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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: Lawrence, Catherine K.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2003

    This study explores how states responded to new family formation goals of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). In a purposive sample of seventeen states, field researchers collected data via a standard report form, resulting in a set of uniform case studies. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the study describes state responses, develops a typology based on the variation and clustering of state responses, and tests the validity of the typology through triangulation with secondary data analysis.

    This study maps a new area of welfare policy. The analysis framework developed by Gilbert, Specht and Terrell (1993) provides a key to this map. Four research questions for this study are based on their work: (1) What provisions have states chosen to meet the family formation goals of TANF? (2) What is the basis for the allocation of family formation provisions? (3) What are the strategies for delivery of the services? (4) How are these provisions financed? A fifth question asks: How do states vary in their choices?

    The family formation goals of the 1996...

    This study explores how states responded to new family formation goals of TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). In a purposive sample of seventeen states, field researchers collected data via a standard report form, resulting in a set of uniform case studies. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the study describes state responses, develops a typology based on the variation and clustering of state responses, and tests the validity of the typology through triangulation with secondary data analysis.

    This study maps a new area of welfare policy. The analysis framework developed by Gilbert, Specht and Terrell (1993) provides a key to this map. Four research questions for this study are based on their work: (1) What provisions have states chosen to meet the family formation goals of TANF? (2) What is the basis for the allocation of family formation provisions? (3) What are the strategies for delivery of the services? (4) How are these provisions financed? A fifth question asks: How do states vary in their choices?

    The family formation goals of the 1996 legislation did elicit state responses, although the magnitude of state activity is small, especially when compared to state responses to the work goals. States had diverse responses to the family formation goals, yet in developing provisions, all states in the sample avoided state and locally based political controversy. State provisions cluster into two basic types, pregnancy prevention and parent structure strategies; state selection of one or the other does not follow historic welfare tendencies along political culture or generosity. Ultimately, the family formation goals of TANF have not changed the purpose of the welfare program, which remains dedicated to the temporary provision of cash assistance and the promotion of self-sufficiency through work. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Brocksen, Sally M.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2006

    This project employed a descriptive case study methodology guided by rational choice theory to examine the financial feasibility of marriage for low income women. By modeling the income and expenses of eight different low income family types in six states (Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin) this study illustrates the financial situation of various low income families. The family types under investigation include: a single parent family, a family receiving TANF, cohabiting couple with two wage earners, cohabiting couple with one wage earner, a married family with two wage earners, a married couple with one wage earner, a unmarried couple with an infant (unmarried fragile family), and a married couple with an infant (married fragile family). The income of each family type was calculated at two different wage levels (minimum and low wage for each state under investigation). Income included the welfare benefits and subsidies each of the family's is likely to receive (including child care subsidies and tax credits). The expenses of each family were...

    This project employed a descriptive case study methodology guided by rational choice theory to examine the financial feasibility of marriage for low income women. By modeling the income and expenses of eight different low income family types in six states (Arizona, California, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin) this study illustrates the financial situation of various low income families. The family types under investigation include: a single parent family, a family receiving TANF, cohabiting couple with two wage earners, cohabiting couple with one wage earner, a married family with two wage earners, a married couple with one wage earner, a unmarried couple with an infant (unmarried fragile family), and a married couple with an infant (married fragile family). The income of each family type was calculated at two different wage levels (minimum and low wage for each state under investigation). Income included the welfare benefits and subsidies each of the family's is likely to receive (including child care subsidies and tax credits). The expenses of each family were calculated based on the size of the family and the cost of expenses such as housing and food expenditures. This study found that of the models presented here married families are not always financially better off when compared to single parent and cohabiting families. These findings demonstrate that if policy makers wish to support marriage among low income families they should first make marriage financially feasible for unmarried couples (particularly cohabiting couples) and create greater economic stability for couples that are already married. By providing consistent work supports (e.g. child care and health insurance), expanding programs that help low income families (such as the Earned Income Tax Credit), creating poverty measures that accurately reflect the real situation of low income families, and increasing the wages of low income workers, policy makers will create an environment where it is financially feasible for low income couples to marry and remain married. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bialik, Joyce
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2008

    This research explores enactment of the fathering role by impoverished men of ethnic groups that are rarely studied. From a content analysis of interviews with 150 very low income biological fathers the study identified a construct of fathering that took into account their commitment, guidance, and acts of caring for the child, among other items. The fathering construct was studied in relation to outcomes important to social welfare policy. Since the research is a secondary analysis of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation dataset of 1996-2001, years coinciding with the start of the current welfare law (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996), the study helps us understand some men's behavior relative to this law's requirements. Specifically, impoverished fathers, long excluded from the welfare system, are now a major focus of attention with respect to their behavior as responsible fathers and providers. The study found that virtually all of the men identified as fathers, and this had a positive effect on their continuous employment....

