Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revision Of Food Stamp Application Process Suggested By Experts

Date:
September 25, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
An estimated 35.1 million Americans live in "food insecure" households, meaning that at some time during the previous year they were unable to obtain or were uncertain of having enough food to fulfill their basic needs. Consequently, many of those people seek aid from federal sources including the Food Stamp Program. Now, a poverty expert has found that, depending on the food stamp benefit amount, the emotional distress associated with food insufficiency is higher among food stamp participants.

An estimated 35.1 million Americans live in “food insecure” households, meaning that at some time during the previous year they were unable to obtain or were uncertain of having enough food to fulfill their basic needs. Consequently, many of those people seek aid from federal sources including the Food Stamp Program.

Now, a University of Missouri poverty expert has found that, depending on the food stamp benefit amount, the emotional distress associated with food insufficiency is higher among food stamp participants.

“Our hypothesis was that participation in the Food Stamp Program would have a positive impact on participants’ mental and emotional health, but the results were not what we expected,” said Colleen Heflin, assistant professor with the MU Truman School of Public Affairs. “The results suggest the opposite – the negative mental health aspects of participating in the Food Stamp Program seem to outweigh the positive mental health aspects.”

The negative mental health effects primarily occurred during participants’ application process and transition into the program. According to Heflin, the process can be time consuming and emotionally draining. Possible negative effects on emotional health include the stigma associated with food stamp participation, association with welfare culture and difficulty meeting eligibility requirements.

Previous research has been conducted on the health consequences associated with food insufficiency. Until now, researchers had not examined the impact of the Food Stamp Program on the relationship between food insufficiency and mental health.

“We found a dosage effect – such that food-insufficient individuals who received higher amounts of food stamp benefits suffered greater emotional distress than those who received lower amounts of food stamp benefits,” Heflin said.

According to the study, further evaluation is necessary to find the direct cause for emotional distress in new food stamp participants. Heflin said that, based on the findings, modifications to the Food Stamp Program are needed to improve overall well-being among new participants. She suggests implementing a web-based application system, currently used in at least five states, that eliminates the face-to-face interview process and allows clients to choose the time and place they submit their applications. Heflin said future research will help determine the effectiveness of the web-based process.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Heflin et al. Food Insufficiency, Food Stamp Participation, and Mental Health. Social Science Quarterly, 2008; 89 (3): 706 DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2008.00556.x

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Revision Of Food Stamp Application Process Suggested By Experts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925111841.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, September 25). Revision Of Food Stamp Application Process Suggested By Experts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925111841.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Revision Of Food Stamp Application Process Suggested By Experts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925111841.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins