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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: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Miller, Cynthia
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    In 1994, the state of Minnesota began a major welfare reform initiative aimed at encouraging work, reducing dependence on public assistance, and reducing poverty. The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) differed from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) system in three key ways: (1) Financial incentives to work. In MFIP, more earnings were disregarded when calculating grant levels, and child care payments were paid directly to providers; (2) Participation requirements for long-term recipients. If not working full time, long-term welfare recipients had to participate in services designed to move them quickly into the workforce., and; (3) Simplification of rules and procedures. MFIP combined AFDC, Food Stamps, and the state-run Family General Assistance (FGA) program into a single program with one set of rules and procedures and one monthly payment.

    A central concern surrounding the recent wave of welfare reforms is how children will fare if their parents are subject to such policies as work mandates, time limits, and enhanced earnings disregards....

    In 1994, the state of Minnesota began a major welfare reform initiative aimed at encouraging work, reducing dependence on public assistance, and reducing poverty. The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) differed from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) system in three key ways: (1) Financial incentives to work. In MFIP, more earnings were disregarded when calculating grant levels, and child care payments were paid directly to providers; (2) Participation requirements for long-term recipients. If not working full time, long-term welfare recipients had to participate in services designed to move them quickly into the workforce., and; (3) Simplification of rules and procedures. MFIP combined AFDC, Food Stamps, and the state-run Family General Assistance (FGA) program into a single program with one set of rules and procedures and one monthly payment.

    A central concern surrounding the recent wave of welfare reforms is how children will fare if their parents are subject to such policies as work mandates, time limits, and enhanced earnings disregards. Although research in child development suggests that children are affected by changes in their parents’ employment, income, and other aspects of the family environment, the net effects of these types of programs are not well understood. The findings in this report present one of the first looks at the effects of an innovative welfare reform policy on children. It also provides an unusual opportunity to more broadly assess how changes in income and employment can affect children’s outcomes. MFIP began operating in April 1994 in three urban and four rural Minnesota counties, and the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC), under contract with the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), has been tracking its implementation and effects. Between April 1994 and March 1996, over 14,000 families were assigned at random, using a lottery-type process, to either the MFIP or the AFDC system. This study, which focuses on family and child well-being, follows a sample of families in the urban counties of the MFIP evaluation who had a child age 2 to 9 at the time of random assignment. MFIP’s effects on families and children are assessed by comparing the outcomes for the experimental group (MFIP) and the control group (AFDC) three years after they entered the evaluation. Reforming Welfare and Rewarding Work: Final Report on the Minnesota Family Investment Program, Effects on Adults, Volume 1 of the final report on MFIP, discusses adults in the study and focuses on MFIP’s effects on such economic outcomes as employment, earnings, welfare receipt, and income for the full evaluation sample. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Berge, Jerica M.; Rowley, Seth; Trofholz, Amanda; Hanson, Carrie; Rueter, Martha; MacLehose, Richard F.; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    BACKGROUND: Family meals have been found to be associated with a number of health benefits for children; however, associations with obesity have been less consistent, which raises questions about the specific characteristics of family meals that may be protective against childhood obesity. The current study examined associations between interpersonal and food-related family dynamics at family meals and childhood obesity status. METHODS: The current mixed-methods, cross-sectional study included 120 children (47% girls; mean age: 9 years) and parents (92% women; mean age: 35 years) from low-income and minority communities. Families participated in an 8-day direct observational study in which family meals were video-recorded in their homes. Family meal characteristics (eg, length of the meal, types of foods served) were described and associations between dyadic (eg, parent-child, child-sibling) and family-level interpersonal and food-related dynamics (eg, communication, affect management, parental food control) during family meals and child weight...

