Claudia J. Coulton, PhD

Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Research & Social Change
PhD, Case Western Reserve University
MSW, Ohio State University
BA, Ohio Wesleyan University

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Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7164


Claudia Coulton is Distinguished University Professor and the Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Social Research, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. She is also founder and Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. She is the author of over 150 journal articles, book chapters and policy reports and is a frequent presenter at national conferences. Her contributions to the field have been recognized with a number of awards including induction into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.Read the rest of her bio

Course List

  • Introduction to Social Research
  • Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation

Recent Publications

Coulton, C.J. & Spilsbury, J. (In press). Community and place based understanding of child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, I. Frones, F. Casas & J. Korbin (Eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being, New York/ Heidelberg: Springer.
Fischer, R. L
., Vadapalli, D., & Coulton, C.J. (In press). Merge ahead, increase speed: Bringing human services nonprofits together to explore restructuring options.Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 

Coulton, C.J., Theodos, B., & Turner, M.A.,(in press), Residential mobility and neighborhood change: Real neighborhoods under the microscope. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research.

In The News

Claudia Coulton Talks Child Poverty in Youngstown Vindicator

Nov 14 2014

Coulton_Claudia_200According to recently released Census data, Youngstown, OH has the second highest rate of children living in poverty (63.3 percent) amongst all cities in the nation with a population of at least 60,000. “Compared to other developed countries in the world, that’s a very high percent of our children, our future, to have in poverty,” said Dr. Claudia Coulton, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, in “4 Ohio cities reach child poverty rates of 50 percent or more” on November 8, 2014 in The Vindicator of Youngstown.

“I think the average person doesn’t really realize how devastating the consequences of poverty are, especially when it’s experienced among young children,” said Coulton who added that the national child-poverty rate was about 22 percent in 2013.

Three other cities in northeast Ohio have child-poverty rates near or greater than 50 percent: Cleveland, Canton, and Lorain. Including Youngstown, all four cities are among the 14 worst in the United States.

See also:

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Claudia Coulton New Book Launch, Live Webcast

Nov 10 2014

StrengtheningCommunities_coverStrengthening Communities with Neighborhood Data, the new book co-authored by Dr. Claudia Coulton, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and Lillian F. Harris Professor of Urban Research & Social Change at the Mandel School, will be released on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from the Urban Institute.

As part of the release, Dr. Coulton, along with co-authors G. Thomas Kingsley and Kathryn L. S. Pettit, will be participating in a live webcast discussion also on November 12 at 2:00 p.m. EST. Registration encouraged but not required.

From the press release: Efforts to address the problems of distressed urban neighborhoods stretch back to the 1800s, but until relatively recently, data played little role in forming policy. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that all of the factors necessary for rigorous, multifaceted analysis of neighborhood conditions – automated government records, geospatial information systems, and local organizations that could leverage both – converged. Strengthening Communities documents that convergence and details its progress, plotting the ways data are improving local governance in America.

To download the free ebook or order a hard copy, visit http:/

The webcast discussion will begin promptly at 2:00 p.m. on November 12. For inquiries regarding this event, please contact Ivy Hunter at

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Claudia Coulton Discusses Poverty and Health in Plain Dealer

Sep 30 2014

child pov by neighbor 2008-12With recent Census data indicating that 54 percent of children in the City of Cleveland live in poverty,  the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked Dr. Claudia Coulton, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, about the relationship between poverty and health for “More than half of Cleveland kids live in poverty, and it’s making them sick” on September 30, 2014.

“Poverty is stressful both for the parents and the children, because of the uncertainty of life, and basic life needs that face families on a very tight income,” said Dr. Coulton who believes it’s very clear that stress is the mechanism linking poverty with poor health. Compounding the problem, the longer the stress lasts the more adversely it effects the health of the child. “Long-term poverty, particularly that starts in childhood, is a big factor in differences in health outcomes, even on into adulthood.”

While Cleveland has one of the highest poverty rates for children in the country, Coulton believes “Cleveland is really out ahead of the nation” on building a coalition to increase prekindergarten enrollment. Studies have shown high quality Pre-K and childcare can greatly helps low-income children be prepared for school. PRE4CLE, a partnership begun earlier this year, plans to double the number of Cleveland children in preschool.  The Poverty Center is a technical consultant to the Cleveland Pre-K Task Force.

Dr. Coulton and the Poverty Center have been studying poverty in the region, its affects on children, and the benefits of prekindergarten for decades. The above map is from a recent Poverty Center report on child poverty. See also:

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The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

mandel center webClaudia J. Coulton, Ph.D is founder and Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.. | Read More





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