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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: Koohi-Kamali, Feridoon; Liu, Ran
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2017

    The combined influence of gender and race has been a defining feature of poverty in the USA, especially for single mothers. Recent applications of capability-based multidimensional poverty (MP) measurement to US data have examined race and gender, but little attention has been given to the intersection of the two. We address this gap in the literature on multidimensional poverty by employing household-level US Census data for the years 2006–2010 that are from Pennsylvania, a state with key income poverty indicators close to the mid-poverty values for all fifty states. We employ a dual cut-off procedure to present MP measures by levels of population sub-groups. The poverty ranking by single motherhood shows Hispanics are the most deprived, Whites as the least deprived, and African–Americans coming in between. Our findings suggest that the provision of child care facilities can prove effective for poverty reduction; and the improvement of language skills is likely to be critical for Hispanics. (Author abstract)

    The combined influence of gender and race has been a defining feature of poverty in the USA, especially for single mothers. Recent applications of capability-based multidimensional poverty (MP) measurement to US data have examined race and gender, but little attention has been given to the intersection of the two. We address this gap in the literature on multidimensional poverty by employing household-level US Census data for the years 2006–2010 that are from Pennsylvania, a state with key income poverty indicators close to the mid-poverty values for all fifty states. We employ a dual cut-off procedure to present MP measures by levels of population sub-groups. The poverty ranking by single motherhood shows Hispanics are the most deprived, Whites as the least deprived, and African–Americans coming in between. Our findings suggest that the provision of child care facilities can prove effective for poverty reduction; and the improvement of language skills is likely to be critical for Hispanics. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bratsch-Hines, Mary E.; Mokrova, Irina; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Most children in the United States experience nonparental child care during early childhood, and many children experience changes in their care during this period. Changes in care, or child care instability, have been argued to disrupt children's emerging relationships with others and may impede children's social-emotional development, particularly when changes occur during infancy and toddlerhood. Data for this study were drawn from the Family Life Project, a longitudinal study representative of families living in rural low-wealth areas. With a sample of 1292 children who were followed from six months to prekindergarten, this study examined the associations between cumulative child provider instability (measured as overall changes or changes across or within settings) from 6 to 36 months and children's social adjustment at prekindergarten. A number of factors were included to control for family selection into child care. Results suggested that more overall child care provider instability was negatively associated with teacher ratings of social adjustment at prekindergarten. This...

    Most children in the United States experience nonparental child care during early childhood, and many children experience changes in their care during this period. Changes in care, or child care instability, have been argued to disrupt children's emerging relationships with others and may impede children's social-emotional development, particularly when changes occur during infancy and toddlerhood. Data for this study were drawn from the Family Life Project, a longitudinal study representative of families living in rural low-wealth areas. With a sample of 1292 children who were followed from six months to prekindergarten, this study examined the associations between cumulative child provider instability (measured as overall changes or changes across or within settings) from 6 to 36 months and children's social adjustment at prekindergarten. A number of factors were included to control for family selection into child care. Results suggested that more overall child care provider instability was negatively associated with teacher ratings of social adjustment at prekindergarten. This association was driven by provider instability across but not within settings, though effect sizes were small. These findings point to an increased need to understand how early child care instability may be related to children's subsequent development. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burchinal, Margaret; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Vitiello, Virginia; Greenberg, Mark; The Family Life Project Key Investigators
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    This study examined whether a minimum level of preschool quality (threshold) is needed in order for a relationship to exist between preschool quality and children's academic, behavioral, and working memory in a sample of children from low-wealth rural communities where quality child care has been found to be lower than more urban communities. Participants included 849 children from two high-poverty, rural regions. Preschool quality was rated using the CLASS observational measure. Child outcomes included direct assessments of early language, mathematics, and working memory, as well as teacher ratings of attention, emotion regulation, problem behaviors, and peer relationships. Analyses included piecewise regression analyses that tested a priori specified cut-points and flexible b-spline analyses that tested for thresholds empirically. Results indicated some evidence for quality thresholds, suggesting that quality was related to children's behavioral outcomes above, but not below, a cut-point. Language, literacy, and working memory did not show evidence of threshold effects....

