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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: Lindhorst, Taryn Patricia
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2001

    This dissertation is an empirical policy analysis which investigates the effect of domestic violence on a woman's welfare status, employment, and mental health within the context of new policies instituted by welfare reform. It uses quantitative data from a panel survey, and qualitative narratives from respondents who reported current domestic abuse.

    Multivariate analysis of welfare outcomes finds that domestic violence affects welfare outcomes indirectly through its effect on depression. Depression is associated with unemployment, continuing on TANF, and being sanctioned off welfare. Domestic violence is one of the strongest predictors of the level of reported depression. Abuse is not directly related to whether a woman is on TANF, leaves welfare voluntarily or has been sanctioned off the program. Further analysis shows that domestic violence is not statistically significant in predicting employment. This suggests that when domestic violence affects welfare status and employment it does so through its effect on mental health.

    Women's stories about abuse indicate...

    This dissertation is an empirical policy analysis which investigates the effect of domestic violence on a woman's welfare status, employment, and mental health within the context of new policies instituted by welfare reform. It uses quantitative data from a panel survey, and qualitative narratives from respondents who reported current domestic abuse.

    Multivariate analysis of welfare outcomes finds that domestic violence affects welfare outcomes indirectly through its effect on depression. Depression is associated with unemployment, continuing on TANF, and being sanctioned off welfare. Domestic violence is one of the strongest predictors of the level of reported depression. Abuse is not directly related to whether a woman is on TANF, leaves welfare voluntarily or has been sanctioned off the program. Further analysis shows that domestic violence is not statistically significant in predicting employment. This suggests that when domestic violence affects welfare status and employment it does so through its effect on mental health.

    Women's stories about abuse indicate that domestic violence is a serious life threatening problem. Even though the state has adopted the Family Violence Option to assist women who are experiencing abuse, none of the ten women interviewed received help through this program. Reasons for the failure of this policy to provide meaningful help include the lack of knowledge women have about the policy; their unwillingness to disclose the abuse, and the inability of the system to take meaningful action on their behalf.

    None of the women in the qualitative sample were employed during the worst of the abuse. The qualitative findings suggest that the window during which violence affects employment may be relatively short for most women--a statistical effect may only be noticeable if women are surveyed during the period surrounding the end of the relationship. Narratives show that domestic violence has immediate consequences that affect employment through interaction with the criminal justice system, increased isolation, lack of stable housing, need for closer supervision of children who have also been traumatized by the abuse, and ongoing health and mental health concerns. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brown, Brian J.; Lichter, Daniel T.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    Using the National Survey of Family Growth, we document nonmetropolitan and metropolitan single mothers' economic livelihood strategies. We have three objectives: (1) examine differences in employment, cohabitation, co-residence with other adults, and welfare receipt; (2) evaluate how these livelihood strategies are associated with economic well-being; and (3) identify key metro-nonmetro differences in the effectiveness of these livelihood strategies in improving the economic well-being of single mothers. We find surprisingly similar livelihood strategies in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas. Employment, cohabitation, and co-residence are strongly associated with economic well-being. However, nonmetro single mothers are less likely than metropolitan mothers to benefit economically from full-time employment. Given our results, “work-first” policies are likely to be less efficacious in nonmetropolitan areas. Indeed, nonmetropolitan single mothers are often “triply disadvantaged” compared to their metro counterparts; they experience higher rates of poverty, higher barriers to...

    Using the National Survey of Family Growth, we document nonmetropolitan and metropolitan single mothers' economic livelihood strategies. We have three objectives: (1) examine differences in employment, cohabitation, co-residence with other adults, and welfare receipt; (2) evaluate how these livelihood strategies are associated with economic well-being; and (3) identify key metro-nonmetro differences in the effectiveness of these livelihood strategies in improving the economic well-being of single mothers. We find surprisingly similar livelihood strategies in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas. Employment, cohabitation, and co-residence are strongly associated with economic well-being. However, nonmetro single mothers are less likely than metropolitan mothers to benefit economically from full-time employment. Given our results, “work-first” policies are likely to be less efficacious in nonmetropolitan areas. Indeed, nonmetropolitan single mothers are often “triply disadvantaged” compared to their metro counterparts; they experience higher rates of poverty, higher barriers to welfare receipt, and lower economic returns from other livelihood strategies. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sherman, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2005

