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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: Cross-Barnet, Caitlin; Cherlin, Andrew; Burton, Linda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    In this article, we examine variations in low-income mothers' patterns of intermittent cohabitation and the voluntary and involuntary nature of these unions. Intermittent cohabitation involves couples living together and separating in repeating cycles. Using Three-City Study ethnographic data, we identified 45 low-income mothers involved in these arrangements, 18 of whom resided with their children's fathers occasionally while saying that they were not in a cohabiting relationship. We term such relationships living together apart (LTA). Data analysis revealed that distinct patterns of voluntary and involuntary separations and reunifications characterized intermittent cohabitation and LTA and that these relationships were shaped by the bonds that shared parenting created and the economic needs of both parents. We argue that these dimensions may explain some disparate accounts of cohabitation status in low-income populations. They also demonstrate previously unexplored diversity in cohabiting relationships and suggest further questioning contemporary definitions of families. (...

    In this article, we examine variations in low-income mothers' patterns of intermittent cohabitation and the voluntary and involuntary nature of these unions. Intermittent cohabitation involves couples living together and separating in repeating cycles. Using Three-City Study ethnographic data, we identified 45 low-income mothers involved in these arrangements, 18 of whom resided with their children's fathers occasionally while saying that they were not in a cohabiting relationship. We term such relationships living together apart (LTA). Data analysis revealed that distinct patterns of voluntary and involuntary separations and reunifications characterized intermittent cohabitation and LTA and that these relationships were shaped by the bonds that shared parenting created and the economic needs of both parents. We argue that these dimensions may explain some disparate accounts of cohabitation status in low-income populations. They also demonstrate previously unexplored diversity in cohabiting relationships and suggest further questioning contemporary definitions of families. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Arditti, Joyce; Burton, Linda; Neeves-Botelho, Sara
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This article presents an emergent conceptual model of the features and links between cumulative disadvantage, maternal distress, and parenting practices in low-income families in which parental incarceration has occurred. The model emerged from the integration of extant conceptual and empirical research with grounded theory analysis of longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study. Fourteen exemplar family cases were used in the analysis. Results indicated that mothers in these families experienced life in the context of cumulative disadvantage, reporting a cascade of difficulties characterized by neighborhood worries, provider concerns, bureaucratic difficulties, violent intimate relationships, and the inability to meet children’s needs. Mothers, however, also had an intense desire to protect their children, and to make up for past mistakes. Although, in response to high levels of maternal distress and disadvantage, most mothers exhibited harsh discipline of their children, some mothers transformed their distress by advocating for their...

    This article presents an emergent conceptual model of the features and links between cumulative disadvantage, maternal distress, and parenting practices in low-income families in which parental incarceration has occurred. The model emerged from the integration of extant conceptual and empirical research with grounded theory analysis of longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study. Fourteen exemplar family cases were used in the analysis. Results indicated that mothers in these families experienced life in the context of cumulative disadvantage, reporting a cascade of difficulties characterized by neighborhood worries, provider concerns, bureaucratic difficulties, violent intimate relationships, and the inability to meet children’s needs. Mothers, however, also had an intense desire to protect their children, and to make up for past mistakes. Although, in response to high levels of maternal distress and disadvantage, most mothers exhibited harsh discipline of their children, some mothers transformed their distress by advocating for their children under difficult circumstances. Women’s use of harsh discipline and advocacy was not necessarily an ‘‘either/or’’ phenomenon as half of the mothers included in our analysis exhibited both harsh discipline and care/advocacy behaviors. Maternal distress characterized by substance use, while connected to harsh disciplinary behavior, did not preclude mothers engaging in positive parenting behaviors. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burton, Linda M.; Tucker, M. B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    This article provides a brief overview of how African American women are situated in and around the thesis of the Moynihan Report. The authors take the lens of uncertainty and apply it to a post-Moynihan discussion of African American women and marriage. They discuss uncertainty in the temporal organization of poor women's lives and in the new terrains of gender relationships and how both influence African American women's thoughts and behaviors in their romantic relationships and marriages. They argue that much is to be learned from by focusing the lens in this way. It allows us to look at the contemporary romantic relationship and marriage behaviors of African American women in context and in ways that do not label them as having pathological behaviors that place them out of sync with broader societal trends. (author abstract)

    This article provides a brief overview of how African American women are situated in and around the thesis of the Moynihan Report. The authors take the lens of uncertainty and apply it to a post-Moynihan discussion of African American women and marriage. They discuss uncertainty in the temporal organization of poor women's lives and in the new terrains of gender relationships and how both influence African American women's thoughts and behaviors in their romantic relationships and marriages. They argue that much is to be learned from by focusing the lens in this way. It allows us to look at the contemporary romantic relationship and marriage behaviors of African American women in context and in ways that do not label them as having pathological behaviors that place them out of sync with broader societal trends. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Pilkauskas, Natasha; Bir, Anupa; Lerman, Bob
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) is a key component of the healthy marriage demonstration strategy of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to determine how public policies can best support healthy marriages and child well-being. The community healthy marriage demonstrations discussed in this report are funded through waivers granted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Two concepts underlie the CHMI strategy. One is that community coalitions can be an effective vehicle for developing a range of healthy marriage and healthy family activities, including classes that build marriage skills, partnerships with clergy and others, celebration days, and media messages about the value of marriage and healthy families. The second is that communities with a critical mass of such activities can lead to positive outcomes for families, individuals and couples as a direct result of their participation in classes and other services and indirectly through their interactions with friends, family,...

    The Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) is a key component of the healthy marriage demonstration strategy of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) to determine how public policies can best support healthy marriages and child well-being. The community healthy marriage demonstrations discussed in this report are funded through waivers granted by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. Two concepts underlie the CHMI strategy. One is that community coalitions can be an effective vehicle for developing a range of healthy marriage and healthy family activities, including classes that build marriage skills, partnerships with clergy and others, celebration days, and media messages about the value of marriage and healthy families. The second is that communities with a critical mass of such activities can lead to positive outcomes for families, individuals and couples as a direct result of their participation in classes and other services and indirectly through their interactions with friends, family, and others in the community who were themselves influenced by a local marriage-related activity sponsored by the local coalition. The goals of the section 1115 healthy marriage waiver initiatives are to achieve child support objectives through healthy marriage activities.

    This report focuses on the implementation of three OCSE funded Section 1115 CHMI projects:  the demonstrations in Boston, Massachusetts; Jacksonville, Florida; and Chicago, Illinois. CHMI projects generally involve local coalitions that aim to provide their communities with marriage education, relationship skills training, media messages, and other related activities. Although each site has its specific mix of services, all attempt to engage a coalition of public, private, secular, and religious organizations to sponsor their own activities and thereby promote the overall goals of the initiative. All are trying to implement community-level strategies to encourage healthy marriages and parenting and improve child support outcomes, thereby generating benefits for children as well as couples. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Young, Alford Jr.; Holcomb, Pamela A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This report presents ethnographic case studies of eight young, unmarried, low-income fathers who participated in the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers to become financial and emotional supports to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The study examines the nature of the fathers’ relationship with their children and the mother of their children, the fathers’ experiences with the PFF program and with matters related to child support, their views on employment prospects and experiences, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. (author abstract)

    This report presents ethnographic case studies of eight young, unmarried, low-income fathers who participated in the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers to become financial and emotional supports to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The study examines the nature of the fathers’ relationship with their children and the mother of their children, the fathers’ experiences with the PFF program and with matters related to child support, their views on employment prospects and experiences, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. (author abstract)

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