Category: Health

Resource Category Topic Type
SNAP Use Increased Slightly in 2012
This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to examine rates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receipt in 2012, track changes since the onset of the recession, and monitor receipt by region and place type.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Food Assistance, Health, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Teachers Matter: Feelings of School Connectedness and Positive Youth Development among Coös County Youth
Students who feel positively about their education, have a sense of belonging in school, and maintain good relationships with students and staff generally feel connected to their schools. In fact, 63 percent of Coös youth report feeling this way.
New Hampshire Coös Youth Study, Education, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Teen Dating Violence in New Hampshire
Dating Violence Among High School Teens Dating violence, defined as physical abuse (such as hitting) or sexual abuse (such as forcible sexual activity) that happens within the context of a current or former relationship, leads to a host of negative consequences, including poor mental and physical health and academic difficulties.1 Therefore, it is important that researchers examine factors that increase or decrease risk for dating violence, and then use this research to create evidence-based prevention and risk reduction efforts. To date, researchers have primarily focused on individual factors (for example, attitudes toward violence) and relational factors (such as peer group norms) that may be related to dating violence victimization.2 However, it is also important to examine school and community characteristics that may serve as risk or protective factors for dating violence3 and to understand which youth may be at the highest risk for dating violence victimization. Overall Rates of Dating Violence Among Teens in New Hampshire Nearly one in ten teens (9.1 percent) in New Hampshire reported being the victim of physical dating violence during the past year; across the 71 schools studied, the range was zero to 15.0 percent. More than one in ten teens (10.9 percent) reported being the victim of sexual dating violence during the past year, and the range across schools was zero to 17.0 percent. The purpose of this study was to examine how demographic characteristics such as sexual orientation, school characteristics such as the school poverty rate, and community characteristics such as the population density of the county relate to the possibility that a New Hampshire teen will be the victim of dating violence.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Health, New Hampshire, Trust, Young Adults Publication
Teen Stress and Substance Use Problems in Coös: Survey Shows Strong Community Attachment Can Offset Risk
This brief explores how social stress and community attachment are related to problem alcohol and drug use for girls and boys in Coös County, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
The Effects of State EITC Expansion on Children’s Health
This brief examines the impact of state-level adoption of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs) on a set of health-related outcomes for children, including: (1) health insurance coverage, (2) use of preventive medical and dental care, and (3) health status measures including maternal reports of child health and body mass index.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health, Safety Net Publication
The Importance of Outdoor Activity and Place Attachment to Adolescent Development in Coös County, New Hampshire
This brief discusses the rates of participation in structured and unstructured outdoor activities as Coös County youth age, along with the relationship between outdoor activity involvement and indicators of place attachment throughout this period. The analysis is based on data collected between 2008 and 2013 as part of the Carsey Institute’s Panel Study of Coös County youth.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
The Unmet Need for Care
Many older adults need care but do not receive it. Often frail from chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, or arthritis, some need help bathing, dressing, or eating, while others need help taking medications, shopping for groceries, or preparing food. Although many older adults receive help from children, spouses, neighbors, or paid home health care providers, others have few people to whom to turn in times of need. A recent study described Monica, an older woman who lives alone and suffers from decreased mobility, painful arthritis, and fatigue. She says: “Because of my breathlessness, I can’t walk any great distances. I’m slower these days. I’ve got a walking stick now but it’s hard to manage a walking stick sometimes. It’s difficult getting groceries into my house, carrying the groceries up the stairs—I have to make several trips. I can’t carry too many at a time now. But I haven’t really got anybody that I could ring up and ask them to come. That’s where perhaps I feel isolated.”1 Bette, a married woman who cares for herself and her increasingly disabled husband, experienced acute back pain over a recent long weekend, and spent days waiting for an appointment with her primary care physician so that she did not have to go to the emergency room and leave her husband alone. She says: “I was writing something and the phone rang and I tried to get off the chair and I couldn’t. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t get to the phone. I couldn’t get off the chair. We couldn’t get medical attention unless I went to the hospital. It was the May Day long weekend.” Bette spent the entire three days in pain.2
Vulnerable Families Research Program Disability, Health, Seniors Publication
The USDA Summer Food Service Program in Coös County, New Hampshire
In this report, author Jean Bessette examines the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) operating in 2017 in four communities in Coös County, New Hampshire. She reports that the SFSP provides benefits to Coös County on multiple levels. For children, it ensures the availability of nutritious meals in the summer when school meal programs are not operating; for parents, it helps to alleviate pressure on food budgets; and for communities, it helps to ameliorate the impacts of poverty and lack of economic growth and development. Successful strategies to increase participation in summer food programs include providing bus services to transport children to sites and leveraging non-federal funding to provide meals for adults, thereby increasing the participation of children and youth. Sponsors in Coös County report that the requirements of summer food programs can be frustrating at times. For example, programs are not allowed to send leftover food home with children, and the paperwork can be burdensome. In some cases, program staff were confused or uncertain about program rules, such as procedures for handling leftover meals and snacks. Bessette concludes that expanding and funding more summer food sites and exploring and implementing other innovative strategies to provide food to children in the summer is vital in order to ensure that children grow and thrive.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Health Publication
