Life Satisfaction Among Rural Low-Income Mothers: The Influence of Health, Human, Personal, and Social Capital
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The satisfaction with life among rural low-income mothers was assessed using a sample of 163 mothers who participated in a multi-state, three-year longitudinal study. Dependent variables included those that represented various forms of capital (health, human, personal and social) as well as the mothers’ levels of life satisfaction from prior years. Nearly two-thirds of the rural mothers were satisfied with their life in all three years. Their level of satisfaction appeared to be constant, however, such persistence had a time frame of only one year. The variables that affected their satisfaction with life were symptoms of risk of depression (health capital) and income adequacy (personal capital). These findings provide important insight on a marginalized, yet often overlooked, population.
KeywordsSatisfaction with life Rural low-income mothers Health capital Human capital Personal capital Social capital Homeostatis
This research was supported in part by USDA/CSREES/NRICGP Grants—2001-35401-10215, 2002-35401-11591, 2004-35401-14938. Data were collected in conjunction with the cooperative multi state research project NC-223/NC-1011 Rural Low-income families: Tracking Their Well-being and Functioning in the Context of Welfare Reform. Cooperating states are California, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Peter St. Marie and Nathaniel Lanier, undergraduate research assistants, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
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