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Kristin S. Seefeldt

Associate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Associate Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy

Kristin S. Seefeldt

Associate Professor Kristin Seefeldt’s primary research interests lie in exploring how low-income individuals understand their situations, particularly around issues related to work and economic well being.

Currently, she is conducting research on families’ financial coping strategies and is a Principal Investigator of a survey examining the effects of the recession and recovery policies on individuals’ well being.

Her most recent book, Abandoned Families (Russell Sage), explores the ways in which various institutions that once fostered economic security and upward mobility, currently fail low and moderate income families, particularly families of color. She is also the author of Working After Welfare (W.E. Upjohn Institute Press), which discusses employment and work-family balance challenges among former welfare recipients, and a co-author of America’s Poor and the Great Recession (Indiana University Press).

Research Interests/Focus

Poverty, economic well being, financial coping strategies, recession, recovery policies, work-life balance


Year Degree   School
2010 PhD Sociology and Public Policy University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1996 MPP Public Policy University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
1990 BA American Government Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Elliott, W., Starks, B., Seefeldt, K., & Ellis, J. M. (2018). Children's savings account programs provide parents with the opportunity to plan and talk about college with their children and others. Sociology Mind, 8, 345-365.

Kim, H., Burgard, S., & Seefeldt, K. (2017). Housing assistance and housing insecurity: A study of renters in southeastern Michigan in the wake of the great recession. Social Service Review, 91(1), 41-70.

Kim, H., Burgard, S. A., & Seefeldt, K. S. (2017). Housing Assistance and Housing Insecurity: A Study of Renters in Southeastern Michigan in the Wake of the Great Recession. Social Service Review, 91(1), 41-70.

Seefeldt, K. S. (2017). Serving No One Well: TANF Nearly Twenty Years Later. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 44(2), 3-28.

Seefeldt, K. S. (2016). Abandoned Families: Social Isolation in the 21st Century. New York: Russell Sage.

Seefeldt, K. S. (2015). Constant consumption smoothing, limited investments, and few repayments: The role of debt in the financial lives of economically vulnerable families. Social Service Review, 89(2). The University of Chicago Press.

Seefeldt, K. S. (2015). Waiting it out: Time, action, and the process of securing benefits. Qualitative Social Work. Sage Journals.

Danziger, S. K., Danziger, S. H., Seefeldt, K. S. & Shaefer, H. L. (2015). From welfare to a work-based safety net: An incomplete transition. point/counterpoint. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(1), 231-238.

Seefeldt, K. S., & Sandstrom H. (2015). When there is no welfare: The income packaging strategies of mothers without earnings or cash assistance following an economic downturn. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 1(1), 139-158.

Danziger, S. K., Seefeldt, K. S., & Shaefer, H. L. (2015). Increasing work opportunities and reducing poverty two decades after welfare reform. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(1), 241-244. Wiley Publications.

Danziger, S. K., Allard, S. W., Wathen, M. V., Burgard, S. A., Seefeldt, K. S., Rodems, R., & Cohen, A. (2014). Food insecurity in the Detroit Metropolitan Area following the Great Recession. Policy Brief, 34. Ann Arbor, MI: National Poverty Center, University of Michigan.

Sandstrom, H., Seefeldt, K., Huerta, S., & Loprest, P. (2014). Understanding the dynamics of disconnection from employment and assistance. OPRE Report. Washington, D.C.: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Seefeldt, K. S., & Graham, J. (2013). America's Poor and the Great Recession. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Guzman, T., Pirog, M. A., & Seefeldt, K. S. (2013). Social policy: What have we learned? Policy Studies Journal, 41(S1), S53-S70.

Harding, D., & Seefeldt, K. S. (2013). Mixed methods and causal research. In S. L. Morgan (Ed.), Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research. New York: Springer.

Burgard, S., Seefeldt, K. S., & Zelner, S. (2012). Housing instability and health: findings from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study. Social Science and Medicine, 75(12), 2215-2224.

Burgard, S. A., Kalousova, L., & Seefeldt, K. S. (2012). Perceived job insecurity and health: the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 54(9), 1101-1106.

Burgard, S., Danziger, S., Seefeld, K., Allard, S., Danziger, S. K., Engler, T., Gould-Werth, A., Kalousova, L., Pelak, S., & Wathen, M. (2012). Persisting hardships in southeast Michigan after the Great Recession. Policy Brief, 33. National Poverty Center, University of Michigan.

Gould-Werth, A. & Seefeldt, K. (2012). Material hardship in the wake of the Great Recession: findings from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study. National Poverty Center Policy Brief, 35.

Seefeldt, K. S. (2008). Working After Welfare: How Women Balance Jobs and Family in the Wake of Welfare Reform. Kalamazoo, MI: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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