    This study examined whether a minimum level of preschool quality (threshold) is needed in order for a relationship to exist between preschool quality and children's academic, behavioral, and working memory in a sample of children from low-wealth rural communities where quality child care has been found to be lower than more urban communities. Participants included 849 children from two high-poverty, rural regions. Preschool quality was rated using the CLASS observational measure. Child outcomes included direct assessments of early language, mathematics, and working memory, as well as teacher ratings of attention, emotion regulation, problem behaviors, and peer relationships. Analyses included piecewise regression analyses that tested a priori specified cut-points and flexible b-spline analyses that tested for thresholds empirically. Results indicated some evidence for quality thresholds, suggesting that quality was related to children's behavioral outcomes above, but not below, a cut-point. Language, literacy, and working memory did not show evidence of threshold effects. Results are discussed in the context of prior mixed evidence for child care quality thresholds in other samples of predominantly low-income preschoolers in center-based child care in more urban areas. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: De Marco, Allison; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    RESEARCH FINDINGS: Prior research with older urban children indicates that disadvantaged neighborhood context is associated with poorer early development, including poorer verbal ability, reading recognition, and achievement scores among children. Neighborhood disadvantage in rural communities and at younger age levels may also be related to development; however this relationship has received little examination. In this study we utilize data from the Family Life Project, a representative sample of babies born to mothers in poor rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to address questions related to the relationship between neighborhood context (disadvantage and safety) and children's early language development. We examine mediation of this relationship by child care quality. We also examine geographic isolation and collective socialization as moderators of the relationship between neighborhood context and child care quality. Results indicated that while neighborhood disadvantage did not predict children's development or child care quality, neighborhood...

    RESEARCH FINDINGS: Prior research with older urban children indicates that disadvantaged neighborhood context is associated with poorer early development, including poorer verbal ability, reading recognition, and achievement scores among children. Neighborhood disadvantage in rural communities and at younger age levels may also be related to development; however this relationship has received little examination. In this study we utilize data from the Family Life Project, a representative sample of babies born to mothers in poor rural counties in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, to address questions related to the relationship between neighborhood context (disadvantage and safety) and children's early language development. We examine mediation of this relationship by child care quality. We also examine geographic isolation and collective socialization as moderators of the relationship between neighborhood context and child care quality. Results indicated that while neighborhood disadvantage did not predict children's development or child care quality, neighborhood safety predicted children's receptive language, with child care quality a partial mediator of this relationship. Collective socialization but not geographic isolation moderated the relationship between neighborhood safety and child care quality.

    PRACTICE OR POLICY: Implications for policy, practice, and future research are discussed, including improving community safety through community policing, neighborhood watch, and social networks and increasing access to quality child care. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Butler, David; Alson, Julianna; Bloom, Dan; Deitch, Victoria; Hill, Aaron; Hsueh, JoAnn; Jacobs, Erin; Kim, Sue; McRoberts, Reanin; Redcross, Cindy
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    In the context of a public safety net focused on limiting dependency and encouraging participation in the labor market, policymakers and researchers are especially interested in individuals who face obstacles to finding and keeping jobs. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project was a 10-year study that evaluated innovative strategies aimed at improving employment and other outcomes for groups who face serious barriers to employment. The project was sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. This report describes the HtE programs and summarizes the final results for each program. Additionally, it presents information for three sites from the ACF-sponsored Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project where hard-to-employ populations were also targeted.

    Three of the eight models that are described here led to increases in employment. Two of the three...

    In the context of a public safety net focused on limiting dependency and encouraging participation in the labor market, policymakers and researchers are especially interested in individuals who face obstacles to finding and keeping jobs. The Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ (HtE) Demonstration and Evaluation Project was a 10-year study that evaluated innovative strategies aimed at improving employment and other outcomes for groups who face serious barriers to employment. The project was sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with additional funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. This report describes the HtE programs and summarizes the final results for each program. Additionally, it presents information for three sites from the ACF-sponsored Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) project where hard-to-employ populations were also targeted.

    Three of the eight models that are described here led to increases in employment. Two of the three — large-scale programs that provided temporary, subsidized "transitional" jobs to facilitate entry into the workforce for long-term welfare recipients in one program and for ex-prisoners in the other — produced only short-term gains in employment, driven mainly by the transitional jobs themselves. The third one — a welfare-to-work program that provided unpaid work experience, job placement, and education services to recipients with health conditions — had longer-term gains, increasing employment and reducing the amount of cash assistance received over four years. Promising findings were also observed in other sites. An early-childhood development program that was combined with services to boost parents’ self-sufficiency increased employment and earnings for a subgroup of the study participants and increased the use of high-quality child care; the program for ex-prisoners mentioned above decreased recidivism; and an intervention for low-income parents with depression produced short-term increases in the use of in-person treatment. But other programs — case management services for low-income substance abusers and two employment strategies for welfare recipients — revealed no observed impacts.

    While these results are mixed, some directions for future research on the hard-to-employ emerged:

    • The findings from the evaluations of transitional jobs programs have influenced the design of two new federal subsidized employment initiatives, which are seeking to test approaches that may achieve longer-lasting effects.
    • The HtE evaluation illustrates some key challenges that early childhood education programs may face when adding self-sufficiency services for parents, and provides important lessons for implementation that can guide future two-generational programs for low-income parents and their young children.
    • Results from the HtE evaluation suggest future strategies for enhancing and adapting an intervention to help parents with depression that may benefit low-income populations.
    • Evidence from the HtE evaluation of employment strategies for welfare recipients along with other research indicates that combining work-focused strategies with treatment or services may be more promising than using either strategy alone, especially for people with disabilities and behavioral health problems.

    (author abstract)

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