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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: Dion, M. Robin; Avellar, Sarah A.; Clary, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of BSF programs, report on services received by the program group to which the intervention was offered, analyze characteristics of couples and programs that may affect participation, and describe the experiences of program group couples. A report on the effectiveness of BSF—its impacts on the lives of couples and their children—is expected in 2010. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: LaVeist, Thomas A.; Zeno, Tia L.; Fesahazion, Ruth G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This article explores the effects of being raised by married parents during childhood on health and well-being in adolescence and young adulthood in a longitudinal sample of African Americans. This study aims to address the following three questions: Does childhood with married patients lead to better health and well-being during adolescence? Does childhood with married patients lead to better health and well-being in young adulthood? Do the health effects of childhood with married patients differ for male and female? The authors found modest direct effects of childhood exposure to marriage on health for females. Having at least some childhood marriage exposure was also associated with several positive health behaviors. There is modest evidence that marriage bestows health benefits for children and that these benefits endure into young adulthood. (author abstract)

    This article explores the effects of being raised by married parents during childhood on health and well-being in adolescence and young adulthood in a longitudinal sample of African Americans. This study aims to address the following three questions: Does childhood with married patients lead to better health and well-being during adolescence? Does childhood with married patients lead to better health and well-being in young adulthood? Do the health effects of childhood with married patients differ for male and female? The authors found modest direct effects of childhood exposure to marriage on health for females. Having at least some childhood marriage exposure was also associated with several positive health behaviors. There is modest evidence that marriage bestows health benefits for children and that these benefits endure into young adulthood. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: McKay, Tasseli; Lindquist, Christine; Corwin, Elise; Bir, Anupa
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    The Evaluation of the Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and their Partners (MFS-IP) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) activities to support healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, and successful re-entry from incarceration. Twelve grantees received funding for five years (2006-2011) from the Office of Family Assistance within the Administration for Children and Families to implement multiple activities to support and sustain marriages and families of fathers during and after incarceration. Grantees also provided reentry services; parenting services, including visitation during incarceration; and education and employment services during and after incarceration.

    While incarceration takes a huge toll on families and children, research suggests that supportive families and positive marital/partner relationships are important for promoting positive adaptation for children of the incarcerated and for preventing subsequent criminal involvement among reintegrating prisoners. To evaluate the overall...

    The Evaluation of the Marriage and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Reentering Fathers and their Partners (MFS-IP) is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) activities to support healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood, and successful re-entry from incarceration. Twelve grantees received funding for five years (2006-2011) from the Office of Family Assistance within the Administration for Children and Families to implement multiple activities to support and sustain marriages and families of fathers during and after incarceration. Grantees also provided reentry services; parenting services, including visitation during incarceration; and education and employment services during and after incarceration.

    While incarceration takes a huge toll on families and children, research suggests that supportive families and positive marital/partner relationships are important for promoting positive adaptation for children of the incarcerated and for preventing subsequent criminal involvement among reintegrating prisoners. To evaluate the overall effectiveness of the MFS-IP grantees, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), awarded a contract to RTI to conduct an implementation evaluation as well as a multi-site, longitudinal, impact evaluation of selected grantees.

    The specific objectives of the MFS-IP evaluation are: (1) to describe the 12 programs on a number of dimensions including program history and context, type of grantee organization, target population, intervention strategies, and program design; (2) to describe program implementation, challenges, successes, and lessons learned; (3) to determine the impact of these diverse programs on outcomes such as marital stability, positive family interactions, family financial well-being, and recidivism; and (4) to identify the mediation mechanisms (or primary pathways) through which these programs achieve success.

    The implementation and impact evaluation, conducted over a ten-year period, includes on-site data collection regarding program implementation and a longitudinal survey data collection effort to study the effect of program participation in comparison with comparable individuals not participating in the MFS-IP programs. The study also has a qualitative data collection component. This evaluation adds to research, policy, and practice by helping to determine what types of programs work best for those involved in the criminal justice system, what does not work, and what effects these programs may have on fostering healthy marriages, families, and children.

    This report presents detailed implementation findings from the MFS-IP evaluation. The report provides information on program design, organizational partnerships, recruitment and participation, program components, service delivery strategies, post-funding sustainability and key lessons from the field operations. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn; Wood, Robert G.; Clarkwest, Andrew; Killewald, Alexandra; Monahan, Shannon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This report is a technical supplement to the 36-month impact report for the Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation (Wood et al. 2012). It provides additional detail about the research design, analytic methods, and variable construction that were used for the 36-month analysis, as well as a discussion of the subgroup analysis that was conducted. Additionally, the report discusses the treatment-on-the-treated (TOT) impact analysis, an analysis of BSF’s effects on couples who actually attended BSF group sessions. The full set of impact results generated as part of the 36-month analysis is included in the appendices of this volume. Restricted use data files and documentation are available through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research. (author abstract)

    This report is a technical supplement to the 36-month impact report for the Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation (Wood et al. 2012). It provides additional detail about the research design, analytic methods, and variable construction that were used for the 36-month analysis, as well as a discussion of the subgroup analysis that was conducted. Additionally, the report discusses the treatment-on-the-treated (TOT) impact analysis, an analysis of BSF’s effects on couples who actually attended BSF group sessions. The full set of impact results generated as part of the 36-month analysis is included in the appendices of this volume. Restricted use data files and documentation are available through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research. (author abstract)

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