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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: Garasky, Steven
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    In examining teenage and young adult employment, this study has three objectives. It seeks to throw light on reasons that some teenagers work and some do not. It explores the effect teenage labor force participation has on teenage educational attainment. Finally, it considers the longer-term effects of early employment on young adult work and wages. Four cross-sectional analyses are performed separately for male and female cohorts of original National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) respondents who were aged 14 through 16 at the first interview in 1979. These analyses take the fullest advantage of the longitudinal nature of the data, using information from every year available, 1979 through 1993. Childhood family structure is found to have little impact on teenage employment and timely high school graduation. However, there is evidence that teenage employment has positive effects on high school graduation and later labor force participation. (author abstract)

    In examining teenage and young adult employment, this study has three objectives. It seeks to throw light on reasons that some teenagers work and some do not. It explores the effect teenage labor force participation has on teenage educational attainment. Finally, it considers the longer-term effects of early employment on young adult work and wages. Four cross-sectional analyses are performed separately for male and female cohorts of original National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) respondents who were aged 14 through 16 at the first interview in 1979. These analyses take the fullest advantage of the longitudinal nature of the data, using information from every year available, 1979 through 1993. Childhood family structure is found to have little impact on teenage employment and timely high school graduation. However, there is evidence that teenage employment has positive effects on high school graduation and later labor force participation. (author abstract)

  • 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: Duncan, Greg; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    One in five American children now live in families with incomes below the poverty line, and their prospects are not bright. Low income is statistically linked with a variety of poor outcomes for children, from low birth weight and poor nutrition in infancy to increased chances of academic failure, emotional distress, and unwed childbirth in adolescence. To address these problems it is not enough to know that money makes a difference; we need to understand how. Consequences of Growing Up Poor is an extensive and illuminating examination of the paths through which economic deprivation damages children at all stages of their development.

    In Consequences of Growing Up Poor, developmental psychologists, economists, and sociologists revisit a large body of studies to answer specific questions about how low income puts children at risk intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Many of their investigations demonstrate that although income clearly creates disadvantages, it does so selectively and in a wide variety of ways. Low-income preschoolers exhibit poorer cognitive and...

    One in five American children now live in families with incomes below the poverty line, and their prospects are not bright. Low income is statistically linked with a variety of poor outcomes for children, from low birth weight and poor nutrition in infancy to increased chances of academic failure, emotional distress, and unwed childbirth in adolescence. To address these problems it is not enough to know that money makes a difference; we need to understand how. Consequences of Growing Up Poor is an extensive and illuminating examination of the paths through which economic deprivation damages children at all stages of their development.

    In Consequences of Growing Up Poor, developmental psychologists, economists, and sociologists revisit a large body of studies to answer specific questions about how low income puts children at risk intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Many of their investigations demonstrate that although income clearly creates disadvantages, it does so selectively and in a wide variety of ways. Low-income preschoolers exhibit poorer cognitive and verbal skills because they are generally exposed to fewer toys, books, and other stimulating experiences in the home. Poor parents also tend to rely on home-based child care, where the quality and amount of attention children receive is inferior to that of professional facilities. In later years, conflict between economically stressed parents increases anxiety and weakens self-esteem in their teenaged children.

    Although they share economic hardships, the home lives of poor children are not homogenous. Consequences of Growing Up Poor investigates whether such family conditions as the marital status, education, and involvement of parents mitigate the ill effects of poverty. Consequences of Growing Up Poor also looks at the importance of timing: Does being poor have a different impact on preschoolers, children, and adolescents? When are children most vulnerable to poverty? Some contributors find that poverty in the prenatal or early childhood years appears to be particularly detrimental to cognitive development and physical health. Others offer evidence that lower income has a stronger negative effect during adolescence than in childhood or adulthood.

    Based on their findings, the editors and contributors to Consequences of Growing Up Poor recommend more sharply focused child welfare policies targeted to specific eras and conditions of poor children's lives. They also weigh the relative need for income supplements, child care subsidies, and home interventions. Consequences of Growing Up Poor describes the extent and causes of hardships for poor children, defines the interaction between income and family, and offers solutions to improve young lives. (author abstract)

    Chapter 1: Poor Families, Poor Outcomes: The Well-Being of Children and Youth - Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Greg Duncan, and Nancy Maritato

    Chapter 2: Poverty Trends - Donald Hernandez 

    Chapter 3: Parent Absence or Poverty: Which Matters More? - Sara McLanahan

    Chapter 4: Trends in the Economic Well-Being and Life Chances of America's Children - Susan Mayer

    Chapter 5: Effects of Long-Term Poverty on Physical Health of Children in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - Sanders Korenman and Jane Miller

    Chapter 6: Poverty and Patterns of Child Care - NICHD Child Care Research Network 

    Chapter 7: Consequences of Living in Poverty for Young Children's Cognitive and Verbal Ability and Early School Achievement - Judith Smith, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, and Pamela Klebanov

    Chapter 8: Economic Resources, Parental Practices, and Children's Well-Being - Thomas Hanson, Sara McLanahan, and Elizabeth Thomson

    Chapter 9: Psychosocial Morbidity among Poor Children in Ontario - Ellen Lipman and David Offord

    Chapter 10: Family Economic Hardship and Adolescent Adjustment: Mediating and Moderating Processes - Rand Conger, Katherine Conger, and Glen Elder Jr.

