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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: Hamad, Rita; Rehkopf, David H.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    Although adverse socioeconomic conditions are correlated with worse child health and development, the effects of poverty-alleviation policies are less understood. We examined the associations of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on child development and used an instrumental variable approach to estimate the potential impacts of income. We used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 8,186) during 1986-2000 to examine effects on the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI) and Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (HOME) scores. We conducted 2 analyses. In the first, we used multivariate linear regressions with child-level fixed effects to examine the association of EITC payment size with BPI and HOME scores; in the second, we used EITC payment size as an instrument to estimate the associations of income with BPI and HOME scores. In linear regression models, higher EITC payments were associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000,  B = -0.57; P = 0.04). In instrumental variable analyses, higher income was associated with improved short-...

    Although adverse socioeconomic conditions are correlated with worse child health and development, the effects of poverty-alleviation policies are less understood. We examined the associations of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on child development and used an instrumental variable approach to estimate the potential impacts of income. We used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (n = 8,186) during 1986-2000 to examine effects on the Behavioral Problems Index (BPI) and Home Observation Measurement of the Environment inventory (HOME) scores. We conducted 2 analyses. In the first, we used multivariate linear regressions with child-level fixed effects to examine the association of EITC payment size with BPI and HOME scores; in the second, we used EITC payment size as an instrument to estimate the associations of income with BPI and HOME scores. In linear regression models, higher EITC payments were associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000,  B = -0.57; P = 0.04). In instrumental variable analyses, higher income was associated with improved short-term BPI scores (per $1,000, B = -0.47; P = 0.01) and medium-term HOME scores (per $1,000, B = 0.64; P = 0.02). Our results suggest that both EITC benefits and higher income are associated with modest but meaningful improvements in child development. These findings provide valuable information for health researchers and policymakers for improving child health and development. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Haskins, Ron; Albert, Vicky; Howard, Kimberly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    The question addressed by this report is how the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program responded to increased unemployment during the Great Recession. Enacted in 1996, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, changing the culture of cash welfare by imposing strong work requirements backed by sanctions and a five-year time limit on benefit receipt. In response, the rolls declined in record numbers, both because people left the rolls, most of them for work, and because fewer people entered welfare. Between 1995 and 2000, welfare rolls declined by more than 55 percent nationwide, while poverty among children in single parent families and among black children, both of which groups were disproportionately represented on the TANF rolls, fell to their lowest levels ever.

    However, during the Great Recession that officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, as unemployment skyrocketed, TANF performance as part of the safety net was held by many advocates, policymakers, and...

    The question addressed by this report is how the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program responded to increased unemployment during the Great Recession. Enacted in 1996, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, changing the culture of cash welfare by imposing strong work requirements backed by sanctions and a five-year time limit on benefit receipt. In response, the rolls declined in record numbers, both because people left the rolls, most of them for work, and because fewer people entered welfare. Between 1995 and 2000, welfare rolls declined by more than 55 percent nationwide, while poverty among children in single parent families and among black children, both of which groups were disproportionately represented on the TANF rolls, fell to their lowest levels ever.

    However, during the Great Recession that officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, as unemployment skyrocketed, TANF performance as part of the safety net was held by many advocates, policymakers, and researchers to be inadequate. This report analyses this claim from a variety of perspectives. In the three studies report here, we examine changes in the TANF rolls in relation to two alternative measures of rising unemployment in each state and in relation to how the AFDC program responded during previous recessions. We show that the increase in the TANF rolls was greater—12 and 30 percent greater under two different methods—when examined during the unique period of rising employment in each state. We also show that TANF increased more in the recession of 2001 and the Great Recession of 2007-2009 than AFDC did during previous recessions. We also show, as have a number of other researchers, that the nation’s safety net as a whole performed well during the Great Recession and prevented millions of people from falling into poverty. (Edited author executive summary)

  • Individual Author: Obradovic, Jelena; Portilla, Ximena A.; Ballard, Parissa J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2016

    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning. (Author abstract)

    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edin, Kathryn; Seefeldt, Kristin; Dutta-Gupta, Indivar ; Greenberg, Mark; Simms, Margaret; Cancian, Maria
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2016

    This video from the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) includes the opening remarks and first plenary session on the second day of the conference. Plenary panelists included academics, researchers, and policymakers. The discussion centered around what is known about Americans living in deep poverty.

    This video from the 2016 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS) includes the opening remarks and first plenary session on the second day of the conference. Plenary panelists included academics, researchers, and policymakers. The discussion centered around what is known about Americans living in deep poverty.

  • Individual Author: Allard, Scott W.; Roth, Benjamin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    Cities and suburbs occupy well-defined roles within the discussion of poverty, opportunity, and social welfare policy in metropolitan America. Research exploring issues of poverty typically has focused on central-city neighborhoods, where poverty and joblessness have been most concentrated. As a result, place-based U.S. antipoverty policies focus primarily on ameliorating concentrated poverty in inner-city (and, in some cases, rural) areas. Suburbs, by con­trast, are seen as destinations of opportunity for quality schools, safe neighborhoods, or good jobs. Several recent trends have begun to upset this familiar urban-suburban narrative about poverty and opportunity in metropolitan America. In 1999, large U.S. cities and their suburbs had roughly equal numbers of poor residents, but by 2008 the number of suburban poor exceeded the poor in central cities by 1.5 million. Although poverty rates remain higher in central cities than in suburbs (18.2 per­cent versus 9.5 percent in 2008), poverty rates have increased at a quicker pace in suburban areas. (Author introduction)

    Cities and suburbs occupy well-defined roles within the discussion of poverty, opportunity, and social welfare policy in metropolitan America. Research exploring issues of poverty typically has focused on central-city neighborhoods, where poverty and joblessness have been most concentrated. As a result, place-based U.S. antipoverty policies focus primarily on ameliorating concentrated poverty in inner-city (and, in some cases, rural) areas. Suburbs, by con­trast, are seen as destinations of opportunity for quality schools, safe neighborhoods, or good jobs. Several recent trends have begun to upset this familiar urban-suburban narrative about poverty and opportunity in metropolitan America. In 1999, large U.S. cities and their suburbs had roughly equal numbers of poor residents, but by 2008 the number of suburban poor exceeded the poor in central cities by 1.5 million. Although poverty rates remain higher in central cities than in suburbs (18.2 per­cent versus 9.5 percent in 2008), poverty rates have increased at a quicker pace in suburban areas. (Author introduction)

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