Category: Vulnerable Families Research Program

Resource Category Topic Type
Understanding Connections Between Rural Communities and Family Well-Being: A Study of Hampton, Iowa
In this report, author Cynthia Needles Fletcher explores the role of "place" in shaping rural residents'-and in particular low-income residents'-futures. The analysis draws from interviews with residents and community key informants in Hampton, Iowa in an original study in 1997 and again in 2012-13.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Community, Demography, Family, Health Publication
Understanding Very High Rates of Young Child Poverty in the South
It is widely known that the South is home to some of the places with the highest rates of child poverty. To address the many challenges poor families face there, policy makers and community leaders need to understand the complex factors that converge in this region of the United States. This brief presents an analysis of national and state-by-state data to help readers understand high child poverty in the South.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Poverty Publication
Unemployment in the Great Recession: Single Parents and Men Hit Hard
This brief discusses the sweeping impact the Great Recession has had on Americans, particularly men, single parents, young adults, and people with less education. Using data from the 2007 and 2010 Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey, the authors report that unemployment is highest among men and among unmarried adults, regardless of place or parenting status. Although this was also true before the recession, gaps between men and women, and the unmarried and married, have widened considerably during the recession. Also during the Great Recession, unemployment rose more in central cities and suburban places than in rural places, perhaps because rural unemployment was already high prior to the start of the recession. The authors discuss the need to provide unemployment benefits for individuals experiencing long-term unemployment, and they highlight the importance of programs such as the TANF emergency fund and the Workforce Investment Act. The brief examine changes in unemployment patterns by sex, age, education, race and ethnicity, marital status, and parental status, paying particular attention to differences by place of residence.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty, Unemployment Publication
Unemployment Insurance: A Safety Net for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence and Their Children
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 5 million intimate partner assaults are perpetrated against women each year, and they lose more than 8 million days of work annually. Expanding Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to victims of domestic violence is one mechanism for supporting women as they seek to escape the violence in their lives.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Health, Safety Net, Unemployment, Women Publication
Urban and Rural Children Experience Similar Rates of Low-Income and Poverty
Data in this brief shows that the percentages of children living in low-income areas and poverty over the past fifteen years in rural and urban America are converging.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Low Income, Poverty, Rural, Urban Publication
Utilization of Long-Term Care by an Aging Population
The aging of the U.S. population is an ongoing trend. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2050 one in every five Americans will be over 65,1 and that by 2060 the over-65 population will have doubled in absolute size and the over-85 population will have tripled.2 Life expectancy of a 65-year-old in 2014 compared to 1980 was 3.9 years longer for a man and 4.3 years longer for a woman.3
Vulnerable Families Research Program Disability, Family, Health, Seniors Publication
Values and Religion in Rural America: Attitudes Toward Abortion and Same-Sex Relations
The rural vote is critical, but how do rural voters' views on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and religion influence elections? This brief compares rural and urban views on these divisive issues and examines how much rural opinions vary within rural regions of the country.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Politics and Elections, Religion, Rural Publication
Variation Found in Rates of Restraint and Seclusion Among Students With a Disability
The restraint and seclusion of individuals—practices usually associated with highly restrictive environments—are extreme responses to student behavior used in some public schools. In this brief, authors Douglas Gagnon, Marybeth Mattingly, and Vincent Connelly report that restraint and seclusion are used much more frequently on students with a disability than on students without a disability.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Health Publication
Wanting More but Working Less: Involuntary Part-Time Employment and Economic Vulnerability
Using data from the Current Population Survey, a national survey of U.S. households, this brief outlines a strong association between involuntary part-time employment and economic vulnerability. Author Rebecca Glauber reports that the involuntary part-time employment rate more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty Publication
Who Cares for the Sick Kids? Parents’ Access to Paid Time to Care for a Sick Child
This brief analyzes employed parents’ access to five or more paid sick days annually to care for a sick child in 2008.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Health, Income, Wages Publication
Who Would Be Affected By a New Minimum Wage Policy?
This brief describes the population who would be directly affected by the President’s proposal to increase the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour: workers earning between $7.25 and $9.00 per hour.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment Publication
Why Do the Children Flee?
“Fleeing Gangs, Children Head to U.S. Border” New York Times July 9, 2014 In summer of 2014, headlines throughout the hemisphere called attention to an unfolding tragedy: the plight of Central Americans fleeing north to escape the violence engulfing their communities. The staggering number of migrants seeking refuge sparked a great deal of debate within the United States, particularly due to the large numbers of children. In 2014, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors traveled from Central America to Mexico, continuing north to cross the U.S. border illegally. Once in the United States, most children turned themselves over to U.S. Border Control agents and faced swift deportation proceedings. Others have been temporarily reunited with family members throughout the United States, waiting for the courts to decide their fate. Thus far in 2015, the number of unaccompanied child apprehensions on the southwest border has declined compared to 2014. However, some border crossing zones (particularly the Big Bend and Yuma sectors) report sharp increases in apprehension rates, indicating that migrants and traffickers may be adjusting their tactics to try to elude U.S. border agents.1 In Mexico, apprehension and deportation rates of Central American migrants have almost doubled this year, as Mexican officials have ramped up enforcement efforts at the behest of U.S. officials. Central Americans are still fleeing, but many are detained in Mexico before they reach the U.S. border.
