Skip to main content
Back to Top

SSRC Library

The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

Writing a paper? Working on a literature review? Citing research in a funding proposal? Use the SSRC Citation Assistance Tool to compile citations.

  • Conduct a search and filter parameters as desired.
  • "Check" the box next to the resources for which you would like a citation.
  • Select "Download Selected Citation" at the top of the Library Search Page.
  • Select your export style:
    • Text File.
    • RIS Format.
    • APA format.
  • Select submit and download your citations.

The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Fusaro, Vincent A.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2017

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the program created by welfare reform in 1996, is implemented as a fixed federal block grant that states partially match through a "Maintenance of Effort" contribution. States can use funds in support of any of the four goals of reform: ending dependence on public support through work and marriage, promoting the formation and maintenance of two-parent families, reducing the incidence of out-of-wedlock births, and facilitating care of children in their own homes. Rather than a cash assistance program, TANF is a funding stream states partially use for cash assistance. Traditional welfare now only constitutes approximately one-quarter of TANF expenditures, though the fraction varies widely by state. Most research on state TANF implementation, however, examines the requirements and activities associated with cash assistance receipt. This dissertation comprises three studies intended to better align welfare scholarship with the contemporary form of TANF. The first study examines state TANF cash assistance expenditures and change in...

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the program created by welfare reform in 1996, is implemented as a fixed federal block grant that states partially match through a "Maintenance of Effort" contribution. States can use funds in support of any of the four goals of reform: ending dependence on public support through work and marriage, promoting the formation and maintenance of two-parent families, reducing the incidence of out-of-wedlock births, and facilitating care of children in their own homes. Rather than a cash assistance program, TANF is a funding stream states partially use for cash assistance. Traditional welfare now only constitutes approximately one-quarter of TANF expenditures, though the fraction varies widely by state. Most research on state TANF implementation, however, examines the requirements and activities associated with cash assistance receipt. This dissertation comprises three studies intended to better align welfare scholarship with the contemporary form of TANF. The first study examines state TANF cash assistance expenditures and change in expenditures over time using multilevel growth curve models and a sample of all states from 1998 to 2013. I express expenditures as a per-family-in-poverty expense and as a percentage of overall TANF spending. Predictors include a number of political, social, and economic factors. I pay particular attention to the role of race in state politics. In contrast to many earlier studies, which operationalize the salience of race using welfare caseload or population demographics, I create a state-level measure of the prevalence of white stereotyping of blacks. I find that a larger proportion of whites expressing negative views of blacks is related to reduced basic assistance effort but not to rate of change in effort. Additionally, fiscal distress is associated with lower cash assistance effort. In the second study I investigate influences on categorical uses of TANF funds from 2000 to 2013. For categories of expenditures, such as work activities and supportive services, in which almost all states expend resources in almost all years, I estimate multilevel linear models of spending, again expressed both as percentages of total effort and as per-family-in-poverty expenditures. For categories with less consistent spending, I estimate logistic regression models of the probability of a state spending in the category in 2001, 2006, and 2012. I once again find a relationship between prevalence of negative stereotypes of blacks among whites and basic assistance spending. It is also related to the probability of a state using resources for pregnancy prevention or two-parent family support. Fiscal stress is associated with a higher probability of a state transferring funds to the Social Services Block Grant. Finally, the third study considers the consequences of the decline of cash assistance for low-income families. Using data from the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (2001-2013), I model food insecurity in low-income households as a function of state cash assistance coverage (ratio of TANF cases to low-income families). Higher coverage is associated with a reduced risk of food insecurity, particularly for households headed by a single female with no other adults. Coverage is generally not related to the presence of an employed adult in the household, however. Tying economic relief to the low-wage labor market, while having beneficial effects for some, has also increased the risk of material hardship in the most vulnerable households. Market-oriented policy may have limits as a safety net of last resort. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Kimberlin, Sara Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2013

    This study uses an alternative poverty measure recently developed by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), in place of the official federal poverty measure (OPM) to determine who qualifies as poor, and analyzes poverty from a longitudinal rather than cross-sectional perspective, examining chronic or long-term poverty and transient or short-term poverty as distinct phenomena.

