Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 635–652

Human Capital, Social Support, and Economic Well-being among Rural, Low-income Mothers: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis


    • Department of Family StudiesUniversity of Kentucky
  • Bonnie Braun
    • Department of Family StudiesUniversity of Maryland
  • David W. Wright
    • Department of Child and Family DevelopmentUniversity of Georgia
  • Scott R. Miller
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Windsor
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10834-007-9079-2

Cite this article as:
Simmons, L.A., Braun, B., Wright, D.W. et al. J Fam Econ Iss (2007) 28: 635. doi:10.1007/s10834-007-9079-2


The purpose of this study was to better understand human capital and social support in the long-term economic well-being of rural, low-income mothers in the US. Three waves of data from a multi-state, longitudinal investigation tracking the well-being of rural families, known as “Rural Families Speak,” were used to test two latent growth curve models of economic well-being. Results indicated that human capital alone is not a good predictor of economic well-being over time for this sample. A model of economic well-being that includes both social support and human capital provides a better fit for these data. Findings suggest that social support is a key contributor to long-term economic success for this sample. Implications for public policy are presented.


Economic well-beingHuman capitalRuralSocial supportWelfare reform

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007