- This study investigated the level of available resources, the
use of available resources, and the degree of planning and personal
perception of the situation of four female heads of households under
60 years old and four households with male heads over 65 years old.
The study was conducted in the Badger Mountain census division of Lane
The case study method was used in this study. An average of seven
and one-half hours were spent with each household with an average of
three hours per visit. All households contacted cooperated and followed
through with the study.
The female heads had a mean age of 40.0 years, with a mean of
2.25 children. They had a mean of 9.25 years of schooling and two
had some vocational training. Only one had a part-time job; the other
three were primarily dependent on Aid to Families with Dependent
Children (AFDC) grants for financial support. Other sources of
monetary resources were Social Security, veterans benefits,
food stamps, and child support payments. Total yearly monetary
income ranged from $3,074 to $3,981.
The major asset for two households was equity in their home.
For the other two, home furnishings was the major asset. No insurance
or savings were held by any household with a female head.
Non-money income ranged from $300 to $3,235 per year. Community
resources were used to varying degrees by all. However, planning and
budgeting was practiced by only two of the households. There was an
indication of hope and effort to become more self sufficient in all
The male heads of households had a mean age of 79.0 years; their
spouses' was 71.25 years. Mean grade in school completed was 7.2
years for the male heads and 8.2 for their spouses. All the male
heads had vocational training, two of their spouses also had some.
The households consisted of only husband and wife in all four cases.
One household was still engaged in income producing work; all
four households depended mainly on Social Security payments for financial
support. Other sources of monetary resources were Veteran's
benefits, sale of farm and garden produce, sale of handicrafts, food
stamps, and "water witching." Total monetary resources ranged from
$2,296 to $4,136.
Major assets for the four households were equity in their home,
automobile, and savings. Non-money income ranged from $1,931 to $3,930
per year. All four households had a garden to supplement food bought from the stores. The level of use of community resources was
related to the level of involvement with the home /farm.
Planning and budgeting was practiced to some degree by all four
households. An air of optimism prevailed, but apprehension about
future health problems was also present.