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Housing instability and health: Findings from the Michigan recession and recovery study

Author

Listed:
  • Burgard, Sarah A.
  • Seefeldt, Kristin S.
  • Zelner, Sarah

Abstract

The recession of the late 2000s has increased interest in the consequences of housing instability. Previous research has shown poorer health among those experiencing housing instability, but extant studies generally have focused on selected populations (e.g., homeowners or renters) or studied only one type of housing instability (e.g. homelessness). Using new data from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study, a population-based sample of working-aged adults from Southeastern Michigan, U.S.A., in late 2009–early 2010, we found that about one-third of respondents recently experienced some type of housing instability. Many, but not all, types of instability were associated with health. Even after adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics and earlier health, individuals who had moved for cost reasons in the past three years were more likely than those with no housing instability to report a recent anxiety attack, while those who experienced homelessness in the past year had a higher likelihood of reporting fair/poor self-rated health and of meeting criteria for major or minor depression. Renters behind on rental payments were more likely to meet criteria for depression, while mortgage-holders behind on their mortgage or in foreclosure had a higher likelihood of reporting fair/poor self-rated health or a recent anxiety attack. Among respondents who had ever owned a home, those who completed a foreclosure recently were more likely to report major or minor depression or an anxiety attack. However, frequent moves were not associated with poorer health, and doubling up and eviction were not associated with poorer health after adjustment for characteristics that sort people into different housing instability experiences. Our findings suggest the importance of considering multiple types of housing instability and using appropriate risk groups and comparison categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Burgard, Sarah A. & Seefeldt, Kristin S. & Zelner, Sarah, 2012. "Housing instability and health: Findings from the Michigan recession and recovery study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2215-2224.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:12:p:2215-2224
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.08.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lauren M. Ross & Gregory D. Squires, 2011. "The Personal Costs of Subprime Lending and the Foreclosure Crisis: A Matter of Trust, Insecurity, and Institutional Deception," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 92(1), pages 140-163, March.
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    9. He, Yinghua & O'Flaherty, Brendan & Rosenheck, Robert A., 2010. "Is shared housing a way to reduce homelessness? The effect of household arrangements on formerly homeless people," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-12, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kalousova, Lucie & Burgard, Sarah A., 2014. "Unemployment, measured and perceived decline of economic resources: Contrasting three measures of recessionary hardships and their implications for adopting negative health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 28-34.
    2. Kemp-Benedict, Eric, 2013. "Material needs and aggregate demand," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 16-26.
    3. Robin Dion & Amy Dworsky & Jackie Kauff & Rebecca Kleinman, 2014. "Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care," Mathematica Policy Research Reports b930407795cb42658ce31bfc3, Mathematica Policy Research.
    4. Vásquez-Vera, Hugo & Palència, Laia & Magna, Ingrid & Mena, Carlos & Neira, Jaime & Borrell, Carme, 2017. "The threat of home eviction and its effects on health through the equity lens: A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 199-208.
    5. Thomas Hyclak & Chad Meyerhoefer & Larry Taylor, 2015. "Older Americans’ health and the Great Recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 413-436, June.
    6. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Nicholas, Lauren Hersch, 2013. "Recession depression: Mental health effects of the 2008 stock market crash," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1090-1104.
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1363-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:mpr:mprres:8139 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Downing, Janelle, 2016. "The health effects of the foreclosure crisis and unaffordable housing: A systematic review and explanation of evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 88-96.
    10. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Amy Dworsky & Keri-Nicole Dillman & M. Robin Dion & Brandon Coffee-Borden & Miriam Rosenau, 2012. "Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: A Review of the Literature and Program Typology," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 99170b3efe3c4d9091a187b17, Mathematica Policy Research.
    12. Natasha Pilkauskas & Katherine Michelmore, 2017. "Does the Earned Income Tax Credit Reduce Housing Instability?," Working Papers wp18-01-ff, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..

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