Among low-income families in the United States, relatively few ever become homeless. What characteristics separate homeless families from those with low incomes who maintain their housing? For policy makers and others seeking to alleviate family homelessness, a more complete understanding of these differences is urgently needed.
“Profiles of Risk: Child Health” is the ninth research brief in this ICPH series, which draws on data from the nationwide Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study to highlight characteristics of those families at greatest risk of experiencing homelessness. This brief focuses on child well-being, specifically investigating differences in health. The findings reveal significant differences in the prevalence of low birth weight, asthma, and emergency-room visits between children who experience housing instability and those who are stably housed. Children who experience homelessness also visit dentists less frequently than those who are stably housed. These results suggest that the health of children who experience housing instability is compromised from an early stage.
Download the ninth brief here.