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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: Nguyen, Breanne Marie
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2018

    Child support is a means to financially support children, yet fewer than half of children eligible for child support receive full payment, with many receiving none. Child support nonpayment is a national concern that has led to negative repercussions for non-intact families, the community, and economic system. In some cases, noncustodial parents have an inability to pay. The purpose of this descriptive, phenomenological study was to understand custodial parental perceptions and experiences of noncustodial parent’s inability to pay their child support. Social learning theory served as the conceptual framework for the study. In-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 10 custodial parents ranging in age from 18 to 45 who had an active child support case enforced by a Domestic Relations Office in the northeastern United States but were not receiving payments due to the noncustodial parent’s inability to pay. Audiotaped interviews were manually transcribed and coded for themes using a typology organization structure. Coding was based on key terms, word repetitions, and...

    Child support is a means to financially support children, yet fewer than half of children eligible for child support receive full payment, with many receiving none. Child support nonpayment is a national concern that has led to negative repercussions for non-intact families, the community, and economic system. In some cases, noncustodial parents have an inability to pay. The purpose of this descriptive, phenomenological study was to understand custodial parental perceptions and experiences of noncustodial parent’s inability to pay their child support. Social learning theory served as the conceptual framework for the study. In-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 10 custodial parents ranging in age from 18 to 45 who had an active child support case enforced by a Domestic Relations Office in the northeastern United States but were not receiving payments due to the noncustodial parent’s inability to pay. Audiotaped interviews were manually transcribed and coded for themes using a typology organization structure. Coding was based on key terms, word repetitions, and metaphors. Member checking and audit trails were used to establish the trustworthiness of the data. The findings revealed that many custodial parents did not trust that the noncustodial parent was being truthful in their claims of having a true inability to pay. Other custodial parents believed that the noncustodial parent could make more attempts to try to assist the custodial parent in the absence of financial support. The findings of this study may contribute to social change by advancing knowledge and policies within the child support system. Likewise, findings may assist caseworkers and clinicians in better understanding their client’s experiences and challenges resulting in a better client service experience. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Perrotta, Alexis Francesca
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2015

    This research asks how universality of ridership is maintained in New York City’s transit system given that it is gated by the fare. Transportation planning scholarship presumes transit is affordable because the fare has a relatively low price and ridership among the poor is high. The transit agency addresses universality by maintaining a fare structure that keeps the single ride fare relatively low. Its method is based on empirical evidence that low-income riders “prefer” cheaper fare products over those with lower average fares but that require higher initial cash outlays. Transportation scholarship observes that low-income riders are inelastic and presumes, based on economic theory, that riders will forego more elastic goods to ride transit. Critical planning scholars have contested the tenets of the modernist planning project which utilize predict-and-provide empiricism and neoclassical economic models such as these. While urban planning has turned toward direct collaboration or at least participation with affected communities, transportation planning has not fully made this...

    This research asks how universality of ridership is maintained in New York City’s transit system given that it is gated by the fare. Transportation planning scholarship presumes transit is affordable because the fare has a relatively low price and ridership among the poor is high. The transit agency addresses universality by maintaining a fare structure that keeps the single ride fare relatively low. Its method is based on empirical evidence that low-income riders “prefer” cheaper fare products over those with lower average fares but that require higher initial cash outlays. Transportation scholarship observes that low-income riders are inelastic and presumes, based on economic theory, that riders will forego more elastic goods to ride transit. Critical planning scholars have contested the tenets of the modernist planning project which utilize predict-and-provide empiricism and neoclassical economic models such as these. While urban planning has turned toward direct collaboration or at least participation with affected communities, transportation planning has not fully made this turn. There is thus little transit-related research that is informed directly by riders, especially low-income riders, suggesting the conventional approaches to understanding how riders afford the fare are incomplete. To fill this void, this research engages with low-income transit riders to elaborate and challenge the explanations for universality of ridership. It finds that although the fare price is low, it is not necessarily affordable. The “preference” for single ride fares is in most cases the result of constraints. Single fare rides are often combined with fare evasion and exploitation of free transfers, while unlimited fare cards are highly sought and widely shared. Low-income riders are more likely to undertake compensating behaviors than to forego goods. On the occasions when they do forego goods, they compromise necessities such as food, telephone service, rent and laundry. Finally, agents of the welfare state distribute fares to low-income individuals to promote rehabilitation and labor force attachment. Together these findings suggest that universality of ridership is tenuous. It depends on fragmented systems of generosity, compromise and welfare of which transit advocates and planners are largely unaware. Fare evasion enforcement, pricing structures and fare payment methods can pose challenges to riders who rely on these fragmented systems. By explicitly acknowledging transit affordability, and incorporating knowledge on the role that welfare plays in enabling low-income ridership, planners can expand access to transit for low-income riders. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Chaplin, Shane S.
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2012

    Over the last few decades, increasing rates of single mother households in the United States have triggered a national alarm over the effects of father absence on society. Father absence has been linked specifically to many of the problems plaguing black communities in the United States (e.g. poverty, low educational attainment, etc.) and as a result community and political leaders alike have consistently promoted responsible fatherhood practices as a way to address them. Although responsible fatherhood has received, in this context, a considerable amount of social attention, this attention has come intertwined with considerable political and moral rhetoric at all levels, making an idea invested with a wide variety of often-conflicting meanings and interests.

