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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: Anderson, Theresa; Dodkowitz, Alan; Braga, Breno; Damron, Neil; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Lipman, Micaela; Martin-Caughey, Ananda; Peters, H. Elizabeth; Pratt, Eleanor; Winkler, Mary K.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (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)

  • Individual Author: Moffitt, Robert A.; Ribar, David C.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across...

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across different types of children therefore appear to be a problem primarily only among the worst-off families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gubits, Daniel; Shinn, Marybeth; Wood, Michelle; Bell, Stephen; Dastrup, Samuel; Solari, Claudia D.; Brown, Scott R.; McInnis, Debi; McCall, Tom; Kattel, Utsav
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at...

    The Family Options Study: Three-year Impacts of Housing and Services Interventions for Homeless Families documents the outcomes of the 2,282 formerly homeless study families approximately 37 months after having been randomly assigned to one of four housing and/or services interventions. The findings at 37-months in large part mirror the findings documented at 20 months, with the long-terms outcomes again demonstrating the power of a voucher to convey significantly improved housing outcomes to formerly homeless families, when compared with the housing outcomes of families offered other interventions. Families offered a permanent subsidy experienced less than half as many episodes of subsequent homelessness, and vast improvements across a broad set of measures related to residential stability. Many of the non-housing outcomes of interest that were strongly influenced by the offer of a voucher in the short-term, such as reductions in psychological distress and intimate partner violence, are still detected, but some positive impacts found at the 20-month followup are not detected at the longer, 37-month followup. For example, 20 months after random assignment, assignment to SUB reduced the proportion of families with child separations in the 6 months before the survey--this effect was not detected in the 6 months before the 37-month survey. Also in this longer window of observation, some positive impacts in the child well-being domain have emerged. Families offered a voucher continue to be significantly more food secure and experience significantly less economic stress than families offered the other interventions. On measures of employment and earnings, the modest negative impacts of vouchers relative to usual care have fallen, although some remain statistically significant. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Aizer, Anna; Stroud, Laura; Buka, Stephen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    We study how maternal stress affects offspring outcomes. We find that in-utero exposure to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol negatively affects offspring cognition, health and educational attainment. These findings are based on comparisons between siblings which limits variation to short-lived shocks and controls for unobserved differences between mothers that could bias estimates. Our results are consistent with recent experimental results in the neurobiological literature linking exogenous exposure to stress hormones in-utero with declines in offspring cognitive, behavioral and motor development. Moreover, we find that not only are mothers with low levels of human capital characterized by higher and more variable cortisol levels, but that the negative impact of elevated cortisol is greater for them. These results suggest that prenatal stress may play a role in the intergenerational persistence of poverty. (author abstract)

    We study how maternal stress affects offspring outcomes. We find that in-utero exposure to elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol negatively affects offspring cognition, health and educational attainment. These findings are based on comparisons between siblings which limits variation to short-lived shocks and controls for unobserved differences between mothers that could bias estimates. Our results are consistent with recent experimental results in the neurobiological literature linking exogenous exposure to stress hormones in-utero with declines in offspring cognitive, behavioral and motor development. Moreover, we find that not only are mothers with low levels of human capital characterized by higher and more variable cortisol levels, but that the negative impact of elevated cortisol is greater for them. These results suggest that prenatal stress may play a role in the intergenerational persistence of poverty. (author abstract)

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