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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Abdi, Fadumo; Lantos, Hannah
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2017

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental...

    Posted by Fadumo Abdi and Hannah Lantos, Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse Staff

    Disconnected youth are broadly defined as individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Some, including those that are more likely to be chronically disconnected, may face additional challenges as a result of complicated risk factors such as poor mental health, a history of involvement with the juvenile justice system or familial incarceration, being a member of a minority group, low academic achievement, or family poverty. The combination of these factors create barriers for youth to connect to education or, without education credentials, find employment, which further impedes their path to a self-sufficient adulthood.

    It is currently estimated that there are between 5.5 and 6.7 million youth who are neither working nor in school. This represents approximately 15 to 17 percent of the American youth population. Minorities, particularly minority males, are overrepresented among disconnected youth. Currently, the policy and practice literature doesn’t provide a universal definition of disconnected youth that is inclusive of the diverse population making estimations of the numbers of youth impacted by disconnection difficult. Youth who belong to other groups such as the LGBTQ population, youth who are aging out of foster care or have left the system, and youth who have been engaged with the juvenile justice system. Youth who are a part of these groups are vulnerable, at-risk for, or already disconnected and are more likely to experience more complex obstacles when transitioning towards self-sufficiency.

    Traditional indicators of a successful transition to adulthood have included career development, marriage, and parenthood. In the past three decades, these indicators of transition to adulthood have changed over time. Youth have shifted from early participation in the workforce to prolonged enrollment in higher education. Changes in the labor market, such as increased labor-saving technology, and the increasing prevalence of jobs that require a higher level skill set have made it difficult for youth to reach their long term career goals without higher education. The Great Recession of 2007 resulted in widespread increases in unemployment that was more severe for vulnerable populations including youth. Due to these social and workforce shifts, disconnected youth have found it more difficult to achieve self-sufficiency in the face of high unemployment.

    There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to help disconnected youth make a successful transition to adulthood. These programs take into account both the highly complex needs of disconnected youth and their importance to the economy. Intervention and prevention programs aimed at connecting youth to opportunity take four forms: (1) workforce development and skill building programs, (2) behavioral programs that work to prevent disconnection, (3) comprehensive programs which address social support needs and job training, and (4) early prevention programs that aim to re-engage adolescents who have dropped out of school or are at-risk of early drop out by providing counseling, helping to develop social and cognitive skills, and providing academic support services.

    Workforce development programs may vary depending on their target population and the specific outcomes to be achieved but typically includes career development opportunities for high schools students, combine education with vocational training, or target older youth with a greater focus on skills development. There is also a growing recognition that behavioral and mental health issues should be addressed alongside skill building and higher education attainment in order for disconnected youth to be successful long-term. In addition, employers and workforce programs have come to realize the importance of soft skills development, such as communication skills, conflict resolution, and self-regulation, for youth entering the workforce.

    Despite the broad scope of youth disconnection, researchers and practitioners have used common characteristics to describe this population, such as age, educational attainment, length of unemployment, or the socio-economic costs of youth disconnection to identify key factors that may alleviate challenges associated with the highly complex nature of youth disconnection. More evidence on youth disconnection is available now than at any other time in our history which helps to facilitate greater understanding of the challenges disconnected youth face, the extent of youth disconnection locally and nationally, and ultimately the development of better strategies to serve them.

    The SSRC library contains numerous resources and evaluations related to disconnected youth, including:

    For more resources, check out the SSRC Library and subscribe to the SSRC or follow us on Twitter to receive updates about upcoming events, new library materials on self-sufficiency topics of interest to you and more.

  • Individual Author: Wang, Wendy; Wilcox, W. Bradford
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The rise of nontraditional routes into parenthood among Millennials is one indicator that today’s young adults are taking increasingly divergent paths toward adulthood, including family formation. In fact, when it comes to family formation, overall only 40% of young adults ages 28 to 34 have moved into family life by marrying first (regardless of whether they have had any children). Another 33% have had children outside of or before marriage, and a significant share (27%) have not reached either of these traditional milestones of adulthood. By comparison, a majority of Baby Boomers (67%) had entered intofamily life at the same age by marrying first. A much smaller share had children before marrying (20%), or had delayed both parenthood and marriage (13%) at ages 28 to 34...Even though young men and women are taking increasingly divergent paths into adulthood in America today, panel data that tracks adults across the transition to adulthood indicate that the path most likely to be associated with realizing the American Dream is one guided by the success sequence. Given the...

    The rise of nontraditional routes into parenthood among Millennials is one indicator that today’s young adults are taking increasingly divergent paths toward adulthood, including family formation. In fact, when it comes to family formation, overall only 40% of young adults ages 28 to 34 have moved into family life by marrying first (regardless of whether they have had any children). Another 33% have had children outside of or before marriage, and a significant share (27%) have not reached either of these traditional milestones of adulthood. By comparison, a majority of Baby Boomers (67%) had entered intofamily life at the same age by marrying first. A much smaller share had children before marrying (20%), or had delayed both parenthood and marriage (13%) at ages 28 to 34...Even though young men and women are taking increasingly divergent paths into adulthood in America today, panel data that tracks adults across the transition to adulthood indicate that the path most likely to be associated with realizing the American Dream is one guided by the success sequence. Given the importance of education, work, and marriage—even for a generation that has taken increasingly circuitous routes into adulthood—policy makers, business leaders, and civic leaders should work to advance public policies and cultural changes to make this sequence both more attainable and more valued. Among other things, this should include public and private efforts to strengthen career and technical education, expand the EITC or other wage subsidies, and publicize the value of the “success sequence” to adolescents and young adults across America. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry; Hossain, Farhana; Mathern, Nick; Marks, Venessa
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2016

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is the Powerpoint Presentation from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found...

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is the Powerpoint Presentation from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry; Hossain, Farhana; Mathern, Nick; Marks, Venessa
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2016

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is a record of the questions and answers from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found...

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is a record of the questions and answers from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Webinar transcript can be found here. The PowerPoint Presentation can be found here.

  • Individual Author: Holzer, Harry; Hossain, Farhana; Mathern, Nick; Marks, Venessa
    Reference Type: SSRC Products
    Year: 2016

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is the transcript from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Powerpoint presentation can be found...

    On February 25, 2016, the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) hosted the Connecting Opportunity Youth to Education and Employment Webinar. This free Webinar explored research on assisting opportunity youth with obtaining the education, services, and work experience they need to become self-sufficient as they transition to adulthood. Opportunity youth are young people ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work or school. Speakers from MDRC, Georgetown University, and the Gateway to College National Network discussed research-based strategies for serving opportunity youth. Dr. Harry Holzer, Mr. Nick Mathern, and Ms. Farhana Hossain co-presented on the subject. Ms. Venessa Marks moderated the discussion.

    This is the transcript from the Webinar. Listen to the recording from the Webinar here. The Powerpoint presentation can be found here. A record of the question and answer session from the Webinar can be found here.

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