    Descriptive analysis was used to examine the prevalence and demographics of chronic and transient poverty, to compare the demographics of chronic and transient poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure versus using the official federal poverty measure, and to examine the impact of existing government benefits, private resources, and household expenses on chronic and transient poverty rates. Results showed that chronic poverty was a rare phenomenon, affecting only 2.1% of the sample or approximately 1 in 50 individuals, while transient poverty was fairly common, affecting 18.9% of the sample or approximately 1 in 20 individuals. The...

    This study uses an alternative poverty measure recently developed by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), in place of the official federal poverty measure (OPM) to determine who qualifies as poor, and analyzes poverty from a longitudinal rather than cross-sectional perspective, examining chronic or long-term poverty and transient or short-term poverty as distinct phenomena.

    Descriptive analysis was used to examine the prevalence and demographics of chronic and transient poverty, to compare the demographics of chronic and transient poverty using the Supplemental Poverty Measure versus using the official federal poverty measure, and to examine the impact of existing government benefits, private resources, and household expenses on chronic and transient poverty rates. Results showed that chronic poverty was a rare phenomenon, affecting only 2.1% of the sample or approximately 1 in 50 individuals, while transient poverty was fairly common, affecting 18.9% of the sample or approximately 1 in 20 individuals. The demographics of chronic and transient poverty were somewhat different, with groups that experienced high rates of transient poverty generally demonstrating even more disproportionately high rates of chronic poverty. Thus chronic poverty was more concentrated among particularly disadvantaged groups, while the population affected by transient poverty was still disadvantaged but more similar to the overall sample. The rates of chronic and transient poverty calculated using the SPM were statistically significantly different from the rates calculated using the official federal poverty measure, for both the overall sample and for many demographic subgroups. In general, chronic poverty rates were lower, and transient poverty rates were higher, when using the SPM versus using the OPM. Finally, government benefits were shown to have a substantial impact on both chronic and transient poverty rates, reducing the overall transient poverty rate from 23.9% to 18.9%, a difference of 5.0 percentage points, and reducing the overall chronic poverty rate from 10.8% to 2.1%, a reduction of 8.7 percentage points. One observed effect of government benefits was to increase household resources just enough to shift some individuals out of chronic poverty into transient poverty.

    Results of this study suggest implications for both research and policy. The finding that rates of chronic and transient poverty differ depending on whether the Supplemental Poverty Measure or official federal poverty measure is used suggests that researchers and policy analysts should consider using the SPM when analyzing longitudinal poverty, as the SPM has a stronger conceptual and empirical grounding than the OPM and did not simply function as a proxy for the OPM when examining poverty longitudinally in this study. Results related to the impact of government benefits on chronic and transient poverty rates suggest that policymakers should consider not just short-term policy impacts, but also the longitudinal impact of specific policies and of the overall package of government benefits on poverty. In addition, the differential impact of policies on chronic versus transient poverty, and on chronic and transient poverty among different demographic subgroups, should be considered. Findings related to the predictors of chronic versus transient poverty suggest that policies to address chronic poverty should target individuals with limited bases of human assets needed to generate income; such policies could function either through asset building or through long-term income supplementation or subsidies. Transient poverty could be addressed by enhancing short-term unemployment support, while policies targeted to asset-limited individuals would be likely to impact transient as well as chronic poverty. Further research to more clearly distinguish predictors of chronic poverty over and above transient poverty would be helpful for policy targeting purposes. Finally, prior research on the impact of chronic and transient poverty on life outcomes suggests that two types of poverty could be considered as priorities for policy interventions, due to greater impact on health and other outcomes, namely chronic poverty (as exposure to longer duration of poverty is associated with worse outcomes) and transient poverty occurring during the sensitive developmental period of childhood (as exposure to even short-term poverty during this sensitive period is associated with serious long-term health and developmental impacts). Results from this study show that addressing either of these two types of poverty could be feasible, if somewhat ambitious policy goals in terms of the number of individuals affected and the cumulative gap between their resources and needs. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Melz, Heidi Marie
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    This study examines the transition to marriage among low-income urban mothers and fathers who are unmarried and have a newborn baby together. The study contributes to an emerging body of research that explores the concept of obstacles to marriage by testing whether obstacles to marriage operate in the way that the descriptive literature has proposed: by standing in the way of loving and committed couples who might otherwise make a smooth transition to marriage. Using survival analysis techniques and data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and introducing a new measure, the Headed to Marriage Index, the study tests the influence that three categories of determinants of marriage — relationship quality, investment in the relationship, and guiding values and beliefs — have on how long couples with a newborn remain unmarried to each other. It also determines whether and how the association between these determinants of marriage and time to marriage is affected by the presence of three obstacles to marriage: low education, poverty, and multiple partner fertility....

