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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: Besharov, Douglas J.; Germanis, Peter
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also...

    In this volume, Glenn Loury, a professor of economics and director of the Institute on Race and Social Division at Boston University, assesses the research evidence on the effectiveness of five projects that sought to reduce subsequent births to mothers on welfare. The first two involved family caps on welfare benefits: the Arkansas Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project and the New Jersey Family Development Program. The second two involved enhanced family-planning services as part of broader interventions for teen parents: the New Chance Demonstration and the Teenage Parent Demonstration. The last one involved "authoritative" or "directive" counseling within a nurse home-visitor program: the Prenatal and Early Childhood Nurse Home-Visitation Program. Loury also examines the Dollar-a-Day program, which involved positive financial incentives for young mothers who did not become pregnant....

    In addition to Loury's paper, this volume contains a detailed assessment of the New Jersey study by Peter Rossi, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst); it also offers three comments from people closely associated with that project and other analysts: Michael Camasso at the School of Social Work and Center for Urban Policy Research, Rutgers University (and his colleagues); Michael Laracy, a senior program associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and David Murray, director of research at the Statistical Assessment Service. Some of their comments support Loury's and Rossi's assessments, and some do not. This volume also includes an analysis of the New Jersey study from the Congressional Research Service. All of these materials are appended to this report so that readers can make their own judgements.

    Finally, this volume contains a paper by Michael Wiseman that presents the California estimates described above. Wiseman uses a longitudinal database to estimate the number of subsequent births to California welfare mothers in 1995, including an estimate of those who would have been subject to the family cap had that policy been in effect at that time. He finds that a significant number of children would have been subject to the family cap had it been in effect in 1995, and he provides estimates for the rate at which the number of children affected grows over time. His estimates highlight the importance of the issue. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Wertheimer, Richard; Moore, Kristin Anderson
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Teenage pregnancy and childbearing have been a continuing source of concern to health practitioners, educators, the media, politicians, and the public. Teen childbearing is associated with numerous negative outcomes for both the mother and her children and with costs to society--including welfare costs--and has been a major focus of welfare reform efforts. (author abstract)

    Teenage pregnancy and childbearing have been a continuing source of concern to health practitioners, educators, the media, politicians, and the public. Teen childbearing is associated with numerous negative outcomes for both the mother and her children and with costs to society--including welfare costs--and has been a major focus of welfare reform efforts. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bavier, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    Perhaps the two most controversial recommendations in the National Research Council's report, Measuring Poverty: A New Approach, are: 1) to allow the thresholds to change in real terms over time; 2) to not include medical needs in the "basic bundle" of food, shelter, and clothing making up the recommended poverty budget. This paper examines the empirical basis and logic of the recommended treatment of medical needs.

    To explain the exclusion of medical needs, the panel states, "such needs are highly variable across the population, much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing. One would have to develop a large number of thresholds to reflect different levels of medical care need, thereby complicating the poverty measure. Moreover, the predictor variables used to develop the thresholds (e.g., age, or self-reported health status) may not properly reflect an individual's medical needs during any one year: some people in a generally sicker group may not be sick that year and vice versa for people in a generally healthier group. The result would be...

    Perhaps the two most controversial recommendations in the National Research Council's report, Measuring Poverty: A New Approach, are: 1) to allow the thresholds to change in real terms over time; 2) to not include medical needs in the "basic bundle" of food, shelter, and clothing making up the recommended poverty budget. This paper examines the empirical basis and logic of the recommended treatment of medical needs.

    To explain the exclusion of medical needs, the panel states, "such needs are highly variable across the population, much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing. One would have to develop a large number of thresholds to reflect different levels of medical care need, thereby complicating the poverty measure. Moreover, the predictor variables used to develop the thresholds (e.g., age, or self-reported health status) may not properly reflect an individual's medical needs during any one year: some people in a generally sicker group may not be sick that year and vice versa for people in a generally healthier group. The result would be that it would be very easy to make an erroneous poverty classification." (p.226)…

    This paper tests the assertion that out-of-pocket medical spending is "much more variable than needs for such items as food and housing." If it is not, then it might not be impractical to include out-of-pocket medical expenditures in the poverty budget underlying new thresholds. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Waller, Margaret A.; Risley-Curtiss, Christina; Murphy, Sharon; Medill, Anne; Moore, Gloria
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 1998

    Reflecting biases that permeate the U.S. culture, professional accounts generally interpret stories of minority women from a deficit perspective. Problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy are often presented from an outsider's viewpoint and cast as intrapersonal phenomena independent of historical, political, and cultural context. This article suggests that stories and their implications change significantly depending on whether they are interpreted from a deficit or strengths perspective. Stories of American Indian Women, in their own voices, are discussed as a case example. (author abstract)

    Reflecting biases that permeate the U.S. culture, professional accounts generally interpret stories of minority women from a deficit perspective. Problems such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and teenage pregnancy are often presented from an outsider's viewpoint and cast as intrapersonal phenomena independent of historical, political, and cultural context. This article suggests that stories and their implications change significantly depending on whether they are interpreted from a deficit or strengths perspective. Stories of American Indian Women, in their own voices, are discussed as a case example. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bauman, Kurt
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1998

    There has been increasing interest in using direct measures of economic well being to keep track of how people are getting by. One set of indicators developed for this purpose includes questions on paying bills, ability to get needed health care and food sufficiency. Data gathered by the Census Bureau in the Survey of Income and Program Participation represent the first attempt to gather such data from a nationally-representative sample. The evidence presented here supports the use of hardship measures as a valid and useful measure of household well-being. They are strongly related to other factors correlated with poverty, and have a significant influence on high school dropout. However, there are other dimensions to hardship that are not strictly correlated with poverty, and there is some evidence that hardship might not be reliably measured over time. Those who use it as an outcome measure or as a way to calibrate other measures of poverty and well-being need to proceed with caution. (author abstract)

    There has been increasing interest in using direct measures of economic well being to keep track of how people are getting by. One set of indicators developed for this purpose includes questions on paying bills, ability to get needed health care and food sufficiency. Data gathered by the Census Bureau in the Survey of Income and Program Participation represent the first attempt to gather such data from a nationally-representative sample. The evidence presented here supports the use of hardship measures as a valid and useful measure of household well-being. They are strongly related to other factors correlated with poverty, and have a significant influence on high school dropout. However, there are other dimensions to hardship that are not strictly correlated with poverty, and there is some evidence that hardship might not be reliably measured over time. Those who use it as an outcome measure or as a way to calibrate other measures of poverty and well-being need to proceed with caution. (author abstract)

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