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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: Office of Policy Planning and Research, United States Department of Labor
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1965

    The most difficult fact for white Americans to understand is that in these terms the circumstances of the Negro American community in recent years has probably been getting worse, not better.

    Indices of dollars of income, standards of living, and years of education deceive. The gap between the Negro and most other groups in American society is widening.

    The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence — not final, but powerfully persuasive — is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated. There are indications that the situation may have been arrested in the past few years, but the general post war trend is unmistakable. So long as this situation persists, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself.

    The thesis of this paper is that these events, in combination,...

    The most difficult fact for white Americans to understand is that in these terms the circumstances of the Negro American community in recent years has probably been getting worse, not better.

    Indices of dollars of income, standards of living, and years of education deceive. The gap between the Negro and most other groups in American society is widening.

    The fundamental problem, in which this is most clearly the case, is that of family structure. The evidence — not final, but powerfully persuasive — is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling. A middle class group has managed to save itself, but for vast numbers of the unskilled, poorly educated city working class the fabric of conventional social relationships has all but disintegrated. There are indications that the situation may have been arrested in the past few years, but the general post war trend is unmistakable. So long as this situation persists, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself.

    The thesis of this paper is that these events, in combination, confront the nation with a new kind of problem. Measures that have worked in the past, or would work for most groups in the present, will not work here. A national effort is required that will give a unity of purpose to the many activities of the Federal government in this area, directed to a new kind of national goal: the establishment of a stable Negro family structure. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Stack, Carol
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1975

    All Our Kin is the chronicle of a young white woman's sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto community, to study the support system family and friends form when coping with poverty. Eschewing the traditional method of entry into the community used by anthropologists -- through authority figures and community leaders -- she approached the families herself by way of an acquaintance from school, becoming one of the first sociologists to explore the black kinship network from the inside. The result was a landmark study that debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. On the contrary, her study showed that families in The Flats adapted to their poverty conditions by forming large, resilient, lifelong support networks based on friendship and family that were very powerful, highly structured and surprisingly complex.

    Universally considered the best analysis of family and kinship in a ghetto black community ever published, All Our Kin is also an indictment of a social system that reinforces welfare dependency and...

    All Our Kin is the chronicle of a young white woman's sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto community, to study the support system family and friends form when coping with poverty. Eschewing the traditional method of entry into the community used by anthropologists -- through authority figures and community leaders -- she approached the families herself by way of an acquaintance from school, becoming one of the first sociologists to explore the black kinship network from the inside. The result was a landmark study that debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. On the contrary, her study showed that families in The Flats adapted to their poverty conditions by forming large, resilient, lifelong support networks based on friendship and family that were very powerful, highly structured and surprisingly complex.

    Universally considered the best analysis of family and kinship in a ghetto black community ever published, All Our Kin is also an indictment of a social system that reinforces welfare dependency and chronic unemployment. As today's political debate over welfare reform heats up, its message has become more important than ever. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mason, Patrick L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wu, Lawrence L.; Cherlin, Andrew J.; Bumpass, Larry L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    In this paper, we argue that entry into first sexual intercourse is a key process mediating the effects of family structure on premarital childbearing. We explicate three ways in which onset of sexual activity can mediate effects of family structure on premarital first births. First, the gross association between family structure and premarital birth risks may be due entirely to the effect of family structure on age at first intercourse. Second, the earlier the age at first intercourse, the longer the duration of exposure to the risk of a premarital first birth. Third, an early age at first intercourse may proxy unmeasured individual characteristics correlated with age at onset but uncorrelated with other variables in the model. We develop methods to assess such mediating effects and analyze data from two sources, the 1979-93 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth. We find that age at first intercourse partially mediates the effect on premarital birth risks of both snapshot measures of family structure at age 14 and a time-varying...

    In this paper, we argue that entry into first sexual intercourse is a key process mediating the effects of family structure on premarital childbearing. We explicate three ways in which onset of sexual activity can mediate effects of family structure on premarital first births. First, the gross association between family structure and premarital birth risks may be due entirely to the effect of family structure on age at first intercourse. Second, the earlier the age at first intercourse, the longer the duration of exposure to the risk of a premarital first birth. Third, an early age at first intercourse may proxy unmeasured individual characteristics correlated with age at onset but uncorrelated with other variables in the model. We develop methods to assess such mediating effects and analyze data from two sources, the 1979-93 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth. We find that age at first intercourse partially mediates the effect on premarital birth risks of both snapshot measures of family structure at age 14 and a time-varying measure of the number of family transitions, but that significant effects of these variables remain net of age at first intercourse. Delaying age at intercourse by one year reduces the cumulative relative risk of a premarital first birth by a similar amount for both white and black women. For black women, the magnitude of this effect is roughly the same as that of residing in a mother-only family at age 14. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Hardy, Janet B. ; Shapiro, Sam ; Astone, Nan M. ; Miller, Therese L. ; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne ; Hilton, Sterling C.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1997

    Objectives. Data from recent interviews with 1758 inner-city children, born between 1960 to 1965 and followed with their mothers in the Pathways to Adulthood Study to age 27 to 33 years, were used to address two related questions. 1) Is maternal age, across the reproductive age range, a determinant of child's adult outcome? and 2) Do covariates of maternal age at delivery reduce or eliminate the effect of maternal age on child's adult outcome?

    Methods. An intergenerational life course model of development identified significant maternal and child characteristics at birth associated with the child's self-sufficient outcomes in adulthood: education (more than or equal to a high school diploma); financial independence of public support; and delay of first birth until age 20 or older. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression techniques were used to identify independent relationships between dependent and independent variables and to adjust the outcomes to compensate for the effect of possible confounding of maternal age at delivery by maternal education,...

    Objectives. Data from recent interviews with 1758 inner-city children, born between 1960 to 1965 and followed with their mothers in the Pathways to Adulthood Study to age 27 to 33 years, were used to address two related questions. 1) Is maternal age, across the reproductive age range, a determinant of child's adult outcome? and 2) Do covariates of maternal age at delivery reduce or eliminate the effect of maternal age on child's adult outcome?

    Methods. An intergenerational life course model of development identified significant maternal and child characteristics at birth associated with the child's self-sufficient outcomes in adulthood: education (more than or equal to a high school diploma); financial independence of public support; and delay of first birth until age 20 or older. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression techniques were used to identify independent relationships between dependent and independent variables and to adjust the outcomes to compensate for the effect of possible confounding of maternal age at delivery by maternal education, parity, poverty status, and the child's race and gender.

    Results.  Each covariate was independently associated with maternal age at delivery. Adjustment for their effects reduced, but did not eliminate, the association between maternal age at birth and the child's outcome at age 27 to 33 years. As a group, children of the oldest mothers (≥25 years of age) had the most favorable outcomes, and those of teenage mothers (<20 years of age) had the least favorable outcomes; 22% of daughters and 6% of sons of the oldest mothers versus 38% and 18%, respectively, of the youngest mothers became teenage parents.

    Conclusion.  The mother's age at delivery is an independent determinant of the child's adult status. (author abstract)

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