    This study examines the transition to marriage among low-income urban mothers and fathers who are unmarried and have a newborn baby together. The study contributes to an emerging body of research that explores the concept of obstacles to marriage by testing whether obstacles to marriage operate in the way that the descriptive literature has proposed: by standing in the way of loving and committed couples who might otherwise make a smooth transition to marriage. Using survival analysis techniques and data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and introducing a new measure, the Headed to Marriage Index, the study tests the influence that three categories of determinants of marriage — relationship quality, investment in the relationship, and guiding values and beliefs — have on how long couples with a newborn remain unmarried to each other. It also determines whether and how the association between these determinants of marriage and time to marriage is affected by the presence of three obstacles to marriage: low education, poverty, and multiple partner fertility. Results show that the Headed to Marriage Index can be used to estimate hazard of marriage among these couples, and that as a predictor of marriage behavior, this simple index performs nearly as well as the individual components that it comprises. Results also show that low education, being in poverty, and having multiple partner fertility are formidable obstacles that might help to explain why some new parents never marry each other, even though they report wanting to. Finally, interaction terms using the Headed to Marriage Index and each of the three obstacles to marriage test the hypothesis that the extent to which these obstacles to marriage matter might differ depending a couple’s score on the Headed to Marriage Index. The results provided evidence that poverty is an obstacle to marriage for couples at all levels of the Headed to Marriage Index, but that its effect grows stronger as HMI score increases. Poverty is a significant barrier to marriage for those who are otherwise most prepared and oriented toward marriage. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ren, Chunhui
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2011

    Urban scientists, policy makers and public administrators have long been aware of the issue of concentrated poverty as the root of many social problems. The attention of most empirical studies has been concentrated on the impoverished urban areas where poverty concentration is present already.

    This study provides an alternative perspective on addressing concentrated poverty problems by exploring poverty dynamics in moderate-poverty neighborhoods in US metropolitan areas 1990-2000. The theoretical basis of this study is that neighborhood economic status filters down over time and the current moderate-poverty neighborhoods can be seen as potential future high-poverty neighborhoods. Therefore, the best way to fight concentrated poverty is to discover the poverty change patterns of moderately poor neighborhoods in order to prevent them from degrading into higher-poverty categories.

    Using the Neighborhood Change Database, this study starts with a longitudinal descriptive analysis of the general poverty trends of different poverty-level neighborhoods, and finds sufficient...

    Urban scientists, policy makers and public administrators have long been aware of the issue of concentrated poverty as the root of many social problems. The attention of most empirical studies has been concentrated on the impoverished urban areas where poverty concentration is present already.

    This study provides an alternative perspective on addressing concentrated poverty problems by exploring poverty dynamics in moderate-poverty neighborhoods in US metropolitan areas 1990-2000. The theoretical basis of this study is that neighborhood economic status filters down over time and the current moderate-poverty neighborhoods can be seen as potential future high-poverty neighborhoods. Therefore, the best way to fight concentrated poverty is to discover the poverty change patterns of moderately poor neighborhoods in order to prevent them from degrading into higher-poverty categories.

    Using the Neighborhood Change Database, this study starts with a longitudinal descriptive analysis of the general poverty trends of different poverty-level neighborhoods, and finds sufficient evidence to support the proposition that moderate-poverty neighborhoods are a major source of future high-poverty neighborhoods. A carefully designed quantitative model is then used to explore poverty change patterns of moderate-poverty neighborhoods 1990-2000. The model sets itself apart by explaining poverty transition from a competitive perspective. Several interesting findings are discovered: (1) maintaining a healthy regional economy is the most reliable way of addressing concentrated poverty problems, (2) neighborhood poverty succession process can be modeled from a competitive perspective as those neighborhoods with advantaged positions are less likely to experience poverty growth and those neighborhoods with disadvantaged positions face continuous declines, (3) large portions of both old and new housing stock are negatively associated with future poverty growth, (4) presence of racial minorities is predictive of future poverty increase but the effect gets weaker as the neighborhood poverty category rises, (5) more homeownership and presence of high-status households help to resist future decline, (6) significant effects of non-market forces is identified and the effect gets stronger in higher poverty-level neighborhoods.

