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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.

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  • Individual Author: Edin, Kathryn; Nelson, Timothy J.; Butler, Rachel; Francis, Robert
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

    U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy. Further, it is not associated with coparenting or the father–child bond—themes closely associated with informal and in-kind support. Rather than stoking men’s identities as providers, the system becomes “just another bill to pay.” Orders must be sustainable, all fathers should have coparenting agreements, and alternative forms of support should count toward fathers’ obligations. Recovery of government welfare costs should be eliminated. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Holliday, Charvonne N.; Miller, Elizabeth; Decker, Michele R.; Burke, Jessica G.; Documet, Patricia I.; Borrero, Sonya B. ; Silverman, Jay G.; Tancredi, Daniel J.; Ricci, Edmund; McCauley, Heather L.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Unintended pregnancy (UIP) is a persistent public health concern in the United States disproportionately experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and women of low socioeconomic status. UIP often occurs with experiences of reproductive coercion (RC) and intimate partner violence (IPV). The purpose of the study was to qualitatively describe and compare contexts for UIP risk between low-income Black and White women with histories of IPV/RC. Semistructured interviews were conducted with low-income Black and White women with histories of IPV or RC, ages 18 to 29 years, recruited from family planning clinics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Interviews with 10 non-Hispanic Black women and 34 non-Hispanic White women (N = 44) were included in the analysis. Differences between White and Black women emerged regarding IPV/RC experiences, gender roles in intimate relationships, and trauma histories, including childhood adversity. Fatal threats and IPV related to childbearing were most influential among White women. Among Black women, pregnancy was greatly influenced by RC related to impending...

    Unintended pregnancy (UIP) is a persistent public health concern in the United States disproportionately experienced by racial/ethnic minorities and women of low socioeconomic status. UIP often occurs with experiences of reproductive coercion (RC) and intimate partner violence (IPV). The purpose of the study was to qualitatively describe and compare contexts for UIP risk between low-income Black and White women with histories of IPV/RC. Semistructured interviews were conducted with low-income Black and White women with histories of IPV or RC, ages 18 to 29 years, recruited from family planning clinics in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Interviews with 10 non-Hispanic Black women and 34 non-Hispanic White women (N = 44) were included in the analysis. Differences between White and Black women emerged regarding IPV/RC experiences, gender roles in intimate relationships, and trauma histories, including childhood adversity. Fatal threats and IPV related to childbearing were most influential among White women. Among Black women, pregnancy was greatly influenced by RC related to impending incarceration, subfertility, and condom nonuse, and decisions about contraception were often dependent on the male. Sexual abuse, including childhood sexual assault, in the context of sexual/reproductive health was more prominent among White women. Childhood experiences of neglect impacted pregnancy intention and love-seeking behaviors among Black women. Racial differences exist in experiences of IPV/RC with regard to UIP even among women with similar economic resources and health care access. These findings provide much-needed context to the persistent racial/ethnic disparities in UIP and illustrate influences beyond differential access to care and socioeconomic status. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roman, Caterina G.; Link, Nathan W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

    Recently released prisoners in the United States are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with correctional supervision, yet little research has pursued how-theoretically or empirically-the burden of debt might affect life after prison. To address this gap, we employ life course and strain perspectives and path analysis to examine the impact of child support debt on employment and recidivism, using longitudinal data from an evaluation of a prisoner reentry program known as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative. Results indicate that having more debt has no effect on recidivism; however, more debt was significantly associated with a decrease in later legitimate employment. Implications for community reintegration and justice processing are discussed within the framework of past and emerging work on legal financial obligations, employment, and desistance from crime after prison. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jacoby, Sara F.; Tach, Laura; Guerra, Terry; Wiebe, Douglas J.; Richmond, Therese S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    The health and well-being of single-parent families living in violent neighbourhoods in US cities who participate in housing programmes is not well described. This two-phase, mixed-methods study explores the health status of families who were participants in a housing-plus programme in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2013 and the relationship between the characteristics of the neighbourhoods in which they lived and their perceptions of well-being and safety. In phase 1, data collected with standardised health status instruments were analysed using descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests to describe the health of single parents and one randomly selected child from each parent’s household in comparison to population norms. In a subset of survey respondents, focus groups were conducted to generate an in-depth understanding of the daily lives and stressors of these families. Focus group data were analysed using content analysis to identify key descriptive themes. In phase 2, daily activity path mapping, surveys and interviews of parent–child dyads were...

    The health and well-being of single-parent families living in violent neighbourhoods in US cities who participate in housing programmes is not well described. This two-phase, mixed-methods study explores the health status of families who were participants in a housing-plus programme in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2013 and the relationship between the characteristics of the neighbourhoods in which they lived and their perceptions of well-being and safety. In phase 1, data collected with standardised health status instruments were analysed using descriptive statistics and independent sample t-tests to describe the health of single parents and one randomly selected child from each parent’s household in comparison to population norms. In a subset of survey respondents, focus groups were conducted to generate an in-depth understanding of the daily lives and stressors of these families. Focus group data were analysed using content analysis to identify key descriptive themes. In phase 2, daily activity path mapping, surveys and interviews of parent–child dyads were collected to assess how these families perceive their health, neighbourhood and the influence of neighbourhood characteristics on the families’ day-to-day experience. Narratives and activity maps were combined with crime data from the Philadelphia Police Department to analyse the relationship between crime and perceptions of fear and safety. Phase 1 data demonstrated that parent participants met or exceeded the national average for self-reported physical health but fell below the national average across all mental health domains. Over 40% reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression. Parents described high levels of stress resulting from competing priorities, financial instability, and concern for their children’s well-being and safety. Analysis of phase 2 data demonstrated that neighbourhood characteristics exert influence over parents’ perceptions of their environment and how they permit  their children to move within it. This research suggests the need for robust research, programmatic and policy interventions to support housing-unstable families who live in neighbourhoods with high levels of violence. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Schneider, Daniel ; Harknett, Kristen; McLanahan, Sara
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    In the United States, the Great Recession was marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and mothers’ experiences of abusive behavior between 2001 and 2010. Unemployment and economic hardship at the household level were positively related to abusive behavior. Further, rapid increases in the unemployment rate increased men’s controlling behavior toward romantic partners even after we adjust for unemployment and economic distress at the household level. We interpret these findings as demonstrating that the uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety that go along with sudden macroeconomic downturns have negative effects on relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of job loss and material hardship. (Author abstract)

    In the United States, the Great Recession was marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and mothers’ experiences of abusive behavior between 2001 and 2010. Unemployment and economic hardship at the household level were positively related to abusive behavior. Further, rapid increases in the unemployment rate increased men’s controlling behavior toward romantic partners even after we adjust for unemployment and economic distress at the household level. We interpret these findings as demonstrating that the uncertainty and anticipatory anxiety that go along with sudden macroeconomic downturns have negative effects on relationship quality, above and beyond the effects of job loss and material hardship. (Author abstract)

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