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  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Bos, Johannes; Polit, Denise
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across...

    New Chance, a national research and demonstration program that operated between 1989 and 1992, was developed in a policy context marked by intense concern about teenage childbearing. That concern reflected the public's distress about three developments: the dramatic increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing over the past three decades, the long-term welfare costs incurred by young, poor women who become mothers, and the negative life prospects faced by their children. Little was known, however, about what kinds of programs and policies could help young mothers on welfare attain economic independence and could foster their children's development as well.

    The New Chance Demonstration was a rare and important opportunity to test the value of comprehensive services in assisting a disadvantaged group of families headed by young mothers who had first given birth as teenagers, who had dropped out of high school, and who were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The program, which operated in 16 locations (or "sites") in 10 states across the country, sought to help the young mothers acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could secure jobs offering opportunities for advancement and could thereby reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants in postponing additional childbearing and to help them become better parents. Finally, New Chance was explicitly "two-generational" in its approach, seeking to enhance the cognitive abilities, health, and socioemotional well-being of enrollees' children. The program was, for the most part, voluntary; that is, young women were generally not required to attend in order to receive public assistance. Instead, most joined it because they wanted to earn their General Educational Development (GED, or high school equivalency) certificates and the program offered free child care to enable them to participate.

    To evaluate the program's effectiveness, young women who applied and were determined to be eligible for New Chance were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the experimental group, whose members could enroll in the program, or the control group, whose members could not join New Chance but could receive other services available in their communities. To ascertain both short- and longer-term program effects, comparable information was collected from each member of both groups through in-home survey interviews conducted approximately 1½ and 3½ years after the individual had been randomly assigned. The measured average differences between the two groups' outcomes over time (such as their differences in rates of GED attainment, employment, or subsequent childbearing) and between the outcomes for their children are the observed results (or impacts) of New Chance. This, the final report on the New Chance program and its impacts, examines the trajectories of 2,079 young mothers who responded to the 3½-year survey.  (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha; Eldred, Carolyn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    The New Chance Observational Study — the subject of this monograph — is an in-depth examination of parenting behavior in 290 of the 2,322 families studied in the New Chance Demonstration, a national research and demonstration program operated between 1989 and 1992 at 16 locations in 10 states. The demonstration tested a program model intended to improve the economic prospects and overall well-being of low-income young mothers (aged 16 to 22) and their children through a comprehensive and intensive set of services. It was developed by MDRC and supported by a broad consortium of public and private funders.

    New Chance was directed at families central to the welfare reform debates that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 — families headed by young mothers who gave birth during their teenage years and were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC, the main cash welfare program). More specifically, New Chance focused on those who were especially disadvantaged because they were high school dropouts; as a group,...

    The New Chance Observational Study — the subject of this monograph — is an in-depth examination of parenting behavior in 290 of the 2,322 families studied in the New Chance Demonstration, a national research and demonstration program operated between 1989 and 1992 at 16 locations in 10 states. The demonstration tested a program model intended to improve the economic prospects and overall well-being of low-income young mothers (aged 16 to 22) and their children through a comprehensive and intensive set of services. It was developed by MDRC and supported by a broad consortium of public and private funders.

    New Chance was directed at families central to the welfare reform debates that culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 — families headed by young mothers who gave birth during their teenage years and were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC, the main cash welfare program). More specifically, New Chance focused on those who were especially disadvantaged because they were high school dropouts; as a group, they and their children are at high risk of long-term welfare receipt and economic hardship.

    The New Chance Program sought to help the young mothers (who, for the most part, volunteered for the program) to acquire educational and vocational credentials and skills so that they could find and keep jobs offering opportunities for advancement and reduce, and eventually eliminate, their use of welfare. It also sought to motivate and assist participants to postpone additional childbearing and to become better parents. Because New Chance focused on young children as well as their mothers, it sought to further the cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as the health of participants’ children. Child care was provided at no cost to the parents, on site in most places, and the program facilitated access to health services for both mothers and children. The program was intended to be intensive (four to five days a week for up to 18 months), though in practice attendance was of much shorter term and often irregular. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents

          Executive Summary/ Martha J Zaslow and Carolyn A. Eldred

    1. Introduction: The Context for the New Chance Observational Study/ Martha I Zaslow
    2. The Methodology of the New Chance Observational Study/ Donna R. Morrison, Carolyn A. Eldred, Martha I Zaslow, and M Robin Dion
    3. Participation in Program Components That Could Affect Parenting Behavior/ M Robin Dion, Martha I Zaslow, and Donna R. Morrison
    4. The Affective Quality of Mother-Child Interaction/ Nancy S. Weinfield, Byron Egeland, and John R. Ogawa
    5. Mother-Child Interactions Related to the Emergence of Literacy/ Jeanne De Temple and Catherine Snow
    6. Completing the Portrayal of Parenting Behavior with Interview-Based Measures/  Donna R. Morrison, Martha J. Zaslow, and M Robin Dion
    7. Integration: Looking Across the Differing Measures of Parenting/  Martha J. Zaslow, M Robin Dion, and Donna R. Morrison
    8. Parenting in a Broader Context: An Examination of the Multiple Influences on Child Outcomes/ the New Chance Observational Study Research Team
    9. Key Findings and Their Implications/ Martha J. Zaslow
    10. Expanding the Methodological Horizons of Child Development and Survey Research/  Carolyn A. Eldred
    11. Implementing Observational Research Within a Survey Context/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    12. Findings on the Administration of the Observational Session/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    13. An Assessment of the Data Collection Effort and Lessons for Future Research Efforts/ Carolyn A. Eldred
    14. Measurement Implications of the New Chance Observational Study/ Carolyn A. Eldred
  • Individual Author: Zaslow, Martha J. ; Moore, Kristin A.; Brooks, Jennifer L.; Morris, Pamela A.; Tout, Kathryn; Redd, Zakia A.; Emig, Carol A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    Even prior to passage of federal welfare reform, many demonstration programs anticipated key features of the 1996 law, such as "work-first" strategies, time limits on welfare receipt, and financial incentives to work. Over the past decade, 10 experimental evaluations of these programs have extended their studies to examine the impacts on children. This article provides a synthesis of findings from the first seven of these studies to release results concerning child impacts. Key observations include the following:

