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US Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children

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US Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children

Category: Business Plan

Subcategory: War

Level: College

Pages: 3

Words: 825

US Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children
The United States, similar to any other nation, considers housing a vital aspect of social growth. This implies that without a stable and safe place to live, families have diminished prospects of staying healthy, a reasoning that is informed by the correlation between child health and poor housing conditions. Housing insecurity has been variously defined as the difficulty in paying mortgage or rent, living in congested or overcrowded conditions, or paying more than half of income on housing expenses. The majority of the families affected by housing insecurity are low-income earners whose stagnated wages over the years sharply contrasts the increasing costs of housing. This financial imbalance forces families to live in poor quality housing, overcrowded homes, unstable neighborhoods while some families rendered homeless altogether. A 2011 study by Cutts et al. titled US Housing Insecurity and the Health of Very Young Children gives a discourse on the consequences of housing insecurity on children’s health in the United States.
The Rationale Behind the Study
The rationale for the study by Cutts et al. is to offer a deeper understanding of the prevalence of housing insecurity and its role in certain aspects of children’s lives, such as weight, development risk and health status. More importantly, the study seeks to broaden the knowledge of public health, environmental health, and safety measures by encouraging collaborative measures from other sectors and institutions. This move will go a long way in addressing issues of equity in public health.
The Objectives of the Research
The main objective of the study is to examine how housing insecurity affects young children’s health. Crowding and multiple moves among families were the main indicators of housing insecurity in the study.
A Description of the Methodology for the Study
The study employed a cross-sectional research design. The researchers chose this method because of its validity in comparing the outcomes of the different population with shared characteristics, such as income levels, between 1998 and 2007. To be eligible for the study, the consent was required from the caregivers, the respondents had to be English or Spanish speakers, and have a reasonable knowledge of the child’s household. The study was carried out in seven different medical centers in the U.S. and randomly assessed a sample of 22,069 low-income caregivers having children younger than three years. The assessment was based on the child’s health status, food insecurity, housing insecurity of every child’s home, weight and development risk. Crowding and multiple moves were the determinants for housing insecurity. Upon surveying the caregivers, the researchers approached and interviewed them privately at each study location. A general linear model was used in the analysis of the multivariate variance to give a continuous outcome of the results. The covariates in each model were based on evidence drawn from the effects of housing insecurity and results of interest among children.
A Summary of the Results from the Research
Of the households investigated, 46 percent were affected by housing insecurity. Additionally, 41 percent experienced crowding while a mere 5 percent was attributed to multiple moves. The study also revealed that 18 percent of children living in families that frequently moved were prone to poor health compared to 11 percent of children living in stable families. Twenty-two percent of caregivers in a household that registered frequent moves within a year also attributed developmental risk as a factor affecting their children. This number counterpointed considerably to the 14 percent of caregivers in secure families who reported similar risks. The study also measured the correlation between food insecurity and housing insecurity as determined by self-reported poor diet. The findings revealed that 12 percent of the households putting up in overcrowded states and 16 percent of households with multiple moves were prone to food insecurity as compared to 9 percent of households with secure housing.
The Main Conclusions of the Study
The study concluded that food insecurity leads to an increase in health risks and catalyzes the risks of hospitalization. It also noted that multiple moves had a more negative impact on children’s health compared to overcrowding. The researchers attributed this finding to lack of social ties by frequent movers to assist them during the housing crisis. By contrast, the study suggested that overcrowding was an indicator of access to social support that offers a short-term solution to prevent homelessness. In addition, the study suggests the implementation of programs and policies to alleviate housing insecurity and positively impact young children’s health. Specifically, the study concludes that households receiving housing subsidies did not move frequently or live in crowded homes. This solution reduces their risks of health problems.
From the study by Cutts et al., it is evident that the negative impact of housing insecurity on children’s health is dire. The question surrounding the issue of access to affordable and quality housing remains. However, while home ownership can be a step in the right direction, there is a need for better legislative efforts by the government. For this reason, the President and Congress ought to pursue a more favorable housing policy that ensures every family in the U.S. has an affordable and quality home. This move will provide families with a fair prospect of success, regardless of their socioeconomic status and solve the issue of housing insecurity that affects both children and adults.

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