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HCA430 Assessment of Community-Level Barriers

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Running Head: ASSESSMENT OF COMMUNITY 1
Assessment of Community-Level Barriers
RaShea Lane
HCA 430 Special Populations
Prof. Betsey Morthland
August 26, 2013

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ASSESSMENT OF COMMUNITY
2
Assessment of Community-Level Barriers
The population chosen for analysis is vulnerable mothers and children. According to
Christine Ferguson (2007), “vulnerable populations include groups of people whose health care
needs exceed the average or who are ‘a greater risk [than the average person] for poor health
status and health care access” (p. 1359). Young mothers become vulnerable because they lack
education primarily to support themselves and their children, which then leads to other personal
barriers that make their situation worse. Due to the deficiency of schooling, single and
vulnerable mothers are not adequately equipped to take care of their children in a way that would
give them a good lifestyle. Research conducted by Flores, Bauchner, Feinstein and Nguyen
(1999) showed the key indicators of health, infant mortality rates and low-birth weight rates were
elevated when infants were born to mothers who were less educated. Clearly, this is the biggest
barrier affecting the health and well being of this group of vulnerable populations.
Vulnerable mothers are not as motivated and skilled to take on the challenges of life, and
as a result of this important barrier another arises on the micro-level; i.e. financial barriers.
McLoyd (1990) found that “poverty and economic loss diminish the capacity for supportive,
consistent, and involved parenting and render parents more vulnerable to the debilitating effects
of negative life events” (p. 311). As we think about this, the major reason for this cause and
effect is the mental stress that lack of finances carries with it. This socioeconomic hardship
adversely affects the parents’ (mothers in our case) behavior towards the children, hence giving
way to their vulnerable position.
The third barrier is on the macro-level that is also intertwined with the micro level
barrier. Low socioeconomics can influence health outcomes through having access to and
availability of health care. It becomes an obstacle, as most of the welfare policy makers do not

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