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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: Craigie, Terry-Ann; Myers Jr., Samuel L. ; Darity Jr., William A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Female family headship has strong implications for endemic poverty in the United States. Consequently, it is imperative to explore the chief factors that contribute to this problem. Departing from prior literature that places significant weight on welfare-incentive effects, our study highlights the role of male marriageability in explaining the prevalence of never-married female family headship for blacks and whites. Specifically, we examine racial differences in the effect of male marriageability on never-married female headship from 1980 to 2010. By exploiting data from IPUMS-USA (N = 4,958,722) and exogenous variation from state-level sentencing reforms, the study finds that the decline in the relative supply of marriageable males significantly increases the incidence of never-married female family headship for blacks but not for whites. (Author abstract)

     

    Female family headship has strong implications for endemic poverty in the United States. Consequently, it is imperative to explore the chief factors that contribute to this problem. Departing from prior literature that places significant weight on welfare-incentive effects, our study highlights the role of male marriageability in explaining the prevalence of never-married female family headship for blacks and whites. Specifically, we examine racial differences in the effect of male marriageability on never-married female headship from 1980 to 2010. By exploiting data from IPUMS-USA (N = 4,958,722) and exogenous variation from state-level sentencing reforms, the study finds that the decline in the relative supply of marriageable males significantly increases the incidence of never-married female family headship for blacks but not for whites. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Jackson, Grace L. ; Trail, Thomas E. ; Kennedy, David P.; Williamson, Hannah C. ; Bradbury, Thomas N. ; Karney, Benjamin R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Developing programs to support low-income married couples requires an accurate understanding of the challenges they face. To address this question, we assessed the salience and severity of relationship problems by asking 862 Black, White, and Latino newlywed spouses (N = 431 couples) living in low-income neighborhoods to (a) free list their 3 biggest sources of disagreement in the marriage, and (b) rate the severity of the problems appearing on a standard relationship problem inventory. Comparing the 2 sources of information revealed that, although relational problems (e.g., communication and moods) were rated as severe on the inventory, challenges external to the relationship (e.g., children) were more salient in the free listing task. The pattern of results is robust across couples of varying race/ethnicity, parental status, and income levels. We conclude that efforts to strengthen marriages among low-income couples may be more effective if they address not only relational problems, but also couples external stresses by providing assistance with child care, finances, or job...

    Developing programs to support low-income married couples requires an accurate understanding of the challenges they face. To address this question, we assessed the salience and severity of relationship problems by asking 862 Black, White, and Latino newlywed spouses (N = 431 couples) living in low-income neighborhoods to (a) free list their 3 biggest sources of disagreement in the marriage, and (b) rate the severity of the problems appearing on a standard relationship problem inventory. Comparing the 2 sources of information revealed that, although relational problems (e.g., communication and moods) were rated as severe on the inventory, challenges external to the relationship (e.g., children) were more salient in the free listing task. The pattern of results is robust across couples of varying race/ethnicity, parental status, and income levels. We conclude that efforts to strengthen marriages among low-income couples may be more effective if they address not only relational problems, but also couples external stresses by providing assistance with child care, finances, or job training. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jackson, Grace L. ; Trail, Thomas E. ; Kennedy, David P.; Williamson, Hannah C. ; Bradbury, Thomas N. ; Karney, Benjamin R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Developing programs to support low-income married couples requires an accurate understanding of the challenges they face. To address this question, we assessed the salience and severity of relationship problems by asking 862 Black, White, and Latino newlywed spouses (N=431 couples) living in low-income neighborhoods to (a) free list their 3 biggest sources of disagreement in the marriage, and (b) rate the severity of the problems appearing on a standard relationship problem inventory. Comparing the 2 sources of information revealed that, although relational problems (e.g., communication and moods) were rated as severe on the inventory, challenges external to the relationship (e.g., children) were more salient in the free listing task. The pattern of results is robust across couples of varying race/ethnicity, parental status, and income levels. We conclude that efforts to strengthen marriages among low-income couples may be more effective if they address not only relational problems, but also couples’ external stresses by providing assistance with child care, finances, or job...

