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  • Individual Author: Wolfe, Barbara; Evans, William; Seeman, Teresa E.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2012

    Social scientists have repeatedly uncovered a disturbing feature of economic inequality: people with larger incomes and better education tend to lead longer, healthier lives. This pattern holds across all ages and for virtually all measures of health, apparently indicating a biological dimension of inequality. But scholars have only begun to understand the complex mechanisms that drive this disparity. How exactly do financial well-being and human physiology interact? The Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities incorporates insights from the social and biological sciences to quantify the biology of disadvantage and to assess how poverty gets under the skin to impact health.

    Drawing from unusually rich datasets of biomarkers, brain scans and socioeconomic measures,Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities illustrates exciting new paths to understanding social inequalities in health. Barbara Wolfe, William Evans and Nancy Adler begin the volume with a critical evaluation of the literature on income and health, providing a lucid review of the...

    Social scientists have repeatedly uncovered a disturbing feature of economic inequality: people with larger incomes and better education tend to lead longer, healthier lives. This pattern holds across all ages and for virtually all measures of health, apparently indicating a biological dimension of inequality. But scholars have only begun to understand the complex mechanisms that drive this disparity. How exactly do financial well-being and human physiology interact? The Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities incorporates insights from the social and biological sciences to quantify the biology of disadvantage and to assess how poverty gets under the skin to impact health.

    Drawing from unusually rich datasets of biomarkers, brain scans and socioeconomic measures,Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities illustrates exciting new paths to understanding social inequalities in health. Barbara Wolfe, William Evans and Nancy Adler begin the volume with a critical evaluation of the literature on income and health, providing a lucid review of the difficulties of establishing clear causal pathways between the two variables. Arun S. Karlamangla, Tara L. Gruenewald, and Teresa E. Seeman outline the potential of biomarkers—such as cholesterol, heart pressure and C-reactive protein—to assess and indicate the factors underlying health. Edith Chen, Hanna M. C. Schreier, and Meanne Chan reveal the empirical power of biomarkers by examining asthma, a condition steeply correlated with socioeconomic status. Their analysis shows how stress at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels can increase the incidence of asthma. The volume then turns to cognitive neuroscience, using biomarkers in a new way to examine the impact of poverty on brain development. Jamie Hanson, Nicole Hair, Amitabh Chandra, Ed Moss, Jay Bhattacharya, Seth Pollack, and Barbara Wolfe use a longitudinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) study of children between the ages of four and eighteen to study the link between poverty and limited cognition among children. Michelle C. Carlson, Christopher L. Seplaki, and Teresa E. Seeman also focus on brain development to examine the role of socioeconomic status in cognitive decline among older adults. The authors report promising results from programs designed to improve cognitive function among the elderly poor by increasing physical activity and social engagement.

    Featuring insights from the biological and social sciences, Biological Consequences of Socioeconomic Inequalities will be an essential resource for scholars interested in socioeconomic disparities and the biological imprint that material deprivation leaves on the human body. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents:

    • Chapter 1: The SES and Health Gradient: A Brief Review of the Literature - William Evans, Barbara Wolfe, and Nancy Adler
    • Chapter 2: Promise of Biomarkers in Assessing and Predicting Health - Arun S. Karlamangla, Tara L. Gruenewald, and Teresa E. Seeman
    • Chapter 3: Biological Imprints of Social Status: Socioeconomic Gradients in Biological Markers of Disease Risk - Tara L. Gruenewald, Teresa E. Seeman, Arun S. Karlamangla, Elliot Friedman, and William Evans
    • Chapter 4: Dissecting Pathways for Socioeconomic Gradients in Childhood Asthma - Edith Chen, Hannah M.C. Schreier, and Meanne Chan
    • Chapter 5: Cardiovascular Consequences of Income Change - David H. Rehkopf, William H. Dow, Tara L. Gruenewald, Arun S. Karlamangla, Catarina Kiefe, and Teresa E. Seeman
    • Chapter 6: Cognitive Neuroscience and Disparities in Socioeconomic Status - Jamie Hanson and Daniel A. Hackman
    • Chapter 7: Brain Development and Poverty: A First Look - Jamie Hanson, Nicole Hair, Amitabh Chandra, Ed Moss, Jay Bhattacharya, Seth D. Pollak, and Barbara Wolfe
    • Chapter 8: Reversing the Impact of Disparities in Socioeconomic Status over the Life Course on Cognitive and Brain Aging - Michelle C. Carlson, Christopher L. Seplaki, and Teresa E. Seeman
    • Chapter 9: Conclusions - William Evans, Teresa E. Seeman, and Barbara Wolfe
  • Individual Author: Gould Ellen, Ingrid; O'Flaherty, Brendan
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2010

    How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research.

