Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS)


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Human Sciences (Child, Youth, and Family Studies), Under the Supervision of Professor Catherine Huddleston-Casas. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2011

Copyright 2011 Tiffany T. Bice-Wigington


While ensuring access to health insurance and health care services is important, emerging research indicates that individual health and well-being result from a complex array of environmental, social, and psychological factors. The delineation of how factors of health and well-being unfold and impact rural low-income women is particularly salient for social workers who provide services to rural residents and who work within a rural context. Utilizing components from the ecological systems perspective, this study explored how the factors associated with health risk influenced reported health and mesosystemic processes among rural low-income women. This sample (n=304) for this study was drawn from Rural Families Speak, a multi-state study of rural low-income women. Through the use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) the hypothesized relationship between factors associated with health risk, reported health problems, and mesosystemic processes were estimated. Findings suggest that factors associated with health risk influence mesosystemic processes; further the processes inherit in mesosystemic processes are affected by and affect reported health problems over time among rural low-income women.

Adviser: Catherine Huddleston-Casas