Demography, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Migration Publication
Wives as Breadwinners: Wives' Share of Family Earnings Hits Historic High during the Second Year of the Great Recession
In the second year of the recession, wives' contributions to family earnings leapt again, jumping two percentage points from 45 percent in 2008 to 47 percent in 2009. This rise marks the largest single-year increase in 15 years. This is not due to an increase in their earnings but rather to a decrease in husband’s employment, as the economy disproportionately shed male-dominated jobs during the recession.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Gender, Wages, Women Publication
Women As Economic Providers
Women’s contributions to family income are essential for most families. This is obviously true for the growing number of single-mother families, but increasingly so for married couple families. While dual-earner families are doing relatively well, family income overall has been stagnant or decreasing among single-earner families, resulting in a widening income gap. This study provides an examination of married and single women’s contributions to family income. Single women are comprised of those who are cohabiting, in same sex marriages, living alone, with parents or other family members, or living with roommates. In this brief, we consider family income for all single and married women. In the case that single women live alone or with nonrelatives, family income is comprised of the woman’s income. Analysis of Current Population Survey data for 2000 and 2013 shows that dual-earner couples have higher family incomes than sole-earner married couples or single women with or without children. Of different family types, married couples in which the husband is the primary earner (the husband earns 60 percent or more of total family earnings) had the highest median family income in 2013 ($101,000), followed closely by married couples in which both spouses had similar earnings ($98,000). In contrast, single mothers with children had the lowest median family income ($30,000). In addition, family income rose among dual-earner couples primarily due to an increase in these wives’ earnings, but declined among sole-earner married-couple and single-women families from 2000 to 2013, contributing to increased inequality. See Box 1 for a definition of terms. Wives in husband primary-earner families consistently contributed 24 percent of family income, while wives in wife primary-earner families contributed 67 percent of family income in 2013. Introduction With women’s rising levels of education, employment, and earnings, the position of women in the family and in society at large has shifted. Women’s contributions to family income are now essential for most families, obviously for the growing number of single-mother families, but increasingly so for married couple families. The increasingly positive trends for women’s economic independence mask variations in their labor market experiences and, by extension, the well-being of American families. While dual-earner couple families are doing quite well in terms of income,1 family income has been stagnant or decreasing among single-earner families, resulting in a widening gap and “diverging destinies”2 driven by family structure, women’s employment, and men’s standing in the labor force. And as life pathways, experiences, and opportunities diverge, shared social experience erodes.3
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Gender Publication
Working Families’ Access to Early Childhood Education
Although the Upper Valley has more than 200 licensed child care providers, the corresponding number of licensed slots is about 2,000 short of the estimated number of young children who likely need early care and education. Early childhood is a critical developmental period, and access to early childhood education is essential not only for learning but also as a necessary support for parents who work. While policymakers and practitioners recognize the importance and necessity of high-quality early education, its availability and affordability remain elusive for many families. The East Coast in particular has high child care costs, and child care consumes a large share of family income.1
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family Publication
Working Hard for the Money Trends in Women's Employment 1970 to 2007
Seventy-three percent of married rural mothers with children under age 6 work for pay. As men's employment rates have dropped over the past four decades, more rural women are working to keep the lights on at home. Rural women are just as likely as their urban counterparts to work for pay, but they earn less, have fewer occupational choices, and have seen their family income decline as men's wages have not kept pace with inflation. Dr. Smith's report looks at over 30 years of data about women's employment.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Wages, Women Publication
Working Parents and Workplace Flexibility in New Hampshire
This report, a joint effort between the Carsey Institute, UNH Cooperative Extension, and New Hampshire Employment Security, looks at working parents and their job flexibility and the importance it has for families trying to achieve a work-life balance.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, New Hampshire Publication
Young Child Poverty in 2009: Rural Poverty Rate Jumps to Nearly 29 Percent in Second Year of Recession
The U.S. Census Bureau's release of its American Community Survey data in September 2010 illustrated some expected changes in poverty rates in 2009, the second year of the Great Recession. For young children under age 6, living in poverty is especially difficult, given the long-term effects on health and education. Every region of the country except the West saw increases in rural young child poverty in 2009.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural Publication
“My Advice…Is Get Out of Town”
In this brief, we use interview and focus group data to explore how residents view the economic opportunities in two rural Northern New England counties and how these opportunities are related to migration patterns.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Economic Development, Employment, Income, New England Publication