Date of Award



© 2021 Kimberley J. (Mendall) Mondoñedo

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Gizelle Luevano

Second Advisor

Patrick Manuel

Third Advisor

Renée Baker


Older populations in the United States are increasing, and poverty for women over 65 has also increased. Females constitute more than half the elderly in America. Elder never-married women make up only 5% of the female cohort but are the demographic most prone to poverty in old age and nearly half fall into economic vulnerability. However, some of this susceptible group have avoided economic vulnerability. Using the theoretical framework of self-efficacy, this qualitative case study provided insight into childhood factors that influenced why and how eight never-married women living in Maine avoided late-age economic vulnerability. Behaviors, influences, and self-efficacy emerged as themes. Working such as home chores, babysitting, lawn mowing and earning starting as young as eight-years-old, saving in bank accounts or piggy banks and spending control (budgeting) as young as five or six were childhood behaviors that influenced participant late-age economic solvency. All participants cited their parents as influencing their economic behaviors, while some mentioned teachers as influential on their lives. Having goals, confidence, mastering experiences, and persevering were subthemes stemming from most of the participants’ youth. Parents, girls, and those who support them can learn from the research. The burgeoning wave of elderly, with the most susceptible to slide into poverty being women, coupled with the concerns and warnings of governmental support agencies lend significance to these findings and further research into this demographic is recommended. The findings and participant advice extend beyond importance for girls, their parents, and those who love them but provide sage recommendations for governmental agencies, municipalities, non-profits supporting the elderly and youth, and anyone wishing to avoid economic vulnerability in their golden years.


Ed.D. Dissertation