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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: Eyster, Lauren; Barnow, Burt S.; Anderson, Theresa; Conway, Maureen; Lerman, Robert I.; Jain, Ranita; Kuehn, Daniel; Montes, Marcela
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief summarizes findings from implementation, impact, and cost-benefit evaluations of Accelerating Opportunity (AO). AO is a career pathways initiative launched in 2011 that aims to help adults with low basic skills earn valued occupational credentials, obtain well-paying jobs, and sustain rewarding careers. AO was one of the first efforts to replicate and scale key elements of Washington state's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model. The evaluation took place in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana. The evidence shows that AO holds promise for changing college systems and promoting educational gains among low-skilled adults. Earnings impacts are mixed. (Author abstract) 

    This brief summarizes findings from implementation, impact, and cost-benefit evaluations of Accelerating Opportunity (AO). AO is a career pathways initiative launched in 2011 that aims to help adults with low basic skills earn valued occupational credentials, obtain well-paying jobs, and sustain rewarding careers. AO was one of the first efforts to replicate and scale key elements of Washington state's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) model. The evaluation took place in Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana. The evidence shows that AO holds promise for changing college systems and promoting educational gains among low-skilled adults. Earnings impacts are mixed. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Guo, Baorong; Huang, Jin; Porterfield, Shirley L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and...

    Young adults face enormous economic, social and psychological challenges when they transition into adulthood. This transition can be especially overwhelming and daunting for young adults with disabilities. Among the challenges young adults with disabilities are faced with are greater risk of low food security and barriers to healthcare. This study examines how the transition to adulthood may affect food security, health, and access to healthcare for youth with disabilities, and estimates the effects that SNAP has on this group in those turbulent years.

    The study used five years of data (2011-2015) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We combined the public and restricted NHIS data with the state SNAP policy variables. The sample included low-income individuals ages 13-25 (and their families) to reflect the life stage from pre-transition, to transition, and then to post-transition. Analyses were conducted at the Census Research Data Center in Columbia, MO. A difference-in-difference (DID) approach in linear models was applied to compare individuals with and without disabilities regarding changes in food security status and their health-related outcomes in the transition to adulthood. State SNAP policy variables were used as exogenous instruments to estimate the effects of SNAP participation on food security and health/healthcare use for youth and young adults with disabilities in the models of instrumental variables.

    The study’s limitations are closely examined with a focus on the constraints that we had in the DID analysis and the IV analysis. We also suggested directions for future research. Since food security likely has a profound impact on the long-term development, economic independence, and self-sufficiency, we discussed a few policy strategies that may help individuals with disabilities in their transition to adulthood. These include special outreach services to improve SNAP accessibility, an embedded alert system that serves to bring awareness of a SNAP participant’s upcoming transition to adulthood, incorporation of nutrition assistance in transition planning for youth, and better coordination of multiple public programs. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lynch, Mathew; Astone, Nan Marie ; Collazos, Juan; Lipman, Micaela; Esthappan, Sino
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This report evaluates the New York City-based Arches Transformative Mentoring program, finding that participation in the program reduces one-year felony reconviction by over two-thirds, and reduces two-year felony reconviction by over half, with especially profound impacts for the youngest program participants. The program's evidence-based curriculum is completed over a 6-12-month period and delivered in a group setting by "credible messengers," direct service professionals with backgrounds similar to the populations they serve. The evaluation recommends continuing and even growing the Arches program by tailoring the curriculum to align with participant experiences, providing more mentor training, offering opportunities for full-time employment, and expanding the program's length, alumni engagement, and age range. (Author abstract) 

    This report evaluates the New York City-based Arches Transformative Mentoring program, finding that participation in the program reduces one-year felony reconviction by over two-thirds, and reduces two-year felony reconviction by over half, with especially profound impacts for the youngest program participants. The program's evidence-based curriculum is completed over a 6-12-month period and delivered in a group setting by "credible messengers," direct service professionals with backgrounds similar to the populations they serve. The evaluation recommends continuing and even growing the Arches program by tailoring the curriculum to align with participant experiences, providing more mentor training, offering opportunities for full-time employment, and expanding the program's length, alumni engagement, and age range. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Williams, Sonya; Hendra, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Programs designed to help disadvantaged workers improve their labor-market prospects may have effects beyond improvements in employment rates and income. One possible supplementary effect is improvements in subjective well-being, or how participants feel about their current life situations. Subjective well-being is important because there are social costs related to lower levels of well-being, and because a person’s outlook has been demonstrated to have an effect on his or her future behavior. The Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) is designed to investigate the effects of subsidized and transitional employment programs on both financial and nonfinancial well-being. The STED project is evaluating a total of eight subsidized employment programs in seven locations across the United States, all of which aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. The programs target groups considered “hard to employ” (recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], people with criminal records, young people who are neither in school nor...

