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November 18, 1961

Family Spending Patterns and Health Care

JAMA. 1961;178(7):780. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040460088025

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This book represents the findings of a health attitude study conducted by H. Ashley Weeks, Ph.D., who sought to explore the following problems. Why do some families take better care of their health than others? Within a homogeneous group of families, can part of the answer be found in the families' spending patterns and income?

Dr. Weeks chose the Hackensack, N. J., area as the site for this study. To minimize uncontrollable sociological, ethnic, and racial variables, only nativeborn, white, Protestant, intact families whose income was generally thought to be moderate, were interviewed. The families were divided by income into 4 groups ranging from income under $5,000 per year to families with income in excess of $9,000 per year.

Each family in the study was called upon by a lay interviewer using a 65-question survey form. The interview covered such areas as: family background; income and payroll deductions; debt management;

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