Sociology, Department of


First Advisor

Jeffrey A. Smith

Second Advisor

Kristen Olson

Third Advisor

Robin Gauthier

Date of this Version

Spring 4-2022


Hernandez, Nestor I. 2022. “The Burden Of Giving: Race, SES, And Nativity Differences In Providing Informal Financial Assistance.” MA Thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A thesis presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Sociology, Under the Supervision of Professor Jeffrey A. Smith, Lincoln, Nebraska, April, 2022.

Copyright 2022 Nestor I. Hernandez


Interpersonal relationships within social networks provide resources for individuals to overcome financial hardships and emotional uncertainty. One form of support, giving money to family members and friends (i.e., informal financial assistance), has received little empirical attention, even when it comes at an economic and social cost to the person providing support. Drawing on negative social capital theory, it is hypothesized that racial minorities and immigrants may be more likely to provide monetary support to members of core discussion networks, given the persistent economic embedded in their social networks. The objective of this study is to examine i) racial differences in providing financial assistance ii) how race moderates the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and providing financial assistance iii) how race moderates the relationship between nativity status and providing financial assistance. The results of this project, using logistic regression analyses of the 2017 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), find that higher SES Black and Native American individuals are more likely than White individuals of similar SES, to provide informal financial assistance to members of core discussion networks. Foreign-born Black and Hispanic individuals are significantly more likely to provide money to members of networks than their foreign-born White counterparts. Moving beyond previous research, this study demonstrates the nuanced patterns of financial giving, and how they vary by SES and nativity for Black and Hispanic individuals compared to White individuals.

Advisor: Jeffrey A. Smith

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