The following resources feature family and health policy research and other projects that were conducted by the Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Please note that all resources are saved in PDF format and require Adobe Reader to open.  To download Adobe Reader, please click here

Policy and Research Briefs

Policy and research briefs are concise and comprehensive resources that are intended to provide policymakers, legislators, and the general public with the results of timely relevant family and health policy research.

Health and Mental Health   

Improving Medical Assistance Outreach to Pregnant Women in Maryland [Complete Report; Overview of Report]
Authors: Bonnie Braun
Year: 2010

The Maryland Telehealth/Telemedicine Survey
Authors: Rural Maryland Council and Maryland rural Health Associaton
Year: 2010

Oral Health Among Low-Income Rural Families: Implications for Policy and Progress
Authors: Emma Simpson and Bonnie Braun
Year: 2007

Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Use in Rural, Low-Income Families: An Ecological Risk and Resilience Perspective
Author: Elisabeth Fost Maring
Year: 2005

Physical and Mental Well-being in Urban and Rural Communities: Impact of Non-Medical Factors on Limited Resource Families
Authors: The University of Maryland Gemstone Medical Care Team: Angela Bien, Jamille Bigio, Eric Buchner, Christine Compton, Rachel Markus, Ellen Massey, Stephen Mihalcik, and Michael Soracoe
Year: 2004

Examining Health Care: What’s the Public’s Prescription?
Author: Stephanie Grutzmacher
Year: 2004

Barriers to Mental Health Access for Rural Residents
Author: Bonnie Braun
Year: 2003

Family and Community

Narrowed Paths to Economic Well-being for Rural Families
Author: Bonnie Braun
Year: 2007

Duration of Home Visiting Program and Home Safety Enhance School Readiness
Author: Christine Schull
Year: 2006

State Gay Adoption Laws and Permanency for Foster Youth
Authors: Sarah Kaye and Kate Kuvalanka
Year: 2006

Social Support: Key to Psychological Well-being in Rural, Low-Income Families
Author: Jokena Islam
Year: 2004

Rural Mothers Speak: About Relationships – Implications for Marriage-Promotion Policy Initiatives
Authors: Elaine Anderson, Bonnie Braun, Linda Oravecz, and Julie Kohler
Year: 2003

Social Support: Key to Educational Outcomes Among Rural, Low-Income Teenage Mothers
Author: Melissa Rudd
Year: 2003

Responsible Fatherhood
Authors: Elaine Anderson and Julie Kohler
Year: 2002

Rural Families and Welfare Issues
Authors: Jean Bauer and Bonnie Braun
Year: 2002

Food Security

Do Food Programs Make Children Overweight?
Author: Sandra Hofferth
Year: 2005

Families and Food Security
Author: Sandra Hofferth
Year: 2005

Food Resource Management: Key to Food Security Outcomes Among Rural Low-Income Families
Author: Stephanie Grutzmacher
Year: 2004

Child Care

The Need for Child Care Subsidies: Challenges Faced by Low income Families with Young Children in Care
Author: Nikki Forry
Year: 2006

The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit as a Fiscal Resource for Low-Income Families’ Payment for Child Care
Author: Nikki Forry
Year: 2006

Child Care Use by Low-Income Rural Families
Authors: Susan Walker and Kathy Reschke
Year: 2003

RESEARCH PROJECTS

RURAL FAMILIES SPEAK PROJECT

Family Science faculty and graduate students are collaborating with 14 other land-grant universities to conduct an interdisciplinary, multi-state, longitudinal study to assess the impact of declining public assistance on the well-being of families and communities. Findings from this study will provide important information to program administrators and policy makers who are seeking to help families gain, regain, and/or retain their means of economic self-sufficiency. This project is supported by USDA, the Maryland Department of Human Resources, Maryland Cooperative Extension, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the University of Maryland.

Program and Policy Reports from Rural Families Speak

An Assessment of a Home-visiting Intervention and Rural Low-income Children’s School Readiness
Garrett County Speaks
Author: Christine Schull
Year: 2006

Rural, Low-Income Families Speak: Living in Dorchester County
Dorchester County Speaks
Authors: Bonnie Braun and Melissa Rudd
Year: 2002

Drama Based on Rural Families Speak

Livin’ on Life’s Byways: Rural Mothers Speak is a dramatization of stories from real, low-income mothers and their families living in Maryland.  The mothers are representative of the 413 who participated in a 17-state, multidisciplinary, longitudinal study tracking the well-being of rural families in the wake of welfare reform.  All were eligible for, or receiving, food assistance.  The drama focuses on the challenges faced by rural, low-income families in raising children, making ends meet, food security, health, employment and civic engagement.

