Colleen Marie Heflin

University of Missouri
Truman School of Public Affairs

229 Middlebush Hall
Truman School of Public Affairs
Columbia, MO

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Dr. Heflin's work is informed by the study of process that create systems and patterns of social stratification. However, since she is interested in how social policies affect the well-being of vulnerable populations, her work falls at the boundaries of sociology, economics, public health, public administration, and women's studies. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on understanding the survival strategies employed by low-income households to make ends meet, the implications of using these strategies for individual and household well-being, and how public policies influence well-being. A central focus of her work has been understanding the causes and consequences of material hardship. Current projects examine how the population using food stamps and unemployment insurance have changed with the recent recession, how household wealth may be impacted when siblings experience economic shocks, and the extent to which veteran status moderates the association between disability status and poverty/material hardship. Characteristics changed after Florida implemented a multi-program on-line application system in 2005. While on-line application systems may increase access for some populations, such as employed individuals, if they are accompanied by a decrease in services at state-run service centers, as they have been in Florida, they may decrease access for other populations including the elderly, those with language difficulties, and Black and Hispanic populations, groups with lower levels of internet use. Specifically, we explore the effect of moving to an on-line application system on the size of the Food Stamp caseload and how flows onto and off of the program been influenced.

Heflin, Colleen M., and James P. Ziliak. 2008. "Food Insufficiency, Food Stamp Participation and Mental Health." Social Science Quarterly 89 (3): 706-727.
Heflin, Colleen M., and John Iceland. 2009. "Poverty, Hardship and Depression." Social Science Quarterly 90 (5).
Heflin, Colleen M., John Sandberg, and Patrick Rafail. 2009. "The Structure of Material Hardship in U.S. Households: An Examination of the Coherence Behind Common Measures of Well-Being." Social Problems 56 (4): 746-764.

Substantive Focus:
Social Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation