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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: Lee, Hedwig; Andrew, Megan; Gebremariam, Achamyeleh; Lumeng, Julie C.; Lee, Joyce M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Objectives. We examined the relationship between timing of poverty and risk of first-incidence obesity from ages 3 to 15.5 years. Methods. We used the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (1991–2007) to study 1150 children with repeated measures of income, weight, and height from birth to 15.5 years in 10 US cities. Our dependent variable was the first incidence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 95th percentile). We measured poverty (income-to-needs ratio < 2) prior to age 2 years and a lagged, time-varying measure of poverty between ages 2 and 12 years. We estimated discrete-time hazard models of the relative risk of first transition to obesity. Results. Poverty prior to age 2 years was associated with risk of obesity by age 15.5 years in fully adjusted models. These associations did not vary by gender. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that there are enduring associations between early life poverty and adolescent obesity. This stage in the life course may serve as a critical...

    Objectives. We examined the relationship between timing of poverty and risk of first-incidence obesity from ages 3 to 15.5 years. Methods. We used the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (1991–2007) to study 1150 children with repeated measures of income, weight, and height from birth to 15.5 years in 10 US cities. Our dependent variable was the first incidence of obesity (body mass index ≥ 95th percentile). We measured poverty (income-to-needs ratio < 2) prior to age 2 years and a lagged, time-varying measure of poverty between ages 2 and 12 years. We estimated discrete-time hazard models of the relative risk of first transition to obesity. Results. Poverty prior to age 2 years was associated with risk of obesity by age 15.5 years in fully adjusted models. These associations did not vary by gender. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that there are enduring associations between early life poverty and adolescent obesity. This stage in the life course may serve as a critical period for both poverty and obesity prevention.  (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fantuzzo, John; LeBoeuf, Whitney; Brumley, Benjamin; Perlman, Staci
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    Child homelessness and educational well-being is an area of national research that requires more precise investigation to address mixed findings. The aim of this study was to extend the investigation of the relations between homelessness and educational well-being by determining if timing and frequency of homeless episodes are differentially associated with children's academic and classroom engagement outcomes. This investigation used a comprehensive research model to study the effects of these homeless episode characteristics within a large urban student cohort. Additionally, this study accounted for co-occurring early risk factors. Findings indicated that having a first homeless episode in early childhood was associated with non-proficiency in mathematics and academic engagement problems. Also more frequent homeless episodes were related to truancy in third grade. These results stress the importance of early intervention for homeless children and underscore the need to further understand the variation in young children's homeless experiences. (author abstract)

    Child homelessness and educational well-being is an area of national research that requires more precise investigation to address mixed findings. The aim of this study was to extend the investigation of the relations between homelessness and educational well-being by determining if timing and frequency of homeless episodes are differentially associated with children's academic and classroom engagement outcomes. This investigation used a comprehensive research model to study the effects of these homeless episode characteristics within a large urban student cohort. Additionally, this study accounted for co-occurring early risk factors. Findings indicated that having a first homeless episode in early childhood was associated with non-proficiency in mathematics and academic engagement problems. Also more frequent homeless episodes were related to truancy in third grade. These results stress the importance of early intervention for homeless children and underscore the need to further understand the variation in young children's homeless experiences. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chilton, Mariana M.; Rabinovich, Jenny R.; Woolf, Nicholas H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    OBJECTIVE:

    To investigate characteristics of exposure to violence in relation to food security status among female-headed households.

    DESIGN:

    Ongoing mixed-method participatory action study. Questions addressed food insecurity, public assistance, and maternal and child health. Grounded theory analysis of qualitative themes related to violence was performed. These themes were then categorized by food security status.

    SETTING:

    Homes of low-income families in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

    SUBJECTS:

    Forty-four mothers of children under 3 years of age participating in public assistance programmes.

    RESULTS:

    Forty women described exposure to violence ranging from fear of violence to personal experiences with rape. Exposure to violence affected mental health, ability to continue school and obtain work with living wages, and subsequently the ability to afford food. Exposure to violence during childhood and being a perpetrator of violence were both linked to very low food security status and depressive symptoms. Ten of...

    OBJECTIVE:

    To investigate characteristics of exposure to violence in relation to food security status among female-headed households.

    DESIGN:

    Ongoing mixed-method participatory action study. Questions addressed food insecurity, public assistance, and maternal and child health. Grounded theory analysis of qualitative themes related to violence was performed. These themes were then categorized by food security status.

    SETTING:

    Homes of low-income families in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

    SUBJECTS:

    Forty-four mothers of children under 3 years of age participating in public assistance programmes.

    RESULTS:

    Forty women described exposure to violence ranging from fear of violence to personal experiences with rape. Exposure to violence affected mental health, ability to continue school and obtain work with living wages, and subsequently the ability to afford food. Exposure to violence during childhood and being a perpetrator of violence were both linked to very low food security status and depressive symptoms. Ten of seventeen (59 %) participants reporting very low food security described life-changing violence, compared with three of fifteen (20 %) participants reporting low food security and four of twelve (33 %) reporting food security. Examples of violent experiences among the very low food secure group included exposure to child abuse, neglect and rape that suggest exposure to violence is an important factor in the experience of very low food security.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    Descriptions of childhood trauma and life-changing violence are linked with severe food security. Policy makers and clinicians should incorporate violence prevention efforts when addressing hunger. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Seith, David; Rich, Sarah; Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This report updates the story of welfare reform in two of the four Urban Change cities: Cleveland and Philadelphia. As it turned out, the 1990s represented the best environment in which to implement welfare reform. Poverty rates among children reached record lows during the decade, and employment levels among single-parent women reached a record high. By March, 2001, the national economy fell into a recession that would officially last eight months, although employment continued to decline through August 2003. Welfare-to-work budgets and civil service workforces were scaled back in response to state budget deficits. It was during this period of job losses and budget deficits that families started reaching the federal five-year time limit on cash assistance, in 2002.

    How have state service delivery systems evolved as a result of these changing conditions? And how have the longer-term effects of welfare reform played out in caseload dynamics and in social and health indicators in low-income neighborhoods? To address these questions, this report extends three sets of analyses...

    This report updates the story of welfare reform in two of the four Urban Change cities: Cleveland and Philadelphia. As it turned out, the 1990s represented the best environment in which to implement welfare reform. Poverty rates among children reached record lows during the decade, and employment levels among single-parent women reached a record high. By March, 2001, the national economy fell into a recession that would officially last eight months, although employment continued to decline through August 2003. Welfare-to-work budgets and civil service workforces were scaled back in response to state budget deficits. It was during this period of job losses and budget deficits that families started reaching the federal five-year time limit on cash assistance, in 2002.

    How have state service delivery systems evolved as a result of these changing conditions? And how have the longer-term effects of welfare reform played out in caseload dynamics and in social and health indicators in low-income neighborhoods? To address these questions, this report extends three sets of analyses from the earlier Urban Change studies of Cleveland and Philadelphia: An implementation analysis examines the policies and programs that welfare agencies put into place through 2005; an analysis of administrative records estimates the effects of welfare reform on caseload trends in welfare receipt and employment through 2003 for Cleveland and through 2001 for Philadelphia; and a neighborhood indicators analysis describes the changing conditions of low-income communities through 2003. (author abstract modified)

  • Individual Author: Polit, Denise; Widom, Rebecca; Edin, Kathryn; Bowie, Stan; London, Andrew; Scott, Ellen; Valenzuela, Abel
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Since 1996, when Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act · the "welfare reform" law · welfare caseloads have dropped sharply, and the number of single mothers who work has grown dramatically. But how have poor mothers fared, now that they are playing by the new welfare rules and working?

    This report describes the experiences of women from poor urban neighborhoods who once relied on public assistance and entered the labor market. It presents findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change, a study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in the counties encompassing four big cities: Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia. This report draws on representative survey data and in-depth ethnographic interviews from each of those sites to compare the work experiences and life circumstances of four groups of women defined by employment status and history.

    In May 1995, the 3,900 survey respondents were receiving public assistance and living in high-poverty neighborhoods. Three to four years later, they...

    Since 1996, when Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act · the "welfare reform" law · welfare caseloads have dropped sharply, and the number of single mothers who work has grown dramatically. But how have poor mothers fared, now that they are playing by the new welfare rules and working?

    This report describes the experiences of women from poor urban neighborhoods who once relied on public assistance and entered the labor market. It presents findings from the Project on Devolution and Urban Change, a study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in the counties encompassing four big cities: Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, and Philadelphia. This report draws on representative survey data and in-depth ethnographic interviews from each of those sites to compare the work experiences and life circumstances of four groups of women defined by employment status and history.

    In May 1995, the 3,900 survey respondents were receiving public assistance and living in high-poverty neighborhoods. Three to four years later, they were interviewed about their recent employment experiences: Three-quarters had worked in the past two years, and about half were working at the time of the interview. Respondents' stories from the ethnographic interviews are interwoven throughout the report to complement and augment the survey findings. (author abstract)

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