily stress processes account for socioeconomic health disparities? Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences Special Issue on Health Inequalities across the Life Course, 60b, 34-39.

Serido, J., Almeida, D. M., & Wethington, E. (2004). Chronic stressors and daily hassles: Unique and interactive relationships with psychological distress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 65, 17-33.

Tel: Main Office 520.621.1075 Norton School Student Services 520.621.1295
Mailing Address: 650 N. Park Ave Tucson, Arizona 85721-0078 (Map to McClelland Park)
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