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Current and Recent Research

MEND Service Area

MEND Service Area Abbreviated Study: 2000-2010

This abbreviated study surveys demographic trends in the MEND Service Area. The data and analysis presented in this abbreviated study are drawn from the 2000 and 2010 Census of the United States, the 2010 American Community Survey (5-year summary), and the Longitudinal Tract Data Base from Brown University’s Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences.






The Northeastern San Fernando Valley: A Snapshot of Poverty Indicators, 2011.

Professor Josh Sides, jsides@csun.edu

This brief report uses American Community Survey data from 2009 to assess the state of poverty in the Northeastern San Fernando Valley. One of the most striking demographic trends of the previous decades has been the steady increase in single‐mother households. The increase was most dramatic in the community of Arleta, where the percentages of households that were headed by single mothers with a child under 18 years of age increased by approximately 53% between 2000 and 2009. Because single‐ parent householdership often correlates strongly with poverty, this is a potentially troublesome trend.



Promoting Transfer Students' Success via Faculty-Student Research Collaborations

Professor Robert Youmans, et. al., ryouman2@gmu.edu

Although many Southern-California residents have benefited from the community-college system, research shows that most students who transfer to a four-year university receive little support from either the community college they are leaving or the university to which they are transferring. As a result, although transfer students are a highly motivated and academically successful population, transfer students often experience so-called ‘transfer shock’, a state of alienation, loneliness, and lack of engagement with students and faculty in the new university setting. This paper reports data about sixteen transfer students at California State University, Northridge who volunteered to become student researchers in the lead author’s research group. Although the study was limited in scope, the data suggests that transfer students who become research assistants may spend more time volunteering on campus, less time working in off-campus employment, and feel better about being able to cope with the challenges of university life. We argue that both faculty and transfer students would benefit from formal academic programs that promote collaborative research projects between faculty and transfer students on university campuses.


The Invisible Unattended: Low-Wage Chinese Immigrants Workers, Health Care, and Social Capital in Southern California's San Gabriel Valley

Professor Kay Kei-ho Pih, kay.pih@csun.edu

This study investigates the availability of health insurance, access to health care, and health care information dissemination among low-wage Chinese immigrants in Southern California. Pierre Bourdieu’s capital analysis is used as the major theoretical strategy to examine health care information dissemination and its relations to access to health care. Our findings reveal a severe shortage in health care coverage among low-wage Chinese immigrants. The lack of coverage is partially explained by the lack of employment with employer-provided health insurance within the Chinese ethnoburb. Results also suggest significant capital deficits among low-wage Chinese immigrants. Despite the possession of social capital, network closure caused by the language barrier negatively affected the flow of health care information from mainstream American society into the low-wage Chinese immigrant community.


Can We Breathe and Be Economically Competitive? Air Quality Regulations and Economic Growth in the Metal Finishing Industry in Los Angeles

Professor Ward Thomas, thomas@csun.edu

Air pollution emitted from firms and industries in the U.S. poses a significant threat to human health and the environment. Economists, however, have traditionally opposed environmental policies that regulate polluting industries based on the argument that regulations increase firm costs and lead to a decline in economic growth. Some recent research has challenged this standard economic argument, suggesting that polluting firms often adjust to environmental regulations by investing in cleaner technologies that increase productivity and foster economic growth. This study examines the effects of environmental regulations on economic growth and firm adjustment through a case study of the metal finishing industry in the South Coast Basin of Southern California (Basin). Metal finishing firms emit hexavalent chromium into the ambient air during the metal finishing process, a highly toxic chemical linked to cancer. The Basin has a large concentration of metal finishing firms and the industry in the Basin has been strictly regulated since 1988 by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD). A comparative analysis was conducted of the growth of the metal finishing industry in the Basin with the growth of the metal finishing industries in Chicago and Detroit. These two regions also have large concentrations of metal finishing firms, but have not been subject to the same regulations, providing the analysis with some quasi-experimental controls. The findings suggest that AQMD regulations have not have a detrimental impact on the growth of the metal finishing industry in the Basin. Moreover, the metal finishing industry in the Basin adjusted to regulations by adopting air pollution control technologies. AQMD regulations have substantially reduced the emission of hexavalent chromium into the ambient air from the metal finishing industry in the Basin, significantly reducing health risks to the total population.


Renewal Through Retail? The Impact of Corporate Retail Investment in South Los Angeles

Professor Josh Sides, jsides@csun.edu

This study assesses the impact of the Chesterfield Square retail development, opened in 2001, on the surrounding community in South Los Angeles. African American leaders and developers have long argued that bringing new retail businesses to South Los Angeles will not only create new jobs but also have a “spillover effect” by luring other employers to the area, and will improve neighborhoods by reducing crime and raising property values. Did Chesterfield Square have this effect?