Abstracts Spring 2008

Spring 2008, Vol. 13, No. 1
ISSN 1540 5273

What makes older adults vulnerable to exploitation or abuse?

Eun-Jin Kim, Tarleton State University, Loren Geistfeld, Ohio State University


A review of the literature suggests elder vulnerability is a combination of three factors: health status, cognitive ability, and social support. Elder vulnerability variables were identified and applied to data from the 2000 Health and Retirement Study. Multivariate regression analyses of the data revealed that the most vulnerable elderly are older, less educated, ethnic minorities, and often living in rural areas. Intervention programs should focus on these vulnerable older populations to improve their quality of life. Full Text

Consumer satisfaction and the dual-self economic model: Why consumer education can be both informative and transformative

Russell N. James III, University of Georgia


Consumer education has always had a recognized informational role in promoting consumer well-being. This paper proposes that emerging economic theory – in particular the dual-self economic model of consumer decision making – supports an additional, transformational role for consumer education. Evidence from experimental economics supporting the dual-self view of consumers – instead of the purely rational consumer of traditional neo-classical economics – is reviewed. By teaching not only about products, but also about effective self-management techniques within this emerging model, consumer educators may ultimately have a much larger impact on consumption decisions and life satisfaction. Full Text

Addressing mortgage default and delinquency before it occurs: An evaluation framework for the homeownership counseling industry

Andrew T. Carswell, University of Georgia


The decade of the 1990s helped usher in a renewed effort to increase the U.S. homeownership rate. This was achieved largely through the elimination of barriers to previously underserved populations that had traditionally not experienced home ownership. The rise of the housing counseling industry, particularly pre-purchase counseling, coincided with the rise in homeownership opportunities. This new emphasis on pre-purchase homeownership counseling served two purposes: to educate clients about the responsibilities of homeownership and to mitigate risk of delinquency and foreclosure. Still, there is much ambiguity over the proper role that housing counselors should fill in evaluating clients after the housing counseling intervention. A framework for evaluation of homeownership counseling clients is provided, and specifically makes the case for more emphasis by counselors on providing follow-up during the first few years of vulnerability after the home has been purchased, in a more active attempt to prevent mortgage default and foreclosure. Full Text

Financial harmony: A key component of successful marriage relationship

Carolyn Washburn, Utah State University Extension, Darlene Christensen, Utah State University Extension


Couples in successful marriages have mastered the skill of financial harmony in their relationships. Marriage commitment and healthy communications are maintained when couples have set guidelines and boundaries for their financial decisions. Understanding the value that each partner places on money, and respecting that both partners will have equal rights and responsibilities with control of the finances, will strengthen the marriage bonds.

Marriage is fragile. Financial harmony is critical for validation, freedom, power, respect, security, and happiness. Couples must realize the great importance that money has in their relationships and learn to define guidelines for money management.

Couples resist attending workshops on finance and relationships. Therefore, educators must be creative in offering opportunities for couples to spend more time together in an educational setting. Curricula for relationship courses need to include discussions of personal money values and spending habits to help students develop strong and healthy marriages. Full Text

Oracle bones: Divination of collaboration behavior?

Donna J. Peterson, The University of Arizona, Sherry C. Betts, The University of Arizona, James C. Roebuck, The University of Arizona, Lynne M. Borden, The University of Arizona


The present study tested a five-stage collaboration continuum model that is frequently used to identify the level of community linkage needed to best address an identified problem. Data were collected through a national study of 3,404 Cooperative Extension professionals who work with children, youth, and families using the Organizational Change Survey. Questions on collaboration focused on the style of working relationship with community, state, and federal agencies and organizations outside the Cooperative Extension System. Results support the collaboration continuum model. Implications of these results for future research, training, and program development are discussed. Full Text

“What’s Cooking?” Culinary nutrition education at the supermarket

Jennifer J. Kamps, Clemson University, Margaret D. Condrasky, Clemson University, Katherine L. Cason, Clemson University


The “What’s Cooking” supermarket culinary nutrition program complements the skills of Cooperative Extension and health promotion professionals by partnering with a chef to deliver a new hands-on meal preparation series. This study evaluated the effects of this approach with parents for increasing nutrition awareness, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and cooking frequency at home. Intervention participants received print materials, interacted with the program delivery team, and sampled recipes during a supermarket seven-week program. The control group received materials only. Baseline and follow-up on-line surveys and focus groups were conducted and analyzed for both groups. The intervention group demonstrated significant increases in five awareness-, two consumption-, and two cooking-related items. “What’s Cooking” demonstrated positive results and further supermarket implementation and testing of materials can yield valuable insight toward long-term program effectiveness. The program can further target adolescent and busy moms and other traditionally difficult-to-reach audiences. Full Text



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