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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, Kristin A.; Driscoll, Anne K.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Despite the importance of anticipating how children may be affected by policies that move mothers off welfare and into employment, as the article by Zaslow and Emig in this journal issue points out, few research studies have addressed this critical policy question. To help fill that gap, this article presents the results of a new study using national survey data to examine child outcomes among families that had previously received welfare. About half the families studied had mothers who remained at home, the others were working at varying wage levels.

    The findings reported here echo themes discussed in the two preceding articles. Maternal employment does not appear to undermine children's social or cognitive development from ages 5 to 14, and it may yield advantages. Children whose mothers earned more than $5.00 per hour, particularly, had somewhat better outcomes than others. The authors emphasize, however, that background characteristics specific to the mothers who chose employment contributed to these positive outcomes. The authors add that it would be risky to apply...

    Despite the importance of anticipating how children may be affected by policies that move mothers off welfare and into employment, as the article by Zaslow and Emig in this journal issue points out, few research studies have addressed this critical policy question. To help fill that gap, this article presents the results of a new study using national survey data to examine child outcomes among families that had previously received welfare. About half the families studied had mothers who remained at home, the others were working at varying wage levels.

    The findings reported here echo themes discussed in the two preceding articles. Maternal employment does not appear to undermine children's social or cognitive development from ages 5 to 14, and it may yield advantages. Children whose mothers earned more than $5.00 per hour, particularly, had somewhat better outcomes than others. The authors emphasize, however, that background characteristics specific to the mothers who chose employment contributed to these positive outcomes. The authors add that it would be risky to apply these generalizations based on these findings to families forced into employment by welfare reform. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Page, Stephen B.; Larner, Mary B.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    This journal issue discusses the policy challenges of helping parents move from welfare to work. As a foundation, this introductory article explains the federal-state program of cash assistance called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), to which the term welfare refers in most of these articles. While a number of other social programs are sometimes included under the umbrella of welfare—such as the Supplemental Security Income program for the disabled, food stamps, and Medicaid—the program that has drawn the most public scrutiny and negative attention, and the centerpiece of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, is AFDC. This article explains the basic structure of the AFDC program, including eligibility criteria and benefits; discusses the characteristics of families that have received AFDC; describes trends in the program's size and cost from the 1970s to 1996; and indicates the major ways in which the block grant established in the 1996 welfare reform legislation compares to the AFDC program that it replaced. (author abstract)

    This journal issue discusses the policy challenges of helping parents move from welfare to work. As a foundation, this introductory article explains the federal-state program of cash assistance called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), to which the term welfare refers in most of these articles. While a number of other social programs are sometimes included under the umbrella of welfare—such as the Supplemental Security Income program for the disabled, food stamps, and Medicaid—the program that has drawn the most public scrutiny and negative attention, and the centerpiece of the 1996 welfare reform legislation, is AFDC. This article explains the basic structure of the AFDC program, including eligibility criteria and benefits; discusses the characteristics of families that have received AFDC; describes trends in the program's size and cost from the 1970s to 1996; and indicates the major ways in which the block grant established in the 1996 welfare reform legislation compares to the AFDC program that it replaced. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Larner, Mary B.; Terman, Donna L.; Behrman, Richard E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    This analysis reviews the changes the 1996 federal welfare legislation will bring to the welfare system and suggests what may lie ahead for the children of single mothers who face new work expectations. It highlights the heterogeneity of the welfare population, suggesting that families will follow different pathways with different consequences for their children. Children in families that move from welfare into employment will need access to affordable child care and health insurance, and assistance in times of unemployment. Children in the smaller subset of families headed by adults who cannot work because of health problems, or do not work for other reasons, will face more serious risks. Their well-being may depend on individualized, concrete assistance. The federal welfare reform legislation opens the door to allow state governments to craft assistance packages suited to families with different prospects and needs. The analysis therefore closes with a set of broad recommendations for policymakers to consider when designing policies that will meet the needs of children as...

