Since the 1960s federal and local initiatives have been put in place to decrease the staggering socioeconomic disparities in the United States. Considerable debate has been fueled by the conception of adequate solutions to address the employment crisis (Kregel, 2011). Despite the increase in supportive services made available to the public, low-income families continue to face distinct challenges that limit employment and vocational opportunities (Athreya & Romero, 2015; Crouter & Booth, 2014; Presser, 2014), a situation particularly true for ethnic minorities navigating the systems of employment in the US (Fullerton & Anderson 2013; Mazumder, 2011). The purpose of this study was to expand upon the research and applications of a community health worker (CHW) and investigate the Launch Initiative – a program developed to improve socioeconomic mobility. For the quantitative analysis, a series of regression models was used to assess socioeconomic changes over time. In addition, a narrative thematic analysis was used to understand the participant’s processes linked to their experience in the program. Results of this study may help to identify alternatives relevant to the ongoing debate on universal approaches to bridge the socioeconomic gap in the US.

LLU Discipline

Systems, Families, and Couples


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Brian J. Distelberg

Second Advisor

Zephon Lister

Third Advisor

Lena Lopez-Bradley

Fourth Advisor

Janice Ewing

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Evaluation of human services programs; Social mobility; Socioeconomic Disparities



Page Count

xv, 149 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives