Measures of Material Hardship: Final Report. Measures of Material Hardship


Three groups of material hardship measures taken from the 1996 SIPP Adult Well-Being Module are included in our analysis. (Exhibit 4.2) These measures correspond with those that have been most frequently used in the material hardship indexes previously discussed in Chapter 3.(14)


Exhibit 4.2
Material Hardship Measures Included in Analysis
Basic Needs & Food Insecurity
(9 measures)
Durable Goods (2) measures) Housing Quality  Safety and Overcrowding
(10 measures)
  • Did not pay rent/mortgage
  • Evicted for failure to pay rent/mortgage
  • Did not pay gas/oil/electricity bill
  • Lost gas/oil/electricity for failure to pay
  • Telephone disconnected for failure to pay
  • Needed to see doctor/go to hospital but did not
  • Need to see dentist but did not
  • Food insecure
  • Food insecure with hunger
  • Refrigerator
  • Gas or electric stove (with or without oven)
  • CProblem with pests such as rats, mice, roaches, or other insects
  • A leaking roof or ceiling
  • Broken window glass or windows that can't shut
  • Exposed electrical wires in the finished areas of your home
  • A toilet, hot water heater, or other plumbing that doesn't work
  • Holes in the walls or ceiling, or cracks wider than the edge of a dime
  • Holes in the floor big enough for someone to catch their foot on
  • 3 or more of the above safety issues
  • 4 or more of the above safety issues
  • Overcrowding (more than 1.5 persons per room)

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