    Chapter 11: The Influence of Poverty on Children's Classroom Placement and Behavior Problems - Linda Pagani, Bernard Boulerice, and Richard Tremblay

    Chapter 12: The Role of Family Income and Sources of Income in Adolescent Achievement - H. Elizabeth Peters and Natalie Mullis

    Chapter 13: Poverty During Adolescence and Subsequent Educational Attainment - Jay Teachman, Kathleen Paasch, Randal Day, and Karen Carver

    Chapter 14: Childhood Poverty and Adolescent Schooling and Fertility Outcomes: Reduced-Form and Structural Estimates - Robert Haveman, Barbara Wolfe, and Kathryn Wilson

    Chapter 15: Race, Sex, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty - Mary Corcoran and Terry Adams

    Chapter 16: The Effects of Parents' Income, Wealth, and Attitudes on Children's Completed Schooling and Self-Esteem - William Axinn, Greg Duncan, and Arland Thornton

    Chapter 17: Does Poverty in Adolescence Affect the Life Chances of High School Graduates? - Robert Hauser and Megan Sweeney

    Chapter 18: Income Effects Across the Life Span: Integration and Interpretation - Greg Duncan and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

  • Individual Author: Bos, Johannes; Fellerath, Veronica
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    This is the fifth and final report from a multi-year evaluation of Ohio’s Learning, Earning, and Parenting (LEAP) Program. Developed and operated by the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS), LEAP is a statewide initiative that employs financial incentives in an attempt to increase school enrollment and attendance among pregnant teenagers and custodial teen parents on welfare (almost all of them are women). LEAP, which began operating in 1989, requires these teens to stay in school and attend regularly or, if they have dropped out, to return to school or enter a program to prepare for the General Educational Development (GED), or high school equivalency, test. The program thereby strives to increase the proportion of teens who graduate from high school or receive a GED, find jobs, and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency. These longer-term goals are important because, even though teen parents make up fewer than 10 percent of all Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) case heads, families started by women who first gave birth as teenagers account for approximately 50...

    This is the fifth and final report from a multi-year evaluation of Ohio’s Learning, Earning, and Parenting (LEAP) Program. Developed and operated by the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS), LEAP is a statewide initiative that employs financial incentives in an attempt to increase school enrollment and attendance among pregnant teenagers and custodial teen parents on welfare (almost all of them are women). LEAP, which began operating in 1989, requires these teens to stay in school and attend regularly or, if they have dropped out, to return to school or enter a program to prepare for the General Educational Development (GED), or high school equivalency, test. The program thereby strives to increase the proportion of teens who graduate from high school or receive a GED, find jobs, and ultimately achieve self-sufficiency. These longer-term goals are important because, even though teen parents make up fewer than 10 percent of all Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) case heads, families started by women who first gave birth as teenagers account for approximately 50 percent of all long-term AFDC recipients.

    During the period of this study (the rules have recently been modified), teens who met LEAP’s requirements had their welfare checks increased — $62 for school enrollment and an additional $62 each month they attended school regularly — and teens who did not (without an acceptable reason) had $62 deducted from their welfare grant every month until they complied with program rules. Those who exceeded the allowed number of total absences in a month but not the allowed number of unexcused absences qualified for neither a bonus nor a “sanction” (as such grant reductions are called). Teens could be temporarily exempted from LEAP’s requirements for medical reasons, to care for an infant, or if child care or transportation was unavailable. Teens were no longer subject to LEAP’s requirements when they reached the age of 20, left AFDC, or received a high school diploma or a GED. During 1992 — approximately the midpoint in the period covered by this report — a teen living on her own with one child (the most common situation) was eligible for a monthly AFDC grant of $274. Thus, a bonus raised her grant to $336 and a sanction reduced it to $212. If she went from being sanctioned to receiving a bonus, she would experience a 58 percent increase in her welfare grant. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Prosser, William R.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are used to explore the educational achievement of youths who lived away from both biological parents for at least four months during childhood. The study focuses on those who spent some time in substitute care (in foster family care, living with relatives, or in institutions), those who left home to be on their own before age 17, and children who were adopted by a couple before age 2. Educational achievement is measured by high school completion, college completion, and highest grade completed by age 25. The 5 to 10 percent of youths in this study who experience surrogate forms of family care on average have lower educational achievement than those who grew up with both biological parents. The educational level of the parents appears to play an important role, and may explain a significant portion of this discrepancy. This study cannot sort out whether the differences in educational achievement reflect the types of youths who enter surrogate forms of care, the reasons for transitions, or the actual substitute care experiences....

    Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are used to explore the educational achievement of youths who lived away from both biological parents for at least four months during childhood. The study focuses on those who spent some time in substitute care (in foster family care, living with relatives, or in institutions), those who left home to be on their own before age 17, and children who were adopted by a couple before age 2. Educational achievement is measured by high school completion, college completion, and highest grade completed by age 25. The 5 to 10 percent of youths in this study who experience surrogate forms of family care on average have lower educational achievement than those who grew up with both biological parents. The educational level of the parents appears to play an important role, and may explain a significant portion of this discrepancy. This study cannot sort out whether the differences in educational achievement reflect the types of youths who enter surrogate forms of care, the reasons for transitions, or the actual substitute care experiences. Its contribution is that it adds analysis of a nationally representative sample of youth to a very thin body of literature on substitute care. (author abstract)

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