    Developing programs to support low-income married couples requires an accurate understanding of the challenges they face. To address this question, we assessed the salience and severity of relationship problems by asking 862 Black, White, and Latino newlywed spouses (N=431 couples) living in low-income neighborhoods to (a) free list their 3 biggest sources of disagreement in the marriage, and (b) rate the severity of the problems appearing on a standard relationship problem inventory. Comparing the 2 sources of information revealed that, although relational problems (e.g., communication and moods) were rated as severe on the inventory, challenges external to the relationship (e.g., children) were more salient in the free listing task. The pattern of results is robust across couples of varying race/ethnicity, parental status, and income levels. We conclude that efforts to strengthen marriages among low-income couples may be more effective if they address not only relational problems, but also couples’ external stresses by providing assistance with child care, finances, or job training. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Pudasainee-Kapri, Sangita ; Razza, Rachel A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    The present study examined the longitudinal associations among supportive coparenting and father engagement during infancy and mother–child attachment in toddlerhood within an at-risk sample (N = 1371). Of particular interest was whether these associations were moderated by race/ethnicity. Mothers reported on coparenting and father engagement during the 1-year interview and mother–child attachment was assessed using the Toddler Attachment Sort-39 at age three during the in-home visit. Findings suggest that supportive coparenting was significantly associated with higher levels of father engagement and more secure mother–child attachment relationship for both white and minority families. In addition, race/ethnicity moderated the link between supportive coparenting and father engagement such that the link was stronger among white families compared to minority families. Results highlight the significance of coparenting for father engagement and the mother–child attachment relationship. The implications of these findings are discussed for interventions targeting coparenting and...

    The present study examined the longitudinal associations among supportive coparenting and father engagement during infancy and mother–child attachment in toddlerhood within an at-risk sample (N = 1371). Of particular interest was whether these associations were moderated by race/ethnicity. Mothers reported on coparenting and father engagement during the 1-year interview and mother–child attachment was assessed using the Toddler Attachment Sort-39 at age three during the in-home visit. Findings suggest that supportive coparenting was significantly associated with higher levels of father engagement and more secure mother–child attachment relationship for both white and minority families. In addition, race/ethnicity moderated the link between supportive coparenting and father engagement such that the link was stronger among white families compared to minority families. Results highlight the significance of coparenting for father engagement and the mother–child attachment relationship. The implications of these findings are discussed for interventions targeting coparenting and positive paternal engagement among at-risk children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Furstenberg, Frank
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2007

    Teen childbearing has risen to frighteningly high levels over the last four decades, jeopardizing the life chances of young parents and their offspring alike, particularly among minority communities. Or at least, that’s what politicians on the right and left often tell us, and what the American public largely believes. But sociologist Frank Furstenberg argues that the conventional wisdom distorts reality. In Destinies of the Disadvantaged, Furstenberg traces the history of public concern over teen pregnancy, exploring why this topic has become so politically powerful, and so misunderstood.

    Based on over forty years of Furstenberg’s research on teen childbearing, Destinies of the Disadvantaged relates how the issue emerged from obscurity to become one of the most heated social controversies in America. Both slipshod research by social scientists and opportunistic grandstanding by politicians have contributed to public misunderstanding of the issue. Although out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rose notably between 1960 and 1990—a cause for concern given the burdens of single...

    Teen childbearing has risen to frighteningly high levels over the last four decades, jeopardizing the life chances of young parents and their offspring alike, particularly among minority communities. Or at least, that’s what politicians on the right and left often tell us, and what the American public largely believes. But sociologist Frank Furstenberg argues that the conventional wisdom distorts reality. In Destinies of the Disadvantaged, Furstenberg traces the history of public concern over teen pregnancy, exploring why this topic has become so politically powerful, and so misunderstood.

    Based on over forty years of Furstenberg’s research on teen childbearing, Destinies of the Disadvantaged relates how the issue emerged from obscurity to become one of the most heated social controversies in America. Both slipshod research by social scientists and opportunistic grandstanding by politicians have contributed to public misunderstanding of the issue. Although out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rose notably between 1960 and 1990—a cause for concern given the burdens of single motherhood at a young age—this trend did not reflect a rise in the rate of overall teen pregnancies. In fact, teen pregnancy actually declined dramatically in the 1960s and 1970s. The number of unmarried teenage mothers rose after 1960, not because more young women became pregnant, but because those who did increasingly chose not to rush into marriage. Furstenberg shows how early social science research on this topic exaggerated the adverse consequences of early parenthood both for young parents and for their children. Researchers also inaccurately portrayed single teenage motherhood as a phenomenon concentrated among minorities. Both of these misapprehensions skewed subsequent political debates. The issue became a public obsession and remained so during the 1990s, even as rates of out-of-wedlock teen childbearing plummeted. Addressing teen pregnancy was originally a liberal cause, led by advocates of family planning services, legalized abortion, and social welfare programs for single mothers. The issue was later adopted by conservatives, who argued that those liberal remedies were encouraging teen parenthood. According to Furstenberg, the flexible political usefulness of the issue explains its hold on political discourse.

    The politics of teen parenthood is a fascinating case study in the abuse of social science for political ends. In Destinies of the Disadvantaged, Furstenberg brings that tale to life with the perspective of a historian and the insight of an insider, and provides the straight facts needed to craft effective policies to address teen pregnancy. (author abstract) 

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