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Personal profile

Research interests

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.


Sociology, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Public Policy, Master of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Social Sciences, BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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Food Assistance Medicine & Life Sciences
food Social Sciences
Food Supply Medicine & Life Sciences
assistance Social Sciences
nutrition situation Social Sciences
poverty Social Sciences
participation Social Sciences
Food Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2017 2020

Research Output 2000 2019

  • 1364 Citations
  • 16 h-Index
  • 46 Article
  • 3 Review article
  • 1 Chapter

Administrative Churn in SNAP and Health Care Utilization Patterns

Heflin, C., Hodges, L. & Ojinnaka, C., Jan 1 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Medical Care.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Food Assistance
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Hospital Emergency Service

Adolescent food insecurity and risky behaviors and mental health during the transition to adulthood

Heflin, C., Kukla-Acevedo, S. & Darolia, R., Oct 1 2019, In : Children and Youth Services Review. 105, 104416.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Health Transition
Food Supply
nutrition situation
Mental Health

Design Flaws: Consequences of the Coverage Gap in Food Programs for Children at Kindergarten Entry

Arteaga, I., Heflin, C. & Parsons, S., Jan 1 2019, In : Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. 41, 2, p. 265-283 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

children's program

Experimental evidence of a work support strategy that is effective for at-risk families: The building Nebraska families program

Meckstroth, A., Moore, Q., Burwick, A., Heflin, C., Ponza, M. & McCay, J., Sep 1 2019, In : Social Service Review. 93, 3, p. 389-428 40 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

family program
2 Citations (Scopus)

SNAP benefits and childhood asthma

Heflin, C., Arteaga, I., Hodges, L., Ndashiyme, J. F. & Rabbitt, M. P., Jan 1 2019, In : Social Science and Medicine. 220, p. 203-211 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hospital Emergency Service