Measures of Material Hardship: Research Brief. What do recent SIPP data tell us about material hardship among families with children?


Descriptive analyses of the SIPP measures most frequently used to assess material hardship find, not surprisingly, that:

  • Families with children who have low incomes and limited assets experience material hardships more often than their counterparts with higher incomes and assets.
  • Families that are headed by a single adult are more likely to experience basic needs or food security hardships than households with married adults or multiple adults.
  • Families with children who are in need generally experience multiple hardships; the presence of one hardship is a good predictor of other hardships. This is especially the case among households with incomes under 100% of the federal poverty level.

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