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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: Hock, Heinrich; Luca, Dara Lee; Kautz, Tim; Stapleton, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    We use data from a randomized evaluation of the Job Corps program to understand its impacts for youth with limitations from medical conditions. Job Corps was originally designed for economically disadvantaged youth facing education or employment barriers due to their community living environment. The program provides all enrollees with an integrated package of work-focused supports including general education, vocational training, soft skills development, and ultimately job placement. Our findings provide new information about the program’s impacts for approximately 470 youth with medical limitations (YMLs) included in the 1990s National Job Corps Study. Although YMLs were at greater risk for adverse outcomes relative to other enrollees, the impacts of Job Corps for this group have not been previously assessed. We find positive, large, and significant impacts per participant on self-reported employment and earnings; further, the program significantly reduced their dependence on long-term disability benefits. These estimated per-participant impacts were at least twice the size of...

    We use data from a randomized evaluation of the Job Corps program to understand its impacts for youth with limitations from medical conditions. Job Corps was originally designed for economically disadvantaged youth facing education or employment barriers due to their community living environment. The program provides all enrollees with an integrated package of work-focused supports including general education, vocational training, soft skills development, and ultimately job placement. Our findings provide new information about the program’s impacts for approximately 470 youth with medical limitations (YMLs) included in the 1990s National Job Corps Study. Although YMLs were at greater risk for adverse outcomes relative to other enrollees, the impacts of Job Corps for this group have not been previously assessed. We find positive, large, and significant impacts per participant on self-reported employment and earnings; further, the program significantly reduced their dependence on long-term disability benefits. These estimated per-participant impacts were at least twice the size of the corresponding impacts for other youths who did not have medical limitations at enrollment. Although more research on current program operations is needed, our findings suggest that Job Corps could help meet state and national policy goals for improving adult work outcomes for youth with disabilities and reducing their reliance on disability benefits. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria; Cook, Steven T. ; Seki, Mai; Wimer, Lynn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Most families in the child protective services system also interact with the child support enforcement system. This study exploits a natural experiment in Wisconsin, created by the state's large regional variation in child support referral policy, to estimate a potentially important effect of child support enforcement on the duration of out-of-home foster care placement. The effect we examine is whether requiring parents to pay support to offset the costs of foster care delays children's reunification with a parent or other permanent placement. We find evidence of this unintended effect, which is important not only because longer foster care spells are expensive for taxpayers, but also because extended placements in foster care may have consequences for child well-being. Our results highlight the potential importance of cross-systems analysis and the potential consequences when the policies and fundamental objectives of public systems are inconsistently coordinated. We discuss the implications of our findings for child support and child protective services policy. (Author...

    Most families in the child protective services system also interact with the child support enforcement system. This study exploits a natural experiment in Wisconsin, created by the state's large regional variation in child support referral policy, to estimate a potentially important effect of child support enforcement on the duration of out-of-home foster care placement. The effect we examine is whether requiring parents to pay support to offset the costs of foster care delays children's reunification with a parent or other permanent placement. We find evidence of this unintended effect, which is important not only because longer foster care spells are expensive for taxpayers, but also because extended placements in foster care may have consequences for child well-being. Our results highlight the potential importance of cross-systems analysis and the potential consequences when the policies and fundamental objectives of public systems are inconsistently coordinated. We discuss the implications of our findings for child support and child protective services policy. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mendoza, Marina M.; Dmitrieva, Julia; Perreira, Krista M.; Hurwich-Reiss, Eliana; Watamura, Sarah E.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Objective: This article explored whether preschoolers’ physical (body mass index [BMI] and salivary cortisol levels) and psychological (internalizing/externalizing behaviors) well-being were predicted by economic hardship, as has been previously documented, and further, whether parental immigration-related stress and/or acculturation level moderated this relationship in low-income Latino families. Method: The sample for the current study included 71 children of Latino immigrants (M = 4.46 years, SD = .62). Parents completed questionnaires assessing immigration-related stress, acculturation level, economic hardship, and child internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Child’s BMI was also calculated from height and weight. Salivary cortisol samples were collected midmorning and midafternoon at home on non-child-care days. Salivary cortisol values were averaged and log transformed. Results: Children’s salivary cortisol was predicted by an interaction between economic hardship and acculturation, with lower cortisol values except...