    Programs designed to help disadvantaged workers improve their labor-market prospects may have effects beyond improvements in employment rates and income. One possible supplementary effect is improvements in subjective well-being, or how participants feel about their current life situations. Subjective well-being is important because there are social costs related to lower levels of well-being, and because a person’s outlook has been demonstrated to have an effect on his or her future behavior. The Subsidized and Transitional Employment Demonstration (STED) is designed to investigate the effects of subsidized and transitional employment programs on both financial and nonfinancial well-being. The STED project is evaluating a total of eight subsidized employment programs in seven locations across the United States, all of which aim to improve participants’ long-term success in the labor market. The programs target groups considered “hard to employ” (recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [TANF], people with criminal records, young people who are neither in school nor working, noncustodial parents, and others), and they use subsidies to give participants opportunities to learn employment skills while working in supportive settings, or to help them get a foot in the door with employers. Most of the programs also provide support services to help participants address personal barriers to steady work. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Shaefer, H. Luke; Rivera, Joshua
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    The U.S. Census Bureau releases two poverty metrics annually: 1) the official poverty measure (OPM), which divides family pre-tax money income by inflation-adjusted thresholds; and 2) the supplemental poverty measure (SPM), which incorporates taxes and in-kind government transfers and adjusts for geographic cost of living differences. Meyer and Sullivan (2017) offer an alternative poverty measure using consumption rather than income data and utilizing an alternative inflation adjustor. In sharp contrast to the OPM and SPM, the Meyer and Sullivan consumption poverty series finds that poverty has fallen dramatically over the past two decades.

    To arbitrate between these conflicting trends, we compare annual poverty rates by these measures to a set of material hardship and labor market outcomes for years in which data are available. We use official food insecurity rates, a series of non-food material hardship outcomes taken from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and official unemployment rates released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In the most...

    The U.S. Census Bureau releases two poverty metrics annually: 1) the official poverty measure (OPM), which divides family pre-tax money income by inflation-adjusted thresholds; and 2) the supplemental poverty measure (SPM), which incorporates taxes and in-kind government transfers and adjusts for geographic cost of living differences. Meyer and Sullivan (2017) offer an alternative poverty measure using consumption rather than income data and utilizing an alternative inflation adjustor. In sharp contrast to the OPM and SPM, the Meyer and Sullivan consumption poverty series finds that poverty has fallen dramatically over the past two decades.

    To arbitrate between these conflicting trends, we compare annual poverty rates by these measures to a set of material hardship and labor market outcomes for years in which data are available. We use official food insecurity rates, a series of non-food material hardship outcomes taken from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and official unemployment rates released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In the most recent year for which all measures are available, the rate of consumption poverty indicated by Meyer and Sullivan is two to four times lower than the rates of food insecurity and the primary SIPP material hardship outcomes. Even the rate of very low food insecurity (more severe cases of food insecurity) was more than 30% higher than the overall rate of poverty according to Meyer and Sullivan’s baseline rate. In addition to differences in data, the low rate of poverty produced in this consumption series stems from the lower poverty threshold used.

    In terms of trends in poverty and hardship over the past two decades, OPM and SPM income poverty rates both follow trajectories in close alignment with a series commonly-utilized material hardship and labor market outcomes. In contrast, the Meyer and Sullivan consumption poverty series follows a path that is dissimilar to all of the other metrics during the past two decades, and yields very different conclusions about trends in poverty and hardship. For instance, the Meyer and Sullivan consumption series would lead to the conclusion that poverty was markedly lower during the Great Recession than in the early 2000s, even as income poverty, food insecurity, non-food material hardship, and medical hardship were markedly higher. (Author abstract)

     

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