    BACKGROUND: Family meals have been found to be associated with a number of health benefits for children; however, associations with obesity have been less consistent, which raises questions about the specific characteristics of family meals that may be protective against childhood obesity. The current study examined associations between interpersonal and food-related family dynamics at family meals and childhood obesity status. METHODS: The current mixed-methods, cross-sectional study included 120 children (47% girls; mean age: 9 years) and parents (92% women; mean age: 35 years) from low-income and minority communities. Families participated in an 8-day direct observational study in which family meals were video-recorded in their homes. Family meal characteristics (eg, length of the meal, types of foods served) were described and associations between dyadic (eg, parent-child, child-sibling) and family-level interpersonal and food-related dynamics (eg, communication, affect management, parental food control) during family meals and child weight status were examined. RESULTS: Significant associations were found between positive family- and parent-level interpersonal dynamics (ie, warmth, group enjoyment, parental positive reinforcement) at family meals and reduced risk of childhood overweight. In addition, significant associations were found between positive family- and parent-level food-related dynamics (ie, food warmth, food communication, parental food positive reinforcement) and reduced risk of childhood obesity. CONCLUSIONS: Results extend previous findings on family meals by providing a better understanding of interpersonal and food-related family dynamics at family meals by childhood weight status. Findings suggest the importance of working with families to improve the dyadic and family-level interpersonal and food-related dynamics at family meals. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaveri, Heather; Dion, Robin; Baumgartner, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    This brief provides a general overview of four Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grantees involved in the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT) Evaluation. The brief: 1) provides a general overview of two approaches to service delivery in fatherhood programs; 2) documents how service delivery is linked to fathers’ characteristics; and 3) describes how service delivery approach may be linked to program participation and retention rates. Data gathered via staff interviews, program observations conducted during site visits, ongoing interactions with leadership at each program, and data on service receipt from each programs’ management information system was used to create this brief. (author abstract)

    This brief provides a general overview of four Responsible Fatherhood (RF) grantees involved in the Parents and Children Together Evaluation (PACT) Evaluation. The brief: 1) provides a general overview of two approaches to service delivery in fatherhood programs; 2) documents how service delivery is linked to fathers’ characteristics; and 3) describes how service delivery approach may be linked to program participation and retention rates. Data gathered via staff interviews, program observations conducted during site visits, ongoing interactions with leadership at each program, and data on service receipt from each programs’ management information system was used to create this brief. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Zaveri, Heather; Baumgartner, Scott; Dion, Robin; Clary, Liz
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    This report describes program design and implementation of four Responsible Fatherhood programs that are part of the Parents and Children Together evaluation. The report presents data on enrollment, initial participation, retention, and the amount of services fathers received from December 2012, the beginning of PACT enrollment, through August 2014. The report then discusses two approaches to service delivery adopted by the grantees and describes how these approaches may inform patterns related to program inputs and outputs and future Responsible Fatherhood programming. (author abstract)

    This report describes program design and implementation of four Responsible Fatherhood programs that are part of the Parents and Children Together evaluation. The report presents data on enrollment, initial participation, retention, and the amount of services fathers received from December 2012, the beginning of PACT enrollment, through August 2014. The report then discusses two approaches to service delivery adopted by the grantees and describes how these approaches may inform patterns related to program inputs and outputs and future Responsible Fatherhood programming. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Zaveri, Heather; Holcomb, Pamela
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Policy interest and support for increasing the positive involvement of fathers in their children's lives has increased substantially in recent years, with a dedicated federal funding stream for responsible fatherhood programs. These programs aim to improve fathers’ parenting, economic stability, and relationship skills, factors that are known to be associated with fathers’ socioemotional and financial support of their children. We focus on the efforts of four fatherhood programs participating in a large-scale evaluation sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We conclude that fathers in these programs, the majority of whom have nonresidential children, are strongly motivated to be more involved with and support their children despite numerous barriers, including difficult co-parenting relationships and problems with access to their children. Findings show that large numbers of fathers voluntarily enroll and participate in fatherhood program services in an effort to improve their situations. Future reports will...

    Policy interest and support for increasing the positive involvement of fathers in their children's lives has increased substantially in recent years, with a dedicated federal funding stream for responsible fatherhood programs. These programs aim to improve fathers’ parenting, economic stability, and relationship skills, factors that are known to be associated with fathers’ socioemotional and financial support of their children. We focus on the efforts of four fatherhood programs participating in a large-scale evaluation sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We conclude that fathers in these programs, the majority of whom have nonresidential children, are strongly motivated to be more involved with and support their children despite numerous barriers, including difficult co-parenting relationships and problems with access to their children. Findings show that large numbers of fathers voluntarily enroll and participate in fatherhood program services in an effort to improve their situations. Future reports will describe the effects of these services on the well-being of the fathers and their families.

    Key Points for the Family Court Community

    • The federal government is devoting considerable resources to programs to help fathers become more involved with and supportive of their children.
    • Many participating fathers lack formal visitation or parenting-time agreements because they were not married to the mothers of their children and no longer live with them.
    • Research to learn how these programs work is growing; this article describes preliminary findings from an evaluation of four federal responsible fatherhood programs. (author abstract)

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