Posters and presentations stemming from Rural Families Speak

Strengthening Rural Maryland Families – 2006

The Rural Maryland Families Speak Study found that a substantial number of low-income rural Maryland families are faced with poor mental and physical health, lack of adequate health care services, and high cost of health care services that exceed inadequate insurance.  Key findings from this longitudinal study highlighted the need for expanded family strengthening programs in rural Maryland.  With funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Rural Maryland Council was able to address these needs through the Strengthening Rural Maryland Families direct services grants program.  Over two grant cycles, 12 family strengthening programs have been funded in community-based organizations in rural counties across the state.  This poster highlights funded programs and outcomes achieved across the two grant periods.  The grant program is managed by the University of Maryland Department of Family Science.

Health and Nutrition in Low-Income Families – June 2004

Health and nutrition for low-income residents of Garrett County are highlighted in a talk prepared by Dr. Bonnie Braun and Dr. Elaine Anderson for the Steps to a Healthier Community: Taking the First Steps Conference (Garrett County, MD, June 2004).  Community experts and advocates in nutrition, fitness, medicine, education, human resources, and business met to discuss community outreach efforts and effective strategies for building collaborative county initiatives to address disease prevention and behavior change, particularly around issues of health, nutrition, and exercise. 

PROJECT FRESH – 2007

Project FRESH is a school-based nutrition education intervention and evaluation project aimed at increasing elementary school students’ fruit and vegetable consumption.  Interventions of this project include: introducing nutrition education into 4th and 5th grade curricula, enhancing the school cafeteria environment, collaborating with the teaching faculty, food service workers, and school administrators, providing healthy activities for the entire family, offering nutrition workshops to parents and guardians, encouraging gardening, and bringing a farmer’s market directly to the community. 

Project FRESH was piloted in FY 2007 in a Baltimore County Elementary School with 70% of students eligible for free or reduced price meals.  FRESH has since expanded to additional project sites. 

For more information about Project FRESH, including the pilot evaluation results from FY 2007, please view the brief report and PowerPoint presentation

POLICY ANALYSIS DOCUMENTS

The goal of policy analysis is to help Maryland citizens and policymakers understand the possible impacts of state or federal legislation on individuals and families.

Prescription Drugs – The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003

A policy analysis tool, with questions and references is available at:

PROJECT REPORTS

Project reports examine the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations, and include specific recommendations for change or improvement in future programmatic initiatives.

Dads Make a Difference Evaluation Report
Authors: Elaine Anderson and Stephanie Grutzmacher
Year: 2005

Maryland Responsible Fatherhood Evaluation Report
Authors: Elaine Anderson and Julie Kohler
Year: 2002

Child Support Enforcement Evaluation Report
Author: Elaine Anderson
Year: 2001

FAMILY POLICY ELECTION/Legislative GUIDES

Presidential Election Guide on Family Issues, 2012

For a detailed description of this family issues voting guide for the upcoming presidential election, please view the 2012 guide here.

Legislative Guide, 2010

In an effort to inform the public about the impacts of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act on families, family policy doctoral students in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health compiled this family health impact analysis guide. It presents an objective, non-partisan collection of information regarding the implications of the health care law's provision on families.

Family Election Guide, 2008

For a detailed description of this family issues voting guide, view the 2008 guide here.

Family Election Guide, 2006

In the November 2006 elections, various family related referendums came under scrutiny as different state’s electorate decided on whether to pass or reject the current proposition placed before them on the ballot. In an effort to inform voters of the specifics of these referendums, family policy doctoral students in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland compiled this referendum voting guide. The guide presents an objective non-partisan collection of information on important family-related issues, including child custody and support, domestic partnership, education, health, illegal immigration, marriage, minimum wage, and parental notification for minors.  Find the 2006 Election Guide here

Family Election Guide, 2004

In an effort to inform voters about where the two major presidential candidates stood on family-relevant issues, family policy doctoral students in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland compiled this family issues voting guide.  This guide presents an objective, non-partisan collection of information comparing candidates on important family policies such as health care, child care, stem-cell research, unemployment, immigration, same-sex marriage, welfare reform, and Medicaid.  Find the 2004 Election guide here.