    This research explores enactment of the fathering role by impoverished men of ethnic groups that are rarely studied. From a content analysis of interviews with 150 very low income biological fathers the study identified a construct of fathering that took into account their commitment, guidance, and acts of caring for the child, among other items. The fathering construct was studied in relation to outcomes important to social welfare policy. Since the research is a secondary analysis of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation dataset of 1996-2001, years coinciding with the start of the current welfare law (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996), the study helps us understand some men's behavior relative to this law's requirements. Specifically, impoverished fathers, long excluded from the welfare system, are now a major focus of attention with respect to their behavior as responsible fathers and providers. The study found that virtually all of the men identified as fathers, and this had a positive effect on their continuous employment. Moreover, the men became more sensitive to and protective of their children with greater stress in the family--whether from its enduring poverty, conflict, or maternal depression.

    The findings also are instructive for culturally competent social work practice. For African American men the study found that their identification as a father was positively related to their living with the mother and child. This finding is echoed by these men's frequent comment being there, with the idea that one is not a real father if one is not there. This suggests the need to keep the father there for the children in whatever ways possible; if not by his everyday presence, then by visits, letters, phone calls, and through the children's contact with his family.

    For Latino men the unique finding was their reporting aspects of fathering that are not gender specific, such as guiding the child, and reliance on support from mothers in enacting the fathering role. This suggests the need to respect the existing hierarchical relationships in Latino families, and to validate these men's contributions as fathers without invalidating their masculinity. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bush, Janet
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2009

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between fertility and household economy on Montana’s Northern Plains. Low fertility and outmigration in European American communities have led to dramatic depopulation of the region. At the same time, isolated Indian reservations in the area have grown in population due to high fertility and return migration.

    A mixed methods research approach was used to explore the relationship between fertility and social acceptance of communal household economic strategies. Census data and birth records described differences in fertility and household economy between European American and Native American populations in six Plains Indian reservation counties; inferential tests demonstrated patterns of variation among fertility and economic variables in 37 rural counties. Qualitative ethnographic data were collected in two representative communities, one predominately European American and one predominately Native American, documenting individual beliefs and actions that reflected and reinforced community themes of ideal fertility...

    The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between fertility and household economy on Montana’s Northern Plains. Low fertility and outmigration in European American communities have led to dramatic depopulation of the region. At the same time, isolated Indian reservations in the area have grown in population due to high fertility and return migration.

    A mixed methods research approach was used to explore the relationship between fertility and social acceptance of communal household economic strategies. Census data and birth records described differences in fertility and household economy between European American and Native American populations in six Plains Indian reservation counties; inferential tests demonstrated patterns of variation among fertility and economic variables in 37 rural counties. Qualitative ethnographic data were collected in two representative communities, one predominately European American and one predominately Native American, documenting individual beliefs and actions that reflected and reinforced community themes of ideal fertility.

    Findings delineated value constellations that supported culturally specific fertility ideals. European American informants idealized delayed parenthood, childrearing within a nuclear family setting, household self-sufficiency, and avoidance of public assistance. In contrast, Native American informants idealized early parenthood, childrearing within an extended family setting, mutually dependent extended family households, and acceptance of tribal assistance without stigmatization.

    Analyses of state and tribal TANF programs and teen pregnancy prevention initiatives illustrate culturally specific approaches to public policy that influence fertility behaviors. State and federal programs reinforce dominant culture ideals of delayed parenthood and nuclear family self-sufficiency; they pathologize Native American patterns of family formation by removing parenthood from the context of community. Some tribes have assumed administration of TANF and adapted the program in order to preserve traditional childrearing practices and maintain family-building systems. (author abstract)

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