- Social policy
- Food and nutrition policy
- Social demography
Dr. Heflin conducts policy-relevant research that sits at the boundaries of sociology, economics, public health, public administration, and women’s studies. The broad aim of her research is to understand the processes that create systems and patterns of social stratification and, more specifically, to examine welfare policy and the well-being of vulnerable populations, with a particular emphasis on the causes and consequences of material hardship. In a recent project, Dr. Heflin analyzed how specific shocks to family stability, such as unemployment or becoming disabled, lead to particular kinds of material hardship, such as medical or housing hardship. Other recent projects have examined how the population using food stamps and unemployment insurance has changed with the Great Recession; how the experience of material hardship affects couples’ decisions to marry; how children’s participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) affects their households’ overall food insecurity; and how veterans’ well-being and social program participation compares to that of other groups.
Dr. Heflin’s research has appeared in leading journals such as the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and the Journal of Policy Analysis & Management. In 2014, her paper on community social capital was awarded the W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the American Sociological Association. Dr. Heflin’s research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Heflin contributes regularly to national policy and legislative discussions: She participated in the 2013 National Academies Workshop on Research Gaps and Opportunities in Child Hunger and Food Insecurity and a Congressional Briefing on the War on Poverty in 2014.
- PhD from University of Michigan
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program Benefits and Emergency Room Visits for Hypoglycemia
Public Health Nutrition, 2016
The Role of Social Positioning in Observed Patterns of Material Hardship: New Evidence From the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation
Social Problems, 2017
Unpacking an Anomaly: Analyzing the 2005-2012 Current Population Survey to Understand Why Many Emergency Food Assistance Users Report Being Food Secure
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 2016
Family Instability and Material Hardship: Results from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 37(3): 359-372, 2016
More publications from: Colleen Heflin