Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Christine C. Cook


The present studies conceptualized longitudinal housing patterns of rural, low-income families as housing trajectories focusing specifically on tenure patterns: (1) continuous renter, (2) owner to renter, (3) renter to owner, and (4) continuous owner. A mixed-methods approach resulted in one qualitative manuscript and another quantitative manuscript to better understand and assess the housing tenure trajectories of families across three waves of data. Two overarching questions were explored: (a) What factors affect a family's housing tenure trajectory and (b) are health and housing tenure trajectories related? In Chapter 2 findings are reported from the qualitative analysis in which issues related to health and health resources were identified including the subsequent impact on mothers' abilities to make decisions about housing tenure. Chapter 3 reports on data analyses aimed to quantify and further examine health and health resource issues identified through qualitative analyses. Two health variables (continuous Medicaid coverage and food security) were significant in both a model with health variables alone and a model that added sociodemographic variables (income, and partner status); continuous renters were more likely to have continuous Medicaid coverage and to be food insecure. In a second model in which partner status and income were added to health variables, income was significantly associated with continuous homeownership even though the sample consisted of only low-income families. The results lead to important conclusions regarding the importance of home ownership to low-income families and the need for a more holistic view of family health and health resources in achieving and sustaining homeownership. The reciprocal nature of housing and health has implications for policymakers, housing professionals, and should guide future research. Better understanding and exploration of these relationships can lead to research-based practices and research-based public policy to best meet the health and housing needs of rural, low-income families.


Copyright Owner

Andrea Lynn Bentzinger



File Format


File Size

138 pages