These briefs are short and informative analyses of our research relating to poverty policies. Policy Briefs deliver our cutting-edge research directly to policy makers, researchers, and stakeholders in an accessible format.
Parents struggling with food insecurity can experience heightened levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. These pressures may negatively affect their parenting, which may in turn affect the behavior of their children. In this study, we investigated the parenting aggravation levels of parents who experienced food insecurity in the aftermath of the Great Recession. We also explored the extent to which such aggravation may be responsible for the link between food insecurity and children’s behaviors.
The Food Stamp Program (FSP, known since 2008 as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) is one of the largest safety-net programs in the United States. It is especially important for families with children. However, the FSP eligibility of documented immigrants has shifted on multiple occasions in recent decades. When I studied the health outcomes of children in documented immigrant families affected by such shifts between 1996 and 2003, I found that just one extra year of parental eligibility before age 5 improves health outcomes at ages 6-16.
Young, undocumented Latino immigrants face many challenges in the United States. Undocumented Latino youth are less likely to graduate from high school and attend college than native-born youth and are more likely to live in poverty and report clinical levels of depression. Our research examines the impact of changes in legal status related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Latino immigrant young adults in California, with a focus on distress and psychological wellbeing.
Direct health care support and personal care jobs have the largest projected growth in the next decade. Immigrants make up growing percentages of workers in these fields, and having a better understanding of their range of experiences in these occupations will help attract and retain them. My new research finds that African immigrant direct health care workers often experience prejudice based on both their race and African backgrounds. They also see their jobs as lacking opportunities for advancement, and often struggle to meet basic needs with their incomes.
In the U.S., low-income immigrants are disproportionately excluded from social services. Even those who have gained formal access must often overcome informal institutional barriers. In a new study, I interviewed low-income Mexican immigrant mothers with limited English skills to understand these informal barriers in education and healthcare settings as they advocated on behalf of their children. The study suggests that mothers are most effective in a less bureaucratized setting and when staff recognize how deeply they care for and understand their children.
California health advocates are increasingly aware of the hazards of Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis), a disease caused by a fungus spore living in semi-arid regions of the west and southwest U.S. California has the most associated deaths despite only representing about 31 percent of all U.S. cases. Policy makers can reduce its impact on low-income communities and save millions of dollars in treatment each year by addressing the circumstances of infection, as well as the difficulties low-income populations face in accessing care.
Intensified violence and poverty in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America have spurred migration among youth who seek to either reunite with family or to support families who remain abroad. Policies to protect these youth would promote their holistic integration into U.S. society, enforce safety and well-being along the U.S. southern border and help strengthen the youths’ countries of origin socially, economically and politically.
Despite significant efforts to deter unauthorized immigration, repeat migration to the United States following deportation is common. In a new study, my co-authors and I examined how having family in the U.S. affects the intent to return among migrants deported to El Salvador. We found that being separated from their families in the U.S. is the most important factor in the intent to return, even despite the severe penalties if caught.
With obesity affecting over a third of the U.S. population, public health advocates—including first lady Michelle Obama—have called to “drink up” on water instead of sugary beverages. In new work, supported by the Center for Poverty Research, we find that low-quality drinking water is a potential barrier to reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in high-poverty rural immigrant communities.
With unauthorized youth at the forefront of immigration reform discourse and policy proposals, understanding the diversity of their profiles and experiences is necessary to create holistic immigration policies.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) serve low-income immigrants who face significant barriers to public aid. An increasing proportion of these populations includes families with children who live in poverty.
In recent years, ethnic concordance—matching the ethnicity of healthcare workers to that of their patients—has been promoted as an important measure for achieving “patient-centered care” for minority patients in the U.S.
For an extended period now, U.S. farms have enjoyed an abundance of workers from Mexico who work for stable or decreasing real wages. However, since 2008 the overall number of these farm workers, both these working in the U.S. and those who remain in Mexico, has shrunk substantially.
One in five children in the United States is the child of immigrants. These new Americans, most of whom are U.S. citizens, are more than twice as likely as children of natives to have no health insurance. Prior research has shown that differences in income or employment between native and immigrant parents do not account for the disparity in coverage.
Those who come to the United States looking for work compete with some groups of native-born workers but complement others. Since wages and the local poverty rate play a part in how many arrive, it is a challenge to quantify the effect they in turn have on both, and whether they push native workers below the poverty line.