Family Economics Research Priorities Set

Article excerpt

During the 2005, 2006, and 2007 annual meetings, members of the Family Economics Research Coordinating Committee (NCCC052) developed three national research priorities for family economics research. This committee, functioning under the National Agricultural Experiment Station System, facilitates collaboration among family economics researchers nationally and internationally and provides a forum to examine research methodology and family economic issues indepth from a multidisciplinary perspective. In addition, the committee fosters development of research related to the economic well being of individuals and families that is of interest to multiple institutions across the nation. Much of the financial research that is conducted relates to one or more of these priorities. It is possible that researchers and educators might use this document to justify the importance of their work.

2007-2010 Research Priorities

Planning for a Secure Financial Future

Financial security is the ability to meet day-to-day obligations while planning, saving, and investing to achieve future financial goals such as education, retirement, homeownership, and small business startup. By building assets and managing debt, households are better able to contribute to the economic vitality of their communities. More research is needed to determine the practices that motivate people to build wealth and not debt. Additional research is needed to examine the relationships between economically secure families, community prosperity, civic engagement, and rural entrepreneurship.

Household Food Security and Health

Research has explored the links between family socioeconomic status and issues of food security and health. Resources such as community food support programs, the local health care system, and employer-sponsored benefit programs profoundly influence family food security and health. How families use these resources also can influence their food security and health. Independently, none of the resources can fully address these issues. To comprehensively address health and food security, research must look at all of these resources and the interactions among them.

Loss in Times of Disaster

Research is needed on the economic consequences and adjustments of households following natural disasters, terrorism, and wars. Vulnerability is the risk of substantial losses from which families may have difficulty recovering or may never recover. These losses are emotional, social, and financial because of the loss of family members, personal health, jobs, houses, household goods, cars, financial incomes, assets, and social support at interpersonal and community levels. …