Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health issues, relationship changes trigger economic spirals for low-income rural families

Date:
May 27, 2014
Source:
University of New Hampshire
Summary:
When it comes to the factors that can send low-income rural families into a downward spiral, health issues and relationship changes appear to be major trigger events. Fortunately, support networks -- in particular, extended families -- can help ease these poverty spells, according to new research. "We found health issues, either for a mother, child or partner/spouse, to be a recurring problem. Whether or not the health issue caused the mothers to regress from their state of functioning depended on how they were able to manage it," the lead researcher says.

When it comes to the factors that can send low-income rural families into a downward spiral, health issues and relationship changes appear to be major trigger events. Fortunately, support networks -- in particular, extended families -- can help ease these poverty spells, according to new research from the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture.

The research was conducted by Elizabeth Dolan, emeritus associate professor of family studies at UNH, and her colleagues Sheila Mammen at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Sharon Seiling at Ohio State University. The research is presented in the article "Explaining the poverty dynamics of rural families using an economic well-being continuum" in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

To assess the unstable nature of poverty for rural low-income families, researchers used the Economic Well-Being Continuum (EWC), which looks at eight factors that can impact the economic circumstances of low-income families. The researchers were trying to understand how life circumstances and events can propel rural families into the cycle of poverty.

The authors found that certain triggering events can cause families to move in and out of poverty. These trigger events may be expected, such as graduating from college, or unexpected, such as a car accident. They can have positive outcomes, such as employment, or negative outcomes, such as a chronic health condition.

Among the trigger events, health issues and relationship changes appeared to have a major effect on the economic well-being of rural low-income families. However, social support networks, usually extended family, can help mitigate hardship by providing emotional and financial support, food, transportation, child care, and housing.

"If the persistently poor cannot improve their position, they may well remain poor, affecting future generations since they are less able to give their children a good start into adulthood in terms of health, education, and employability. These families not only need more resources for longer periods of time than others, they also need more assistance to learn how to put these resources into good use," Dolan says.

In addition to the EWC analysis, researchers also looked at the poverty patterns of five rural families over three years.

"We found health issues, either for a mother, child or partner/spouse, to be a recurring problem. Whether or not the health issue caused the mothers to regress from their state of functioning depended on how they were able to manage it," Dolan says. "Several of the families also faced a second trigger event, such as breaking up with a partner/spouse, or getting a better-paying job, which either contributed to, or eased, their situation.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sheila Mammen, Elizabeth Dolan, Sharon B. Seiling. Explaining the Poverty Dynamics of Rural Families Using an Economic Well-Being Continuum. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s10834-014-9405-4

Cite This Page:

University of New Hampshire. "Health issues, relationship changes trigger economic spirals for low-income rural families." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527101235.htm>.
University of New Hampshire. (2014, May 27). Health issues, relationship changes trigger economic spirals for low-income rural families. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527101235.htm
University of New Hampshire. "Health issues, relationship changes trigger economic spirals for low-income rural families." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140527101235.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

What Self-Made Women Need to Know Financially Before Getting Hitched

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay her ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry $16,000 a month in child support by a California judge for their daughter Nahla. As women make strides in the workforce, they are increasingly left holding the bag when relationships end regardless of marital status. 'What Monied Women Need to Know Before Getting Married or Cohabitating' discusses information such as debt incurred during the marriage is both spouse's responsibility at divorce, whether after ten years of marriage spouses are entitled to half of everything and why property acquired within the marriage is fair game without a pre-nup. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Clock Ticks Down on Internet Speed Debate

Reuters - US Online Video (July 18, 2014) The FCC received more than 800,000 comments on whether and how internet speeds should be regulated, even crashing its system. Lily Jamali reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

Raw: Wildfire Tears Through Washington

AP (July 18, 2014) A large wildfire continued to gain steam through north-central Washington Friday. The blaze is already responsible for the destruction of at least 100 homes. (July 18) Video provided by AP
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