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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: Skewes, Monica C.; Blume, Arthur W.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Historians and scholars from various disciplines have documented the pervasive influence of racism on American society and culture, including effects on the health and well-being of American Indian (AI) people. Among the many health problems affected by racial discrimination and oppression, both historical and current, are substance use disorders. Epidemiological studies have documented greater drug and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality among AI/AN Alaska Natives compared to other ethnic groups, and culturally appropriate, effective interventions are sorely needed. We collected, as part of a larger community-based participatory research project to address substance use disparities in rural AI communities, qualitative interview data from 25 AI key informants from a frontier reservation in Montana. Using a semistructured interview guide, we asked participants to discuss their perceptions of the causes of substance use problems and barriers to recovery on the reservation. Although no questions specifically asked about discrimination, key informants identified stress from...

    Historians and scholars from various disciplines have documented the pervasive influence of racism on American society and culture, including effects on the health and well-being of American Indian (AI) people. Among the many health problems affected by racial discrimination and oppression, both historical and current, are substance use disorders. Epidemiological studies have documented greater drug and alcohol-related morbidity and mortality among AI/AN Alaska Natives compared to other ethnic groups, and culturally appropriate, effective interventions are sorely needed. We collected, as part of a larger community-based participatory research project to address substance use disparities in rural AI communities, qualitative interview data from 25 AI key informants from a frontier reservation in Montana. Using a semistructured interview guide, we asked participants to discuss their perceptions of the causes of substance use problems and barriers to recovery on the reservation. Although no questions specifically asked about discrimination, key informants identified stress from racism as an important precipitant of substance use and barrier to recovery. As one participant stated: “Oppression is the overarching umbrella for all sickness with drugs and alcohol.” Participants also identified historical trauma resulting from colonization as a manifestation of race-based stress that drives behavioral health problems. Findings suggest that interventions for AIs with substance use disorders, and possibly other chronic health problems, may be more effective if they address social determinants of health such as racial discrimination and historical trauma. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Blumenthal, Anne; Shanks, Trina R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary...

    As they are a long-term policy instrument, the results of many child savings account (CSA) programs take decades to realize. Because of this, important questions regarding the long-term impacts of the programs, as well as participants' perceptions regarding the programs' long-term impacts, are unanswered. In this study, we present findings from a qualitatively driven complex mixed methods follow-up of the first large CSA demonstration project, the quasi-experimental Michigan Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program. We asked SEED account-holding and non-account-holding families how they communicated about college, saving for college, and future educational attainment, nearly ten years after the CSA demonstration project ended. In a novel approach, we conducted separate semi-structured interviews with dyads of parents and children, combining that information with survey data and account balance monitoring data, ultimately gaining a multidimensional picture of how families with and without SEED accounts were approaching planning for post-secondary education right before the transition to adulthood. We found that: (1) the vast majority of account-holding families did not make withdrawals from their SEED accounts, (2) recent family communication about the SEED accounts was related to the specificity of a child's post-secondary plans, (3) there were tensions between college aspirations and the concrete steps needed to get there, and (4) families voiced concerns regarding the substantial barriers to post-secondary education. These findings point to both the promises and challenges of CSAs that newly developed programs might want to consider. (Author abstract)

     

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke ; Edin, Kathryn ; Fusaro, Vincent ; Wu, Pinghui
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Since the early 1990s, the social safety net for families with children in the United States has undergone an epochal transformation. Aid to poor working families has become more generous. In contrast, assistance to the deeply poor has declined sharply, and what remains often takes the form of in-kind aid. A historical view finds that this dramatic change mirrors others. For centuries, the nature and form of poor relief has been driven in part by shifting cultural notions of which social groups constitute the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. This line was firmly redrawn in the 1990s. Did the re-institutionalization of these categorizations in policy have material consequences? In this study, we examine the relationship between the decline of traditional cash welfare during the 2001-2015 period and two direct measures of wellbeing among households with children: household food insecurity and public school child homelessness. Using models that control for state and year trends, along with other factors, we find that the decline of cash assistance is associated with increases in...

    Since the early 1990s, the social safety net for families with children in the United States has undergone an epochal transformation. Aid to poor working families has become more generous. In contrast, assistance to the deeply poor has declined sharply, and what remains often takes the form of in-kind aid. A historical view finds that this dramatic change mirrors others. For centuries, the nature and form of poor relief has been driven in part by shifting cultural notions of which social groups constitute the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor. This line was firmly redrawn in the 1990s. Did the re-institutionalization of these categorizations in policy have material consequences? In this study, we examine the relationship between the decline of traditional cash welfare during the 2001-2015 period and two direct measures of wellbeing among households with children: household food insecurity and public school child homelessness. Using models that control for state and year trends, along with other factors, we find that the decline of cash assistance is associated with increases in these two forms of hardship. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Berger, Lawrence M.; Cancian, Maria; Magnuson, Katherine
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by highlighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty...

    The 2016 presidential election has brought to the fore proposals to fundamentally restructure the U.S. anti-poverty safety net. Even though much of the current debate centers on shrinking or eliminating federal programs, we believe it is necessary and useful to explore alternatives that represent new approaches and significant innovations to existing policy and programs. This double issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences builds on and extends the scholarly conversation on the state of current U.S. anti-poverty policy by highlighting a collection of related innovative and specific policy proposals for the United States. Well before the election, the authors of the articles in this volume were explicitly tasked with proposing substantially new policies solidly grounded in social science evidence that have the potential to transform anti-poverty policy. Assuming the goal to be reducing poverty among the U.S. population, we asked what new ideas should be seriously considered. The authors responded with carefully crafted proposals that tackle poverty from a variety of perspectives. Some of these proposals are more of a departure from existing policies than others, some borrow from other countries or revive old ideas, some are narrow in focus and others much broader, but all seek to move anti-poverty efforts into new territory. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Meyer, Daniel R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2018

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

    We argue that child support, the central program specifically targeting single-parent families, should increase financial resources for children living with a single parent, with a secondary goal of holding parents responsible for supporting their children. Current child support policy is substantially successful for divorcing families in which the noncustodial parent has at least moderate formal earnings. However, the system does not work well for lower-income families, especially unmarried couples: far too few children regularly receive substantial support and the system is sometimes counterproductive to encouraging parental responsibility. We propose: a public guarantee of a minimum amount of support per child, assurances that no noncustodial parent will be charged beyond their current means, and a broadening of child support services. (Author abstract)

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