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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: 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: Richburg-Hayes, Lashawn; Anzelone, Caitlin; Dechausay, Nadine; Datta, Saugato; Fiorillo, Alexandra; Potok, Louis; Darling, Matthew; Balz, John
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    Insights from behavioral economics, which combines findings from psychology and economics, suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve human services program design and outcomes. Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services programs.

    This report, from the early stages of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project, provides an overview of behavioral economics, presents an approach to applying behavioral economics to social programs, shares insights from three case studies in the BIAS project, and concludes with some early lessons that have emerged from the work and next steps for the BIAS project. Additionally, a separate technical supplement to the report provides a description of 12 commonly applied behavioral interventions identified through a review of the literature. (author...

    Insights from behavioral economics, which combines findings from psychology and economics, suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve human services program design and outcomes. Research has shown that small changes in the environment can facilitate behaviors and decisions that are in people’s best interest. However, there has been relatively little exploration of the potential application of this science to complex, large-scale human services programs.

    This report, from the early stages of OPRE’s Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project, provides an overview of behavioral economics, presents an approach to applying behavioral economics to social programs, shares insights from three case studies in the BIAS project, and concludes with some early lessons that have emerged from the work and next steps for the BIAS project. Additionally, a separate technical supplement to the report provides a description of 12 commonly applied behavioral interventions identified through a review of the literature. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sawhill, Isabel V.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2014

    Over half of all births to young adults in the United States now occur outside of marriage, and many are unplanned. The result is increased poverty and inequality for children. The left argues for more social support for unmarried parents; the right argues for a return to traditional marriage.

    In Generation Unbound, Isabel V. Sawhill offers a third approach: change “drifters” into “planners.” In a well-written and accessible survey of the impact of family structure on child well-being, Sawhill contrasts “planners,” who are delaying parenthood until after they marry, with “drifters,” who are having unplanned children early and outside of marriage. These two distinct patterns are contributing to an emerging class divide and threatening social mobility in the United States.

    Sawhill draws on insights from the new field of behavioral economics, showing that it is possible, by changing the default, to move from a culture that accepts a high number of unplanned pregnancies to a culture in which adults only have children when they are ready to be a parent. (author abstract...

    Over half of all births to young adults in the United States now occur outside of marriage, and many are unplanned. The result is increased poverty and inequality for children. The left argues for more social support for unmarried parents; the right argues for a return to traditional marriage.

    In Generation Unbound, Isabel V. Sawhill offers a third approach: change “drifters” into “planners.” In a well-written and accessible survey of the impact of family structure on child well-being, Sawhill contrasts “planners,” who are delaying parenthood until after they marry, with “drifters,” who are having unplanned children early and outside of marriage. These two distinct patterns are contributing to an emerging class divide and threatening social mobility in the United States.

    Sawhill draws on insights from the new field of behavioral economics, showing that it is possible, by changing the default, to move from a culture that accepts a high number of unplanned pregnancies to a culture in which adults only have children when they are ready to be a parent. (author abstract)

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