    Given the paucity of academic studies giving voice to black fathers at the metaphoric "front line" of the national responsible fatherhood effort, this author used a variation of The Listening Guide (Gilligan 2003) to capture the narratives of four black fathers volunteering in a local responsible fatherhood program....

    Over the last few decades, increasing rates of single mother households in the United States have triggered a national alarm over the effects of father absence on society. Father absence has been linked specifically to many of the problems plaguing black communities in the United States (e.g. poverty, low educational attainment, etc.) and as a result community and political leaders alike have consistently promoted responsible fatherhood practices as a way to address them. Although responsible fatherhood has received, in this context, a considerable amount of social attention, this attention has come intertwined with considerable political and moral rhetoric at all levels, making an idea invested with a wide variety of often-conflicting meanings and interests.

    Given the paucity of academic studies giving voice to black fathers at the metaphoric "front line" of the national responsible fatherhood effort, this author used a variation of The Listening Guide (Gilligan 2003) to capture the narratives of four black fathers volunteering in a local responsible fatherhood program. Critical Social Representations Theory was used to frame the interaction between participants and the social contexts within which they are embedded, paying particular attention to participants' positioning in regard to social representations of race and gender. The widely different understandings of fatherhood present within the results point to fatherhood as a highly dynamic concept. Responsibility, on the other hand, was understood primarily as father presence, a middle class ideal that I argue is problematic given the realities of poor black fathers. Finally, all fathers tended to resist ideas of race as essence, even if in regard to gender all fathers adopted hegemonic positions endorsing views of gender difference as essential and as grounded in biology. Overall, results reveal complex portrayals of black fathers and their lives in communities where race, poverty, incarceration, drugs, violence, or family court all pose additional challenges to responsible fatherhood. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Boschmann, Eric
    Reference Type: Thesis
    Year: 2008

    This dissertation explores the patterns and processes of employment access among the working poor in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area. While job accessibility and spatial mismatch has been extensively researched, much of the empirical analysis focuses upon employment barriers among minority populations living in high-poverty inner-city neighborhoods. The ever-changing social and economic structure of U.S. cities warrants the need for more research that looks at employment barriers among the working poor, regardless of race, who increasingly reside outside the central city.

    This research utilized a two phase mixed method approach. In Phase 1, the patterns of employment access and factors of geographic context are explored through a standard set of spatial analytical techniques, including pattern analysis, accessibility modeling, geocomputation, cluster analysis, spatial regression, and geovisualization, using geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical software. The analysis is based upon spatially aggregated secondary data from the U.S. Census that provides...

    This dissertation explores the patterns and processes of employment access among the working poor in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area. While job accessibility and spatial mismatch has been extensively researched, much of the empirical analysis focuses upon employment barriers among minority populations living in high-poverty inner-city neighborhoods. The ever-changing social and economic structure of U.S. cities warrants the need for more research that looks at employment barriers among the working poor, regardless of race, who increasingly reside outside the central city.

    This research utilized a two phase mixed method approach. In Phase 1, the patterns of employment access and factors of geographic context are explored through a standard set of spatial analytical techniques, including pattern analysis, accessibility modeling, geocomputation, cluster analysis, spatial regression, and geovisualization, using geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical software. The analysis is based upon spatially aggregated secondary data from the U.S. Census that provides geographically detailed information about workers at place-of-residence, place-of-employment, and the journey-to-work flow. Phase 2 examines the underlying sociospatial processes that lead to limited employment access among the working poor and how they negotiate the residence-commuting-employment nexus. Primary data was collected through in-depth interviews and participant sketch mapping with 30 individuals. Informants discussed specific aspects of their everyday lives including, residential and employment histories, location decision-making, employment search strategies, and commuting experiences.

    Several key findings emerged from this research. Poverty and working poor housing and employment patterns are decentralized in the metropolitan area, and patterns of high/low job proximity are highly localized. The relationship of geographic context factors is spatially complex but lacks definitive and suggestive influences. Warehousing and distribution centers offer many higher-paying low-skilled jobs in the Columbus area, and temporary employment agencies play a key role in job search strategies. While the pattern analysis determines that the region has good job access for the working poor population, the local knowledge of individuals reveal how the higher-paying jobs are inaccessible by public transportation.

    The characteristics of the Columbus metropolitan area are typical of many midsized urban regions across the U.S.: the decentralization of urban functions, a polycentric form, population growth and development of low-density suburban areas, post-industrial service sector economic growth, and inadequate and inequitable CBD-oriented radial public transportation systems. Therefore, the findings here provide useful insight for employment access research in similar urban areas.

    This work extends the conceptualization of spatial mismatch by examining the dislocations of work and residence for working poor persons residing throughout the metropolitan area. As a piece of mixed method research, this work illuminates the utility of both primary and secondary sources, whereby the static and dynamic nature of data can greatly enrich understanding of human urban geographic phenomena. It is argued that conflicting outcomes from separate research phases highlights the multiplicity of realities and represent dual truths that should equally be considered valid and informative to broader knowledge. The broader implication of this work recommends locally specific public policies and urban planning to create more socially sustainable and equitable cities. (Author Abstract)