Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Toni Pauls

Project Type

EdD Colloquium - ONU

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Families who reside in rural communities and live in poverty often experience a lack of quality of life supports, which impacts their mental health and exasperates any special needs they may have. Research in regards to these concerns, has historically focused on southern states and or the impacts of poverty in urban settings. This phenomenological qualitative research study reveals quality of life supports that impoverished families living in rural communities in Central Illinois often do without. This study further examines the families’ perceived barriers to those supports. The following research questions guided this study: (1) What quality-of-life supports (employment, food assistance, mental health services, special education) do impoverished families living in rural Central Illinois believe they lack? (2) What do rural families identify as perceived barriers to receiving quality-of-life supports? (3) How are rural families impacted by lack of access to quality-of-life supports? (4) How are the children in rural families impacted by lack of access to quality-of-life supports? Data analysis of interviews and questionnaire responses from eight families living in rural communities in Central Illinois explained a need for mental and physical health supports, food assistance, quality special education services, and local employment opportunities. In turn, the research yielded the following barriers to these supports: lack of transportation services, community resources (including food banks and service agencies), stigma, specialized educational programming/training, and acceptance of state funded insurance. Recommendations for further research include, longer, longitudinal study, larger interview pool, and children specific interviews.

Permission type

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, February 10, 2024

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Quality of Life Disparities for the Rural Economically Disadvantaged

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Families who reside in rural communities and live in poverty often experience a lack of quality of life supports, which impacts their mental health and exasperates any special needs they may have. Research in regards to these concerns, has historically focused on southern states and or the impacts of poverty in urban settings. This phenomenological qualitative research study reveals quality of life supports that impoverished families living in rural communities in Central Illinois often do without. This study further examines the families’ perceived barriers to those supports. The following research questions guided this study: (1) What quality-of-life supports (employment, food assistance, mental health services, special education) do impoverished families living in rural Central Illinois believe they lack? (2) What do rural families identify as perceived barriers to receiving quality-of-life supports? (3) How are rural families impacted by lack of access to quality-of-life supports? (4) How are the children in rural families impacted by lack of access to quality-of-life supports? Data analysis of interviews and questionnaire responses from eight families living in rural communities in Central Illinois explained a need for mental and physical health supports, food assistance, quality special education services, and local employment opportunities. In turn, the research yielded the following barriers to these supports: lack of transportation services, community resources (including food banks and service agencies), stigma, specialized educational programming/training, and acceptance of state funded insurance. Recommendations for further research include, longer, longitudinal study, larger interview pool, and children specific interviews.