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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Hoynes, Hilary W.; Page, Marianne E. ; Huff Stevens, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The goal of federal food and nutrition programs in the United States is to improve the nutritional well-being and health of low income families. A large body of literature evaluates the extent to which the Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) has accomplished this goal, but most studies have been based on research designs that compare program participants to non-participants. If selection into these programs is non-random then such comparisons will lead to biased estimates of the program’s true effects. In this study we use the rollout of the WIC program across counties to estimate the impact of the program on infant health. We find that the implementation of WIC lead to an increase in average birthweight and a decrease in the fraction of births that are classified as low birthweight. We find no evidence that these estimates are driven by changes in fertility. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the initiation of WIC lead to a ten percent increase in the birthweight of infants born to participating mothers. (author abstract)

    The goal of federal food and nutrition programs in the United States is to improve the nutritional well-being and health of low income families. A large body of literature evaluates the extent to which the Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) has accomplished this goal, but most studies have been based on research designs that compare program participants to non-participants. If selection into these programs is non-random then such comparisons will lead to biased estimates of the program’s true effects. In this study we use the rollout of the WIC program across counties to estimate the impact of the program on infant health. We find that the implementation of WIC lead to an increase in average birthweight and a decrease in the fraction of births that are classified as low birthweight. We find no evidence that these estimates are driven by changes in fertility. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the initiation of WIC lead to a ten percent increase in the birthweight of infants born to participating mothers. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Swann, Christopher A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    WIC participation among eligible children is significantly lower than participation among infants. This paper explores possible explanations for the decline in participation including the need for recertification and changes in family composition. Discrete time hazard rate models are used to study the timing of exit from the WIC program for children who participate as infants. The models are estimated using the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The results suggest that the risk of exit from the WIC program is higher in recertification months than other months and for families with more children in the age range for WIC eligibility. Additionally, comparisons to results obtained from the 2001 SIPP suggest that changes in the interviewing methodology introduced in the 2004 SIPP reduced the magnitude of seam bias in WIC spells. (author abstract)

    WIC participation among eligible children is significantly lower than participation among infants. This paper explores possible explanations for the decline in participation including the need for recertification and changes in family composition. Discrete time hazard rate models are used to study the timing of exit from the WIC program for children who participate as infants. The models are estimated using the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation. The results suggest that the risk of exit from the WIC program is higher in recertification months than other months and for families with more children in the age range for WIC eligibility. Additionally, comparisons to results obtained from the 2001 SIPP suggest that changes in the interviewing methodology introduced in the 2004 SIPP reduced the magnitude of seam bias in WIC spells. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Castner, Laura; Mabli, James; Sykes, Julie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods that promote the health of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children. Infants and children up to age five from low-income families and found to be at nutritional risk are eligible. Low-income women found to be at nutritional risk are also eligible for WIC throughout their pregnancy and for up to one year postpartum (limited to six months for mothers who are not breastfeeding). In some States, women, infants, and children in households that participate in other assistance programs are automatically income eligible. In 2008, an average of 8.7 million women, infants, and children participated in the program each month. Infants and children compose 75 percent of the WIC population.

    WIC enrollment and departure by infants and children are largely affected by changes in eligibility related to age. However, other factors affect eligibility and participation as well, since many children drop out of the program before their eligibility period...

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutritious foods that promote the health of low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children. Infants and children up to age five from low-income families and found to be at nutritional risk are eligible. Low-income women found to be at nutritional risk are also eligible for WIC throughout their pregnancy and for up to one year postpartum (limited to six months for mothers who are not breastfeeding). In some States, women, infants, and children in households that participate in other assistance programs are automatically income eligible. In 2008, an average of 8.7 million women, infants, and children participated in the program each month. Infants and children compose 75 percent of the WIC population.