The Zika Virus Threat
Shocking images of infants with severe birth defects in Brazil introduced the world to the devastating effects of the Zika virus. This mosquito-borne illness spread rapidly across Latin America and into the United States. News stories highlighting locally transmitted cases of Zika in Florida, and most recently in Texas, created a sense of urgency among public health officials. They stepped up efforts to inform the public about the transmission of the virus as well as the health risks associated with Zika. Public polling shows that Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of Zika, and they question the government’s ability to limit its spread.1 What is less clear are the factors influencing perceptions of the Zika pandemic and support for governmental efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Using data from the October 2016 Granite State Poll (GSP), we investigate how New Hampshire residents view the Zika crisis by asking the following questions: Is Zika perceived as a threat to public health in the United States? Does the public trust the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for information about the virus? Is the public confident that the government can control the spread of Zika? Should the U.S. Congress prioritize emergency funding to combat Zika? Finally, we explore whether the public’s increasing distrust of science and scientists may affect views about the Zika pandemic. Results indicate that most New Hampshire residents believe Zika is only a minor threat to public health in the United States, and they generally trust the CDC as a source of information about the virus. These data also show that, while there is doubt about the government’s ability to control the spread of the virus, the public feels that emergency federal funding to combat Zika should be a priority. Finally, we found that many Granite Staters have real concerns about the practice of science, believing scientists change their findings to get the answers they want. More importantly, individuals who questioned the integrity of scientists are less likely to believe Zika is a threat, have confidence in the government’s ability to combat the virus, trust the CDC, and to prioritize emergency funding. These results suggest that health officials working to engage the public in efforts to control the spread of Zika must not only discuss risks associated with the virus and mechanisms of transmission, but also confront science skepticism and potential concerns about the integrity of the scientists gathering data related to Zika and other infectious diseases.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Health, New Hampshire, Public Opinion, Trust Publication
Too Much Free Time: Coos County Youth Who Are Least Involved in Out-of-School Activities Are Most Likely to Use Drugs & Alcohol
Carsey Institute researchers are seeing links between the self-reported substance use and involvement in out-of-school activities. As part of a ten-year tracking survey of high school students in Coos County, New Hampshire, this brief finds that those most involved with constructive activities report the least amount of substance abuse.
New Hampshire Coös Youth Study, Education, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
Trusting Scientists More Than the Government
In this brief, authors Lawrence Hamilton and Thomas Safford report that despite a dramatic increase in the incidence of COVID-19, and an evolving government response, there was no significant change between surveys taken in mid-March and mid-April in the shares of New Hampshire residents who reported they were making “major changes” in their daily routines, had low confidence in the federal government’s response, or expressed trust in information from science agencies.
COVID-19, New Hampshire COVID-19, Health, New Hampshire, Public Opinion, Trust Publication
Understanding Child Abuse in Rural and Urban America: Risk Factors and Maltreatment Substantiation
Using a large national sample of child maltreatment reports, this brief compares the outcomes of child maltreatment cases in rural versus urban places and identifies the characteristics associated with substantiation. Child abuse cases substantiated in rural and urban areas share many caregiver risk factors, such as drug and alcohol abuse, and many family stressors.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Health, Rural, Urban Publication
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
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
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, and that by 2060 the over-65 population will have doubled in absolute size and the over-85 population will have tripled. 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.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Disability, Family, Health, Seniors 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
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
Youth Aspirations and Sense of Place in a Changing Rural Economy: The Coös Youth Study
Youth in rural Coös County have surprisingly strong ties to their communities, finds a new report from the Carsey Institute. The brief is the first to report on a ten-year panel study of students who began seventh and eleventh grades in 2007 in Coös, New Hampshire's northernmost and most rural county.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Health, New Hampshire, Rural, Young Adults Publication
Youth Opinions Matter: Retaining Human Capital in Coös County
As Coös County youth age, their attachment to their communities may deteriorate. This brief presents new data from the Coös Youth Study. This research indicates efforts to keep young people in Coös may benefit from efforts to show students that their views matter to adults in their communities.
New Hampshire Community, Coös Youth Study, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Young Adults Publication
‘Outlaw Operators’
In this brief, author Aysha Bodenhamer describes how prevention failures in the coal mining industry have resulted in the resurgence of black lung disease. Caused by the chronic inhalation of coal and silica dust, black lung is progressive, incurable, life-altering, and fatal. Despite it being a preventable disease, black lung is resurgent among coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. Fieldwork including in-depth interviews with miners, clinic workers, black lung attorneys, government employees, and lay advocates, and a case-study analysis of two black lung clinics in southwest Virginia inform this analysis.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Environment, Health, Rural Publication