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Interactions of Individual, Family, Community, and Policy Contexts on the Mental and Physical Health of Diverse Rural Low-Income Families

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Resource Economics
Project Description: 

The goal of this project is to understand the many complexities of physical and mental health faced by rural low-income families within the context of their communities. Poverty is disproportionately higher and more persistent in rural areas than in urban areas and problems of unemployment, underemployment, lower wages, and poor health make it more difficult for the rural poor to escape poverty. Rural, low-income families experience greater health disparities and face greater health challenges such as insufficient health services, inadequate health insurance coverage, and lower levels of health literacy, than the nation as a whole. The great recession has revealed the importance of emphasizing the human element when it comes to the ability of households to cope in the face of economic as well as health uncertainties. These family economic issues also have public policy implications. As more and more families, regardless of income level, face financial insecurity, those who are already at the bottom of the economic ladder become even more vulnerable. It is the economic issues confronting rural, disadvantaged families due to poor physical and mental health that will be addressed through this project.

Community & Economic Vitality topics: 
Families