    This analysis reviews the changes the 1996 federal welfare legislation will bring to the welfare system and suggests what may lie ahead for the children of single mothers who face new work expectations. It highlights the heterogeneity of the welfare population, suggesting that families will follow different pathways with different consequences for their children. Children in families that move from welfare into employment will need access to affordable child care and health insurance, and assistance in times of unemployment. Children in the smaller subset of families headed by adults who cannot work because of health problems, or do not work for other reasons, will face more serious risks. Their well-being may depend on individualized, concrete assistance. The federal welfare reform legislation opens the door to allow state governments to craft assistance packages suited to families with different prospects and needs. The analysis therefore closes with a set of broad recommendations for policymakers to consider when designing policies that will meet the needs of children as welfare is reformed. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Sorenson, Elaine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    The article presents information on a study which examines the income profile of nonresident fathers in the United States and their ability to pay child support. In this study data from the 1987-1988 National Survey of Families and Households and the 1990 Survey of Income and Program Participation were analyzed. This study provides a demographic and economic profile of nonresident fathers who self-report in the surveys, as well as all nonresident fathers, including those who are missed by these surveys. Also, in this study the author contrasts the characteristics of nonresident fathers with those of custodial mothers and resident fathers. In the end he estimates how much more child support nonresident fathers could potentially pay. To ascertain the extent to which nonresident fathers are underrepresented in these surveys, the author compares the number of children that nonresident fathers report living elsewhere with the number reported by custodial mothers. Finally, the estimates of the ability of nonresident fathers to pay child support have not taken into account that...

    The article presents information on a study which examines the income profile of nonresident fathers in the United States and their ability to pay child support. In this study data from the 1987-1988 National Survey of Families and Households and the 1990 Survey of Income and Program Participation were analyzed. This study provides a demographic and economic profile of nonresident fathers who self-report in the surveys, as well as all nonresident fathers, including those who are missed by these surveys. Also, in this study the author contrasts the characteristics of nonresident fathers with those of custodial mothers and resident fathers. In the end he estimates how much more child support nonresident fathers could potentially pay. To ascertain the extent to which nonresident fathers are underrepresented in these surveys, the author compares the number of children that nonresident fathers report living elsewhere with the number reported by custodial mothers. Finally, the estimates of the ability of nonresident fathers to pay child support have not taken into account that nonresident fathers could respond to higher child support requirements by decreasing their hours worked and thus reducing their ability to pay child support (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Duncan, Greg J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Although hundreds of studies have documented the association between family poverty and children’s health, achievement, and behavior, few measure the effects of the timing, depth, and duration of poverty on children, and many fail to adjust for other family characteristics (for example, female headship, mother’s age, and schooling) that may account for much of the observed correlation between poverty and child outcomes. This article focuses on a recent set of studies that explore the relationship between poverty and child outcomes in depth. By and large, this research supports the conclusion that family income has selective but, in some instances, quite substantial effects on child and adolescent well-being. Family income appears to be more strongly related to children’s ability and achievement than to their emotional outcomes. Children who live in extreme poverty or who live below the poverty line for multiple years appear, all other things being equal, to suffer the worst outcomes. The timing of poverty also seems to be important for certain child outcomes. Children who...

    Although hundreds of studies have documented the association between family poverty and children’s health, achievement, and behavior, few measure the effects of the timing, depth, and duration of poverty on children, and many fail to adjust for other family characteristics (for example, female headship, mother’s age, and schooling) that may account for much of the observed correlation between poverty and child outcomes. This article focuses on a recent set of studies that explore the relationship between poverty and child outcomes in depth. By and large, this research supports the conclusion that family income has selective but, in some instances, quite substantial effects on child and adolescent well-being. Family income appears to be more strongly related to children’s ability and achievement than to their emotional outcomes. Children who live in extreme poverty or who live below the poverty line for multiple years appear, all other things being equal, to suffer the worst outcomes. The timing of poverty also seems to be important for certain child outcomes. Children who experience poverty during their preschool and early school years have lower rates of school completion than children and adolescents who experience poverty only in later years. Although more research is needed on the significance of the timing of poverty on child outcomes, findings to date suggest that interventions during early childhood may be most important in reducing poverty’s impact on children. (author abstract)

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