    • Across the different types of welfare-to-work programs examined, researchers found neither widespread harm nor widespread benefit to young children, but some significant impacts did occur.
    • Favorable impacts tended to occur in programs that improved family economic status or maternal education, but these programs still did not bring children to the level of national norms for positive child development.
    • Unfavorable impacts tended to occur when families did not show economic progress or when their economic situation worsened, when the children...

    Even prior to passage of federal welfare reform, many demonstration programs anticipated key features of the 1996 law, such as "work-first" strategies, time limits on welfare receipt, and financial incentives to work. Over the past decade, 10 experimental evaluations of these programs have extended their studies to examine the impacts on children. This article provides a synthesis of findings from the first seven of these studies to release results concerning child impacts. Key observations include the following:

    • Across the different types of welfare-to-work programs examined, researchers found neither widespread harm nor widespread benefit to young children, but some significant impacts did occur.
    • Favorable impacts tended to occur in programs that improved family economic status or maternal education, but these programs still did not bring children to the level of national norms for positive child development.
    • Unfavorable impacts tended to occur when families did not show economic progress or when their economic situation worsened, when the children were adolescents, and - unexpectedly - when the families were believed to be at lower risk for long-term welfare receipt.

    Thus, although impacts were not widespread, these programs did have the potential to affect children for both better and worse across a range of developmental outcomes. The authors conclude that these findings underscore the importance of strengthening program approaches to enhance developmental outcomes for children in families being served by the welfare system. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Flaherty, Scott; Corwin, Elise; Bir, Anupa; Lerman, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN;...

    In 2002, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) instituted the Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) evaluation to document operational lessons and assess the effectiveness of community-based approaches to support healthy relationships and marriages and child well-being. A component of the CHMI study involves implementation research on demonstrations approved by the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) under authority of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act. The goals of the demonstrations are to achieve child support objectives through community engagement and service delivery activities related to healthy marriage and relationship (HMR) education programs.

    A series of reports is being produced on the implementation of the Section 1115 projects. A total of 14 programs are included in the CHMI evaluation implementation study. Earlier reports covered the implementation of demonstrations in five locations: Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Grand Rapids, MI; Jacksonville, FL; and Nampa, ID. This report focuses on the demonstrations in Minneapolis, MN; Lexington, KY; New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA; and Denver, CO. The report examines community engagement efforts, the design and implementation of service delivery (healthy marriage and relationship training workshops and related services), and links with child support. It does not present estimates of program impacts or effectiveness. The report is based on site visits conducted from November 2008 to June 2009, a time when the sites were in various stages of program implementation—demonstrations in Denver and Minneapolis were each in the last year of funding, whereas the other three demonstrations were in earlier stages of implementation.(author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Short, Vanessa L.; Oza-Frank, Reena; Conrey, Elizabeth J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    To compare preconception health indicators (PCHIs) among non-pregnant women aged 18–44 years residing in Appalachian and non-Appalachian counties in 13 U.S. states. Data from the 1997–2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to estimate the prevalence of PCHIs among women in states with ≥1 Appalachian county. Counties were classified as Appalachian (n = 36,496 women) or non-Appalachian (n = 88,312 women) and Appalachian counties were categorized according to economic status. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models examined differences in PCHIs among women by (1) Appalachian residence, and (2) economic classification. Appalachian women were younger, lower income, and more often white and married compared to women in non-Appalachia. Appalachian women had significantly higher odds of reporting <high school education (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.19, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.29), fair/poor health (AOR 1.14, 95 % CI 1.06–1.22), no health insurance (AOR 1.12, 95 % CI 1.05–1.19), no annual checkup (AOR 1.12, 95 % CI 1.04–1.20), no recent Pap...

    To compare preconception health indicators (PCHIs) among non-pregnant women aged 18–44 years residing in Appalachian and non-Appalachian counties in 13 U.S. states. Data from the 1997–2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to estimate the prevalence of PCHIs among women in states with ≥1 Appalachian county. Counties were classified as Appalachian (n = 36,496 women) or non-Appalachian (n = 88,312 women) and Appalachian counties were categorized according to economic status. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models examined differences in PCHIs among women by (1) Appalachian residence, and (2) economic classification. Appalachian women were younger, lower income, and more often white and married compared to women in non-Appalachia. Appalachian women had significantly higher odds of reporting <high school education (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.19, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.10–1.29), fair/poor health (AOR 1.14, 95 % CI 1.06–1.22), no health insurance (AOR 1.12, 95 % CI 1.05–1.19), no annual checkup (AOR 1.12, 95 % CI 1.04–1.20), no recent Pap test (AOR 1.20, 95 % CI 1.08–1.33), smoking (AOR 1.08, 95 % CI 1.03–1.14), <5 daily fruits/vegetables (AOR 1.11, 95 % CI 1.02–1.21), and overweight/obesity (AOR 1.05, 95 % CI 1.01–1.09). Appalachian women in counties with weaker economies had significantly higher odds of reporting less education, no health insurance, <5 daily fruits/vegetables, overweight/obesity, and poor mental health compared to Appalachian women in counties with the strongest economies. For many PCHIs, Appalachian women did not fare as well as non-Appalachians. Interventions sensitive to Appalachian culture to improve preconception health may be warranted for this population. (Author abstract)

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