State-Level Variation in Material Hardship Among Households with Children
Dr. Colleen Heflin is an Assistant Professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has published extensively on the determinants and consequences of material hardship. Heflin (2006) has examined dynamics of material hardship over time in a longitudinal welfare sample, including the co-occurrence of different forms of hardship. She has also examined the individual determinants of one form of material hardship—food insufficiency (Heflin, et al. 2007), as well as the physical and mental health consequences associated with food insufficiency (Heflin, et al. 2005; Siefiert et al. 2004; Siefert et al. 2001). This study combined Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data from five different panels to model state-level predictors of material hardship among households with children using hierarchical models. Results revealed how reports of material hardship vary across time and space and to what extent differences can be explained by demographic characteristics and by contextual differences. Findings specific to California, Oregon and Washington are delineated so that policy-makers, advocates and citizens can assess the level of material hardship in their state and the variation explained by context and individual characteristics.
Food Insufficiency, Food Stamp Participation, and Mental Health, by Colleen Heflin and James Ziliak.