Income Volatility / Economic Losses

Measures of income volatility/economic losses capture the experience of a reduction of financial resources (e.g., income) or inconsistently receiving financial resources.


Source: Parke RD, Coltrane S, Duffy S, et al. Economic stress, parenting, and child adjustment in Mexican American and European American families. Child Development. 2004;75(6):1632-1656.

Psychometric properties:
Reports from mothers and fathers were correlated:
r = 0.32 (European American)
r = 0.52 (Mexican American)

During the last year, have you or your spouse:

Yes No
Changed jobs for a worse one
Experienced negative work changes (e.g., demotions)
Been laid off or dismissed
Had any other involuntary loss of work (e.g., reduction in hours)


Source: Zemore SE, Mulia N, Jones-Webb RJ, et al. The 2008–2009 recession and alcohol outcomes: Differential exposure and vulnerability for Black and Latino populations. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2013;74(1):9-20.

Psychometric properties:
“All items were associated with a seven-category measure of annual household income, supporting their validity (p values < .001).” (pg 11 in Zemore, et al, 2013)

Did you or anyone in your household:

Never Sometimes Most times Every month
Lose a job
Lose their housing (either owned or rented)
Have their hours or pay reduced at work
Have trouble paying the rent or mortgage


Source: Prochnow JE, Defronzo JV. The impact of economic and parental characteristics on juvenile misconduct. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. 1997;5(2):119-124.

Psychometric properties: Not reported.

During the last few years, your financial situation has:

  • Got better
  • Stayed the same
  • Got worse