    How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system...

    How to House the Homeless, editors Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O’Flaherty propose that the answers entail rethinking how housing markets operate and developing more efficient interventions in existing service programs. The book critically reassesses where we are now, analyzes the most promising policies and programs going forward, and offers a new agenda for future research.

    How to House the Homeless makes clear the inextricable link between homelessness and housing policy. Contributor Jill Khadduri reviews the current residential services system and housing subsidy programs. For the chronically homeless, she argues, a combination of assisted housing approaches can reach the greatest number of people and, specifically, an expanded Housing Choice Voucher system structured by location, income, and housing type can more efficiently reach people at-risk of becoming homeless and reduce time spent homeless. Robert Rosenheck examines the options available to homeless people with mental health problems and reviews the cost-effectiveness of five service models: system integration, supported housing, clinical case management, benefits outreach, and supported employment. He finds that only programs that subsidize housing make a noticeable dent in homelessness, and that no one program shows significant benefits in multiple domains of life.

    Contributor Sam Tsemberis assesses the development and cost-effectiveness of the Housing First program, which serves mentally ill homeless people in more than four hundred cities. He asserts that the program’s high housing retention rate and general effectiveness make it a viable candidate for replication across the country. Steven Raphael makes the case for a strong link between homelessness and local housing market regulations—which affect housing affordability—and shows that the problem is more prevalent in markets with stricter zoning laws. Finally, Brendan O'Flaherty bridges the theoretical gap between the worlds of public health and housing research, evaluating the pros and cons of subsidized housing programs and the economics at work in the rental housing market and home ownership. Ultimately, he suggests, the most viable strategies will serve as safety nets—“social insurance”—to reach people who are homeless now and to prevent homelessness in the future.

    It is crucial that the links between effective policy and the whole cycle of homelessness—life conditions, service systems, and housing markets—be made clear now. With a keen eye on the big picture of housing policy, How to House the Homeless shows what works and what doesn't in reducing the numbers of homeless and reaching those most at risk. (author abstract) 

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Introduction - Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O'Flaherty

    Part I - Helping People Leave Homelessness

    Chapter 2: Service Models and Mental Health Problems: Cost-Effectiveness and Policy Relevance - Robert Rosenheck 

    Chapter 3: Housing First: Ending Homelessness, Promoting Recovery, and Reducing Costs - Sam Tsemberis

    Part II - Using Housing Policy to Prevent Homelessness

    Chapter 4: Rental Subsidies: Reducing Homelessness - Jill Khadduri

    Chapter 5: Fundamental Housing Policy Reforms to End Homelessness - Edgar Olsen

    Chapter 6: Housing Market Regulation and Homelessness - Steven Raphael 

    Part III - Managing Risk 

    Chapter 7: Homelessness as Bad Luck: Implications for Research and Policy - Brendan O'Flaherty

  • Individual Author: Boushey, Heather; Brocht, Chauna; Gubderseb, Bethbet; Bernstein, Jared
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2001

    Policy makers in the United States have adopted the view that work is the solution to poverty, and the government’s role is to promote employment rather than provide income support for poor families. For many families, however, work may not be enough to ensure a decent standard of living. This report estimates the number of families who are not making ends meet. We examine the cost of living in every U.S. community and determine basic family budgets for various family types in each one. In all, over 400 separate basic family budgets for six family types are generated. We then count the number of working families in each state whose incomes fall below these basic budgets. Next we examine the hardships these families experience. Finally, we explore how the U.S. can create a social safety net that recognizes that work is not always enough to help families meet their basic needs. (author abstract)

    Policy makers in the United States have adopted the view that work is the solution to poverty, and the government’s role is to promote employment rather than provide income support for poor families. For many families, however, work may not be enough to ensure a decent standard of living. This report estimates the number of families who are not making ends meet. We examine the cost of living in every U.S. community and determine basic family budgets for various family types in each one. In all, over 400 separate basic family budgets for six family types are generated. We then count the number of working families in each state whose incomes fall below these basic budgets. Next we examine the hardships these families experience. Finally, we explore how the U.S. can create a social safety net that recognizes that work is not always enough to help families meet their basic needs. (author abstract)