Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Christine C. Cook


This dissertation is comprised of two manuscripts prepared for submission to academic journals. The articles relate broadly to quality of life and residential environments among rural families. The first manuscript is a quantitative study using rural household data from the Life in Iowa project. The second manuscript is a qualitative study using the data drawn from the 13 family interviews from the Family Well-being and Welfare Reform in Iowa Project. The general purpose of this research was to investigate the community and housing of rural families and the associated effects on quality of life.;The first article discusses the complex mechanisms involved in predicting community satisfaction among rural residents. The role of housing satisfaction and community attachment in predicting community satisfaction was of particular interest. A structural equation model (SEM) of community satisfaction was tested with mail survey data drawn from a randomly selected rural sample of 974 households. The results of this study confirmed the influences and mediating role of community attachment and housing satisfaction in predicting community satisfaction. Spillover effects were found on "lower levels of concerns" (e.g., satisfaction with local services, assessment of current housing condition) in perceived community satisfaction.;The second article focused on the strategies employed and the difficulties faced in the provision of safe, affordable and stable homes. This investigation depicts several dimensions of the circumstances of poor children that have not had much previous attention in the literature: serial housing inadequacy and chronic mobility. It employs mothers' voices to convey the housing needs of children and suggests that families exchange one chronic problem for another in repeated moves. Several families with children with disabilities reported severe housing deficiencies. This research provides initial evidence of the important role of housing in promoting the goals of family stability and economic self-sufficiency as well as the need to the improve health and developmental outcomes for children living in poverty. Understanding the economic and psychological dimensions of the housing and community context in which rural families' live is a precursor to revising housing and public assistance policy.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Seongyeon Auh



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108 pages