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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: Moore, Quinn; Avellar, Sarah; Patnaik, Ankita ; Covington, Reginald; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA....

    Growing up with two parents in a stable, low-conflict family can improve children’s lives in a broad range of areas. However, the economic and other challenges faced by low-income families can make it hard for these families to achieve a stable, low-conflict family environment. Recognizing this challenge, as well as the potential benefits of healthy marriages and relationships for low-income families, the federal government has funded programming to encourage healthy marriage and relationships for many years. To expand our understanding of what works in healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programming, the Office of Family Assistance (OFA) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded, and ACF’s Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation oversaw, a contract with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation. The PACT Healthy Marriage (HM) impact study included a large-scale, random assignment examination of two HMRE programs funded and overseen by OFA. This report discusses the impacts of these programs about one year after study enrollment on (1) the status and quality of the couples’ relationships, (2) the co-parenting relationships, and (3) job and career advancement.

    From among all HMRE programs that received OFA funding through grants issued in 2011, the study team selected two for the PACT HM study: (1) Supporting Healthy Relationships, at University Behavioral Associates in the Bronx, New York; and (2) the Healthy Opportunities for Marriage Enrichment Program, at the El Paso Center for Children in El Paso, Texas. As a requirement of their grants, the two programs offered services to support and strengthen couples’ relationships. The relationship skills workshops at both programs covered similar topics, such as understanding partner’s perspectives, developing strategies to avoid fighting, and communicating effectively. In response to the funding announcement, the two programs integrated job and career advancement services into their programs. Both programs offered two-hour stand-alone job and career advancement workshops and one-on-one meetings with employment specialists. Supporting Healthy Relationships also integrated four hours of content related to economic and financial well-being into the relationship skills workshops. Participation rates were high for the HM programs in PACT, although attendance at the relationship skills workshops was much higher than for job and career advancement services.

    Couples in the PACT HM study were in relatively stable and committed relationships when they enrolled in the study. Of the 1,595 study couples, 59% reported being married when they enrolled and about half of the study couples had been together for at least five years. About three-quarters of the couples were Hispanic. Most couples were in their 30s and had relatively low levels of education and earnings. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Avellar, Sarah; Moore, Quinn; Patnaik, Ankita; Covington, Reginald ; Wu, April
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

    Presented at the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency, these slides summarize impact findings from Mathematica’s evaluation of six Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs. Released under the Parents and Children Together project, this work is part of a growing body of evidence designed to better understand what works in creating healthier families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roby, Scott; Stanley, Scott; Johnson, Charisse; Friend, Daniel; Paulsell, Diane
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    This session, moderated by Charisse Johnson (Administration for Children and Families), featured findings from the process study of the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation of two Healthy Marriage-Relationship Education (HMRE) programs: Career STREAMS in St. Louis, MO and MotherWise, in Denver, CO. After the presentations, Scott Roby (Public Strategies), a technical assistance provider and trainer on HMRE curricula, and Scott Stanley (University of Denver), a research professor and HMRE curriculum developer, responded to the study findings. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

    This session, moderated by Charisse Johnson (Administration for Children and Families), featured findings from the process study of the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation of two Healthy Marriage-Relationship Education (HMRE) programs: Career STREAMS in St. Louis, MO and MotherWise, in Denver, CO. After the presentations, Scott Roby (Public Strategies), a technical assistance provider and trainer on HMRE curricula, and Scott Stanley (University of Denver), a research professor and HMRE curriculum developer, responded to the study findings. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Horn, Wade; Sullivan, Halbert; Wetzler, Scott; McDonald, Robin; Avellar, Sarah
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2018

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

    These PowerPoints are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). Established in 2005, ACF’s Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) programs provide services to promote strong, healthy family formation and marriage, responsible fatherhood and parenting, and economic stability. This plenary session presented impact findings from Parents and Children Together, a multi-year, rigorous evaluation of a subset of HMRF programs. Robin McDonald (Administration for Children and Families) moderated the panel and former ACF Assistant Secretary Wade Horn (Deloitte Consulting) served as a discussant. Various methodologies were used across the presentations. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Kasehagen, Laurin; Omland, Laurel; Bailey, Melissa; Biss, Charlie; Holmes, Breena; Kelso, Patsy Tassler
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    Introduction

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with a range of health outcomes and risk behaviors. In 2011–2012, the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) included questions about adverse family experiences (AFEs). AFE survey questions are similar to ACE questions, except there are no questions about emotional/physical/sexual trauma, and questions are asked of parents rather than children. Although the relationship between ACEs and work/school absenteeism has been studied, the relationships between AFEs of school-aged children, school performance, and buffering behaviors have not been explored in depth.

    Methods

    We examined AFEs and measures of resilience and school engagement among 1330 Vermont children (6-17 years) included in the NSCH, using descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable analyses.

    Results

    The most prevalent AFEs were divorce/separation of parents; family income hardship; substance use problems; and mental illness, suicidality, or severe depression. Adjusting...

    Introduction

    Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are associated with a range of health outcomes and risk behaviors. In 2011–2012, the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) included questions about adverse family experiences (AFEs). AFE survey questions are similar to ACE questions, except there are no questions about emotional/physical/sexual trauma, and questions are asked of parents rather than children. Although the relationship between ACEs and work/school absenteeism has been studied, the relationships between AFEs of school-aged children, school performance, and buffering behaviors have not been explored in depth.

    Methods

    We examined AFEs and measures of resilience and school engagement among 1330 Vermont children (6-17 years) included in the NSCH, using descriptive, bivariate, and multivariable analyses.

    Results

    The most prevalent AFEs were divorce/separation of parents; family income hardship; substance use problems; and mental illness, suicidality, or severe depression. Adjusting for sex, age, special health care needs, poverty level, and maternal physical/mental-emotional health status, children who had three or more AFEs had lower odds of completing all required homework [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 3.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-6.3] and higher odds of failing to exhibit resilience (AOR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.8), compared to children having no AFEs.

    Discussion

    Children with three or more AFEs had difficulty engaging in school and completing homework, though poor outcomes were buffered when children showed resilience. Parents, school-based mental health professionals, and teachers could help identify children who may be less resilient and have difficulties completing homework assignments. Preventive approaches to children’s emotional problems (e.g., promoting family health, using family-based approaches to treat emotional/behavioral problems) could be applied in schools and communities to foster resilience and improve school engagement of children. (author abstract)

     

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