First Tuesday Research Seminar

Sep 02nd 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

First Tuesday Research Seminar

The Health-related Causes and Consequences of Family Homelessness

The audience will learn about the effects of homelessness on maternal and child health; learn about the determinants of homelessness among families with children; and be exposed to the prevalence of family homelessness and the characteristics of homeless families in the U.S. (and in Minnesota).

Approximately 2 million Americans experience homelessness each year.  Families with children are estimated to make up 34 percent of the homeless population on any given night.  Studies consistently find that a considerable proportion of homeless families suffer from physical and mental health problems, but there is little clarity on the extent to which homelessness contributes to these problems.  Other stressful life events, such as exposure to violence and extreme poverty, may increase the risk for both homelessness and health problems.  In this research, we can distinguish between poor health prior to and following a homeless episode in order to shed light on the independent effect of homelessness on health.

This presentation will present results from several longitudinal studies examining the influence of homelessness on maternal health and health behaviors; child physical, mental and developmental well-being; and health care use among homeless mothers and children.  In addition, the presentation will discuss both individual-level and community-level determinants of family homelessness among an at-risk population to inform policymakers and practitioners about promising targets for intervention. 

All authors include: Angela R. Fertig, PhD, Medica Research Institute; David A. Reingold, PhD, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington; Jung Min Park, PhD, School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Stephen Metraux, PhD, Department of Health Policy and Public Health, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia; Paul D. Allison, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania.

Presenter Angela R. Fertig, Ph.D., is a Research Investigator with the Medica Research Institute and holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.  Fertig publishes extensively on the economics of maternal and child health, mental health and health related behaviors, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.  Her work has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Health Economics, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, among others. Prior to joining the Medica Research Institute, Fertig was Associate Professor at the University of Georgia, Department of Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International Affairs, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.  She holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in Economics and completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University.

First Tuesday Research Seminars are held on the first Tuesday of each month, from 12:00 – 1:00 pm, on the Medica Campus.  If you cannot attend in person, you may listen using the conference line:  1-866-477-4514, passcode: 8066963174# (be sure to mute your own phone during the presentation) and view the presenter’s PowerPoint via Secure Meeting using the Attendee URL, with password: Medica Research.  

Questions? Contact Lucy Mittag at 952-992-2614 or

The Medica Research Institute conducts health services research, generating evidence-based information that will be used to promote health and improve lives. The Institute is committed to sharing all of its cutting-edge research outcomes with the public. These outcomes are presented at a monthly forum: First Tuesday Research Seminar Series.  The seminars include presentations from our investigators as well as from guest speakers from the health services research community.