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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: Bitler, Marianne; Hoynes, Hilary; Domina, Thurston
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author...

    Preschool interventions are arguably one of the most important elements of support for poor families. Head Start, a federal program for children in low-income families administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, is a case in point. While research shows a range of benefits lasting beyond preschool for participants, evidence of the “fade-out” of cognitive gains of the preschool years and the differential impact of the program on children with different skill levels in the preschool population has prompted debate over its efficacy. Our recent work is the first comprehensive analysis of how modern Head Start impacts vary across the skill distribution in the preschool and early elementary period. We find evidence of a large and positive short-term effect of Head Start, and that cognitive gains are largest at the bottom of the achievement spectrum, particularly among Hispanic children. The results of our study and others showing a positive effect in other areas add to the evidence of the success of Head Start in improving the wellbeing of poor children. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Berger, Lawrence M. (ed.); Cancian, Maria (ed.); Magnuson, Katherine (ed.)
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2018

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty...

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by high-lighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty from a variety of perspectives. Some of these proposals are more of a departure from existing policies than others, some borrow from other countries or revive old ideas, some are narrow in focus and others much broader, but all seek to move anti-poverty efforts into new territory. (Author abstract) 

    Contents:

    Introduction

    Anti-Poverty Policy Innovations: New Proposals for Addressing Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Berger, Maria Cancian, and Katherine Magnuson

    Part I. Employment, Education, and Family Planning

    Coupling a Federal Minimum Wage Hike with Public Investments to Make Work Pay and Reduce Poverty

    Jennifer Romich and Heather Hill

    A Path to Ending Poverty by Way of Ending Unemployment: A Federal Job Guarantee

    Mark Paul, William Darity Jr., Darrick Hamilton, and Khaing Zaw

    Working to Reduce Poverty: A National Subsidized Employment Proposal

    Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Kali Grant, Julie Kerksick, Dan Bloom, and Ajay Chaudry 

    A "Race to the Top" in Public Higher Education to Improve Education and Employment Among the Poor

    Harry Holzer

    Postsecondary Pathways out of Poverty: City University of New York Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and the Case for National Policy

    Diana Strumbos, Donna Linderman, and Carson Hicks

    A Two-Generation Human Capital Approach to Anti-poverty Policy

    Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Terri Sabol, Elise Chor, William Schneider, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Mario Small, Christopher King, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa

    Could We Level the Playing Field? Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives, Nonmarital Fertility, and Poverty in the United States

    Lawrence Wu and Nicholas Mark

    Assessing the Potential Impacts of Innovative New Policy Proposals on Poverty in the United States

    Christopher Wimer, Sophie Collyer, and Sara Kimberlin

  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; Kisker, Ellen
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief summarizes key findings from a study of the implementation of the Steps to Success program, a home visiting program for adolescent mothers that offers counseling on contraception, adequate birth spacing, parenting, and child development. Healthy Families San Angelo (HFSA)—an experienced, community-based organization in San Angelo, Texas—implemented the program with funding from a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. The implementation study was conducted in conjunction with a rigorous impact study in which adolescent mothers who agreed to take part in the study were randomly assigned to Steps to Success or to a control group that received a more traditional home visiting program that focused only on parenting and child development. (Author abstract) 

    This brief summarizes key findings from a study of the implementation of the Steps to Success program, a home visiting program for adolescent mothers that offers counseling on contraception, adequate birth spacing, parenting, and child development. Healthy Families San Angelo (HFSA)—an experienced, community-based organization in San Angelo, Texas—implemented the program with funding from a Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grant. The implementation study was conducted in conjunction with a rigorous impact study in which adolescent mothers who agreed to take part in the study were randomly assigned to Steps to Success or to a control group that received a more traditional home visiting program that focused only on parenting and child development. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Goodman, Laurie S.; Mayer, Christopher
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    We take a detailed look at US homeownership from three different perspectives: 1) an international perspective, comparing US homeownership rates with those of other nations; 2) a demographic perspective, examining the correlation between changes in the US homeownership rate between 1985 and 2015 and factors like age, race/ethnicity, education, family status, and income; 3) and, a financial benefits perspective, which compares the internal rate of return to homeownership to other investments. Our overall conclusion: homeownership is a valuable institution. While two past policies may have put too much faith in the benefits of homeownership, the pendulum seems to have swung too far the other way, and many now may have too little faith in homeownership as part of the American Dream. (Author abstract) 

    We take a detailed look at US homeownership from three different perspectives: 1) an international perspective, comparing US homeownership rates with those of other nations; 2) a demographic perspective, examining the correlation between changes in the US homeownership rate between 1985 and 2015 and factors like age, race/ethnicity, education, family status, and income; 3) and, a financial benefits perspective, which compares the internal rate of return to homeownership to other investments. Our overall conclusion: homeownership is a valuable institution. While two past policies may have put too much faith in the benefits of homeownership, the pendulum seems to have swung too far the other way, and many now may have too little faith in homeownership as part of the American Dream. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Eyster, Lauren
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief presents findings from an analysis of young adults in the US who successfully moved beyond initial career pathway steps to attain middle-skill jobs. Using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we examine the postsecondary and employment trajectories of the young adults through their early thirties who earn more than one postsecondary credential, compared to those who don't. We also explore the challenges young adults may face in advancing their schooling and careers beyond a first credential. The brief concludes with implications for career pathways relevant to policymakers and practitioners supporting young adults' advancement toward middle-skill jobs. (Author abstract)

    This brief presents findings from an analysis of young adults in the US who successfully moved beyond initial career pathway steps to attain middle-skill jobs. Using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we examine the postsecondary and employment trajectories of the young adults through their early thirties who earn more than one postsecondary credential, compared to those who don't. We also explore the challenges young adults may face in advancing their schooling and careers beyond a first credential. The brief concludes with implications for career pathways relevant to policymakers and practitioners supporting young adults' advancement toward middle-skill jobs. (Author abstract)

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