    Objective: This article explored whether preschoolers’ physical (body mass index [BMI] and salivary cortisol levels) and psychological (internalizing/externalizing behaviors) well-being were predicted by economic hardship, as has been previously documented, and further, whether parental immigration-related stress and/or acculturation level moderated this relationship in low-income Latino families. Method: The sample for the current study included 71 children of Latino immigrants (M = 4.46 years, SD = .62). Parents completed questionnaires assessing immigration-related stress, acculturation level, economic hardship, and child internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Child’s BMI was also calculated from height and weight. Salivary cortisol samples were collected midmorning and midafternoon at home on non-child-care days. Salivary cortisol values were averaged and log transformed. Results: Children’s salivary cortisol was predicted by an interaction between economic hardship and acculturation, with lower cortisol values except when children were protected by both lower acculturation and lower economic hardship. Both internalizing and externalizing behaviors were predicted by an interaction between economic hardship and immigration-related stress, with highest behaviors among children whose parents reported high levels of both economic hardship and immigration-related stress. Conclusions: The effects of economic hardship on the well-being of young children of Latino immigrants may depend on concurrent experiences of sociocultural stress, with detrimental effects emerging for these outcomes only when economic hardship and sociocultural stressors are high. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bullinger, Lindsey Rose
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2017

    Objectives. To investigate the effect of minimum wage laws on adolescent birth rates in the United States. Methods. I used a difference-in-differences approach and vital statistics data measured quarterly at the state level from 2003 to 2014. All models included state covariates, state and quarter-year fixed effects, and state-specific quarter-year nonlinear time trends, which provided plausibly causal estimates of the effect of minimum wage on adolescent birth rates. Results. A $1 increase in minimum wage reduces adolescent birth rates by about 2%. The effects are driven by non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adolescents. Conclusions. Nationwide, increasing minimum wages by $1 would likely result in roughly 5000 fewer adolescent births annually. (Author abstract)

    Objectives. To investigate the effect of minimum wage laws on adolescent birth rates in the United States. Methods. I used a difference-in-differences approach and vital statistics data measured quarterly at the state level from 2003 to 2014. All models included state covariates, state and quarter-year fixed effects, and state-specific quarter-year nonlinear time trends, which provided plausibly causal estimates of the effect of minimum wage on adolescent birth rates. Results. A $1 increase in minimum wage reduces adolescent birth rates by about 2%. The effects are driven by non-Hispanic White and Hispanic adolescents. Conclusions. Nationwide, increasing minimum wages by $1 would likely result in roughly 5000 fewer adolescent births annually. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Smeeding, Tim
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain...

    Some children are the blameless victims of poverty, while others are the lucky beneficiaries of affluence. We use the terms "blameless" or "lucky" because, as best we can tell, children do not choose their parents. It all depends on where the stork happens to drop them. However, the case against child poverty goes beyond this now-standard point that poor children do not deserve their fate. There is also a strong consequentialist case against poverty. In many countries, both rich and poor, child poverty threatens future national income growth and stability. Societies with lower child poverty rates have higher rates of economic mobility and greater equality of opportunity, and thus better exploit their available talent. It follows that it is in everyone's interest, not just that of poor children, to minimize child poverty. Whatever the larger macroeconomic effects of poverty may be, it is clear that early-childhood poverty leads to major downstream problems for the children experiencing it. Poverty in early years can have long-lasting consequences for brain development, health status, school performance, labor market outcomes, and future well-being more generally. And family instability, which is frequently linked to poverty, has negative effects as well. When children are raised in households with constantly changing family members, housing, and income, they experience negative consequences across the life course. The case for taking child poverty more seriously is accordingly strong. Why, then, doesn't our country have a long-term plan to reduce poverty substantially? The purpose of this essay is to discuss what types of anti-poverty plans would be consistent with the social science evidence and also dramatically reduce child poverty. (Author abstract)

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