    This study contributes to our understanding of poverty succession mechanisms in moderate-poverty neighborhoods. From a practical perspective, a set of poverty change predictors are identified including female-headed families, initial poverty level, homeownership rate, and so on, which can serve as the basis for formulating anti-poverty policies targeting moderately poor neighborhoods to prevent them from degrading into higher-poverty areas. From a theoretical perspective, it enriches the existing urban poverty literature with its unique model explaining neighborhood poverty dynamics through inter-neighborhood competition. In addition, the spatial and multi-level techniques applied in this study improve the accuracy of the analysis results and contribute to richness of research tools applied in this area. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sessoms, Nathan J.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2010

    Employing a mixed methodology, this dissertation investigates emerging trends in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence at the nationstate, regional, and local levels of scale during the 1990s. Drawing from quantitative exploration of census data, including comparative analyses of spatial indices of segregation and multivariate regression analyses, it examines trends in poverty and affluence concentration through a comparative analysis of fifty of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, assesses the extent to which the concentration of poverty within suburban zones explains - and is explained by - concentration of affluence patterns, and questions the heterogeneity of concentrated poverty and affluence landscapes through an in-depth study of the Los Angeles metro-area. In addition, qualitative techniques, including structured observations, and photography are be utilized to further understand, illustrate, and articulate the material and lived social realities of landscapes of poverty and affluence concentration. Long regarded as an urban...

    Employing a mixed methodology, this dissertation investigates emerging trends in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty and concentrated affluence at the nationstate, regional, and local levels of scale during the 1990s. Drawing from quantitative exploration of census data, including comparative analyses of spatial indices of segregation and multivariate regression analyses, it examines trends in poverty and affluence concentration through a comparative analysis of fifty of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, assesses the extent to which the concentration of poverty within suburban zones explains - and is explained by - concentration of affluence patterns, and questions the heterogeneity of concentrated poverty and affluence landscapes through an in-depth study of the Los Angeles metro-area. In addition, qualitative techniques, including structured observations, and photography are be utilized to further understand, illustrate, and articulate the material and lived social realities of landscapes of poverty and affluence concentration. Long regarded as an urban phenomenon and intimately linked to research focused on the Black Urban Underclass, the face and landscape of concentrated poverty has undergone dramatic changes. In stark contrast to its dramatic increase within urban areas during the 1970s and 1980s, recent research has highlighted its substantial decrease within the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States, while increasing within inner-suburban areas and, in particular, the West during the 1990s. Such findings portray concentrated poverty as a phenomenon that carries implications for not only urban areas, but entire regions as well. Moreover, they suggest that poor areas are becoming increasingly differentiated. Therefore, previous assumptions regarding their physical make-up and demographic composition may be in need of revision. Finally, they raise questions as to whether conventional methods of measurement may be unable to adequately depict the increasingly complex landscape of poverty, particularly in globalizing cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. Meanwhile, in light of its predominant focus on the poor, their spatial distribution, and perceived behavioral tendencies, urban geographic scholarship has rarely discussed the notion of affluence concentration. Therefore, little is known about this particular stratum. However, in light of new developments in the spatial distribution of concentrated poverty, numerous questions regarding their spatial distribution, their social characteristics, as well as those of their physical landscapes, and their behavioral responses to the suburbanization of concentrated poverty remain which warrant further consideration. Finally, how might these responses impact poverty policy? These and related questions, although foundational, remain critical to the development of a greater understanding of emerging conditions of economic polarization. (author abstract)

Sort by

Topical Area(s)

Popular Searches

Year

Year ranges from 2005 to 2017

Reference Type

Research Methodology

Geographic Focus

Target Populations