    WIC enrollment and departure by infants and children are largely affected by changes in eligibility related to age. However, other factors affect eligibility and participation as well, since many children drop out of the program before their eligibility period expires. In this study we focus on four events related to the dynamics of WIC participation by eligible infants and children: entry, exit, continuity of participation, and re-entry. We also examined trigger events that led to entry into the program and exit from it. We conduct the study in two stages. In the first stage, a descriptive analysis, we examine the dynamics of WIC participation for infants and children, from 2001 to 2003, including rates of entry among low-income infants and children; age of the infant or child at first entry; the percentage that continue to participate from one age to another; and age of the infant or child at exit. In the second stage, a multivariate analysis, we explore the factors associated with their entry into and exit from the program.
    Periodic examination of these WIC participation dynamics leads to a better understanding of overall trends in the size of the WIC caseload and the factors that affect participation. In addition, this analysis may help WIC outreach programs in targeting those who tend to enroll late or not at all, and in understanding why some participants leave WIC when they remain eligible for the program. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Montgomery, Debbie; Splett, Patricia
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    To determine whether breast-feeding of infants enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is associated with a reduction in Medicaid expenditures during the first 6 months of life; if so, to determine whether the reduction in Medicaid expenditures represents a positive economic benefit to society when WIC costs for these infants and their mothers are considered. Cohorts of exclusively breast-fed and formula-fed infants were tracked for 6 months to compare WIC costs and Medicaid expenditures. The sample consisted of 406 healthy infants who were breast-fed exclusively for at least 3 months and 470 healthy infants who were formula-fed exclusively. The infants, born between August 1, 1993, and December 31, 1993, were enrolled in WIC and Medicaid. Compared with formula-feeding, breast-feeding each infant enrolled in WIC saved $478 in WIC costs and Medicaid expenditures during the first 6 months of the infant's life, or $161 after consideration of the formula manufacturer's rebate. A Medicaid cost saving of $112 per infant was realized...

    To determine whether breast-feeding of infants enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is associated with a reduction in Medicaid expenditures during the first 6 months of life; if so, to determine whether the reduction in Medicaid expenditures represents a positive economic benefit to society when WIC costs for these infants and their mothers are considered. Cohorts of exclusively breast-fed and formula-fed infants were tracked for 6 months to compare WIC costs and Medicaid expenditures. The sample consisted of 406 healthy infants who were breast-fed exclusively for at least 3 months and 470 healthy infants who were formula-fed exclusively. The infants, born between August 1, 1993, and December 31, 1993, were enrolled in WIC and Medicaid. Compared with formula-feeding, breast-feeding each infant enrolled in WIC saved $478 in WIC costs and Medicaid expenditures during the first 6 months of the infant's life, or $161 after consideration of the formula manufacturer's rebate. A Medicaid cost saving of $112 per infant was realized by the breast-feeding cohort, and Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement costs for breast-fed infants were significantly lower, half that of formula-fed infants. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Garg, Arvin; Toy, Sarah; Tripodis, Yorghos; Cook, John; Cordella, Nick
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Objective: To examine whether maternal depression predicts future household food insecurity for low-income families.

    Methods: This was a secondary data analysis using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). The study cohort consisted of 2917 low-income mothers, defined as <185% federal poverty level, who were food secure at baseline. Maternal data collected when children were 9 and 24 months of age were used. Data at 9 months were considered baseline, and data at 24 months were considered follow-up. Baseline maternal depressive symptoms were measured by a 12-item abbreviated version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Household food insecurity at follow-up was measured by the US Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Scale.

    Results: At baseline, 16% of mothers were depressed (raw score >9). Most mothers were white, unemployed, and born in the United States. The majority received Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (86%); 39% received Supplemental...

    Objective: To examine whether maternal depression predicts future household food insecurity for low-income families.

    Methods: This was a secondary data analysis using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). The study cohort consisted of 2917 low-income mothers, defined as <185% federal poverty level, who were food secure at baseline. Maternal data collected when children were 9 and 24 months of age were used. Data at 9 months were considered baseline, and data at 24 months were considered follow-up. Baseline maternal depressive symptoms were measured by a 12-item abbreviated version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Household food insecurity at follow-up was measured by the US Department of Agriculture Household Food Security Scale.

    Results: At baseline, 16% of mothers were depressed (raw score >9). Most mothers were white, unemployed, and born in the United States. The majority received Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (86%); 39% received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). At follow-up, 11.8% of mothers reported household food insecurity. In multivariable analysis, maternal depression at baseline was significantly associated with food insecurity at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio 1.50; 95% confidence interval 1.06–2.12).

    Conclusions: Our results suggest that maternal depression is an independent risk factor for household food insecurity in low-income families with young children. Multidisciplinary interventions embedded within and outside the pediatric medical home should be developed to identify depressed mothers and link them to community-based mental health and food resources. Further longitudinal and interventional studies are needed to understand and address the complex relationship between poverty, maternal depression, social safety nets, and food insecurity. (Author abstract)

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