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1.  Welfare, Work, and Health Care Access Predictors of Low-Income Children’s Physical Health Outcomes 
This analysis examines whether young children’s (N= 494) general physical health is associated with parental employment, welfare receipt, and health care access within a low-income population transitioning from welfare to work. A latent physical health measure derived from survey and medical chart data is used to capture children’s poor health, and parental ratings of child health are used to identify excellent health. Controlling for a host of factors associated with children’s health outcomes, results show that children of caregivers who are unemployed and off welfare have better health than children of caregivers who are working and off welfare. Children whose caregivers are unemployed and on welfare, or combining work and welfare, have health outcomes similar to children of caregivers who are working and off welfare. Health care access characteristics, such as gaps in health insurance coverage, source of primary care setting, and type of health insurance are associated with children’s general physical health. Implications of these results for state TANF programs are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4260331  PMID: 25505809
2.  The relationship between self-report and biomarkers of stress in low-income, reproductive age women 
To determine if there is an association between self-reported and biologic measures of stress in low-income, reproductive age women.
Between 1999 and 2005, randomly selected reproductive age women from the 1998 welfare rolls in Chicago were interviewed yearly to assess psychosocial, socioeconomic, and health characteristics. The association of two stress sensitive biomarkers (Epstein-Barr virus antibody titer (EBV) and C-reactive protein (CRP) level) with self-reported stress was assessed.
Of the 206 women interviewed, 205 (99%) agreed to provide a blood sample. There was no difference in mean EBV or CRP levels based on age, race, parity, employment, marital status, or education. Women who reported a higher degree of perceived stress or reported experiences of discrimination had significantly higher levels of EBV (p < .05).
Measures of self-reported psychosocial stress are associated with elevated levels EBV antibody in a low-income population of reproductive age women.
PMCID: PMC3000746  PMID: 20870203
biomarkers; C-reactive protein; Epstein-Barr virus; low-income women; stress
3.  Food allergy knowledge, attitudes and beliefs: Focus groups of parents, physicians and the general public 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:36.
Food allergy prevalence is increasing in US children. Presently, the primary means of preventing potentially fatal reactions are avoidance of allergens, prompt recognition of food allergy reactions, and knowledge about food allergy reaction treatments. Focus groups were held as a preliminary step in the development of validated survey instruments to assess food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of parents, physicians, and the general public.
Eight focus groups were conducted between January and July of 2006 in the Chicago area with parents of children with food allergy (3 groups), physicians (3 groups), and the general public (2 groups). A constant comparative method was used to identify the emerging themes which were then grouped into key domains of food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.
Parents of children with food allergy had solid fundamental knowledge but had concerns about primary care physicians' knowledge of food allergy, diagnostic approaches, and treatment practices. The considerable impact of children's food allergies on familial quality of life was articulated. Physicians had good basic knowledge of food allergy but differed in their approach to diagnosis and advice about starting solids and breastfeeding. The general public had wide variation in knowledge about food allergy with many misconceptions of key concepts related to prevalence, definition, and triggers of food allergy.
Appreciable food allergy knowledge gaps exist, especially among physicians and the general public. The quality of life for children with food allergy and their families is significantly affected.
PMCID: PMC2564918  PMID: 18803842

Results 1-3 (3)