    Using ethnographic and interview data, this paper explores the impacts of economic strain and job loss on the construction and experience of masculinity, as well as the effects of threats to masculine identity on family stability in a rural American community. It looks at these issues specifically with reference to the high correlation between poverty and single parenting, in order to better understand the causal mechanisms responsible for this link in a rural setting. It challenges the mainstream argument that it is women’s marriage choices that are mainly responsible for this correlation. Building on and extending the work of previous researchers, the paper argues that men’s experiences with masculinity in times of economic and labor market stress seriously undermine their abilities to sustain functioning relationships. (author abstract)

    Using ethnographic and interview data, this paper explores the impacts of economic strain and job loss on the construction and experience of masculinity, as well as the effects of threats to masculine identity on family stability in a rural American community. It looks at these issues specifically with reference to the high correlation between poverty and single parenting, in order to better understand the causal mechanisms responsible for this link in a rural setting. It challenges the mainstream argument that it is women’s marriage choices that are mainly responsible for this correlation. Building on and extending the work of previous researchers, the paper argues that men’s experiences with masculinity in times of economic and labor market stress seriously undermine their abilities to sustain functioning relationships. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Simmons, Leigh Ann; Dolan, Elizabeth M.; Braun, Bonnie
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    This study examined the contributions of maternal labor force participation and marital status on economic self-sufficiency over time for rural mothers. Data were from 174 rural families participating in three waves of data collection in Rural Families Speak. Chi-square and multiple logistic regression were utilized. Results revealed only one-third of mothers moved toward economic self-sufficiency over three years. Maternal education, employment status, and weekly work hours were associated with improved economic well-being. Compared to single-parent families, unmarried-couple and married-couple families had increased odds of improving economically. In an analysis of all mothers with partners, married or unmarried, martial status was not significant in economic improvement. Findings suggest the role of marriage in welfare reform for rural families should be reconsidered. (author abstract)

    This study examined the contributions of maternal labor force participation and marital status on economic self-sufficiency over time for rural mothers. Data were from 174 rural families participating in three waves of data collection in Rural Families Speak. Chi-square and multiple logistic regression were utilized. Results revealed only one-third of mothers moved toward economic self-sufficiency over three years. Maternal education, employment status, and weekly work hours were associated with improved economic well-being. Compared to single-parent families, unmarried-couple and married-couple families had increased odds of improving economically. In an analysis of all mothers with partners, married or unmarried, martial status was not significant in economic improvement. Findings suggest the role of marriage in welfare reform for rural families should be reconsidered. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Duncan, Greg J.; Gennetian, Lisa; Morris, Pamela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This article contributes to the literature on parental self-sufficiency and child well-being in two ways. First, we bring a novel interdisciplinary perspective to formulating hypotheses about the pathways by which policy-induced changes in the environments in which children are embedded, both within and outside the home, facilitate or harm children’s development. These hypotheses help to organize the contradictory assertions regarding child impacts that have surrounded the debate over welfare reform. Second, we draw on a set of policy experiments to understand the effects of reforms targeting parents’ self-sufficiency on both parents and their children. The random-assignment design of these evaluations provides an unusually strong basis for identifying conditions under which policy-induced increases in employment among low-income and mostly single parents can help or hurt young children’s achievement. (Author introduction)

    This article contributes to the literature on parental self-sufficiency and child well-being in two ways. First, we bring a novel interdisciplinary perspective to formulating hypotheses about the pathways by which policy-induced changes in the environments in which children are embedded, both within and outside the home, facilitate or harm children’s development. These hypotheses help to organize the contradictory assertions regarding child impacts that have surrounded the debate over welfare reform. Second, we draw on a set of policy experiments to understand the effects of reforms targeting parents’ self-sufficiency on both parents and their children. The random-assignment design of these evaluations provides an unusually strong basis for identifying conditions under which policy-induced increases in employment among low-income and mostly single parents can help or hurt young children’s achievement. (Author introduction)

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