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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: Feldman, Ruth
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    This study examines determinants of father involvement, the parents’ convergence on marital satisfaction, and mothers’ and fathers’ interactive behavior in dual-earner families at the transition to parenthood. Sixty dual-earner Israeli couples and their five-month-old firstborn child were interviewed and videotaped in infant–mother and infant–father interactions. Interactions were coded globally for 21 interactive behaviors and composited into measures of parent sensitivity and infant readiness to interact. Five determinants of each parent’s involvement in house and childcare were assessed as predictors of parent–infant interactions: the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, the amount of time each parent spends with the infant during the week and on weekends, and the range of childcare activities the parent typically performs. Marital convergence was indexed by the absolute difference score between mothers’ and fathers’ marital satisfaction. Father sensitivity was related to the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, to the amount of time the father...

    This study examines determinants of father involvement, the parents’ convergence on marital satisfaction, and mothers’ and fathers’ interactive behavior in dual-earner families at the transition to parenthood. Sixty dual-earner Israeli couples and their five-month-old firstborn child were interviewed and videotaped in infant–mother and infant–father interactions. Interactions were coded globally for 21 interactive behaviors and composited into measures of parent sensitivity and infant readiness to interact. Five determinants of each parent’s involvement in house and childcare were assessed as predictors of parent–infant interactions: the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, the amount of time each parent spends with the infant during the week and on weekends, and the range of childcare activities the parent typically performs. Marital convergence was indexed by the absolute difference score between mothers’ and fathers’ marital satisfaction. Father sensitivity was related to the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, to the amount of time the father spends with the child on weekends (but not during the week), to the range of childcare activities father performs, and to marital convergence. Mother sensitivity was related only to the sharing of responsibilities between spouses. The range of the father’s childcare activities predicted maternal interactive sensitivity. Infant readiness to interact with the father, but not with the mother, was related to the sharing of childcare responsibilities, to the range of father’s childcare activities, and to marital convergence. Results further specify the differential associations between the marital and the parent–child relationship for mothers and fathers and point to the importance of the father’s instrumental involvement in childcare to the development of fathering. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mincy, Ronald B. ; Huang, Chien-Chung
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    Buoyed by the success of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), whose time limits and work requirements played a large role in the reduction of the welfare rolls, conservative advocates of welfare reform are now moving to ensure that our welfare system reflects traditional family values as well. Responding to this sentiment, the Bush Administration is encouraging states to use TANF to support marriage promotion efforts and the Administration's 2002 budget includes $100 million in support of demonstration projects to promote marriage. By contrast, the $60 million President Bush had committed to support efforts to promote responsible fatherhood, not restricted to marriage, has been pared back to $20 million, along with cutbacks in other domestic initiatives that are needed to pay for the "war against terrorism." (author abstract)

    Buoyed by the success of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), whose time limits and work requirements played a large role in the reduction of the welfare rolls, conservative advocates of welfare reform are now moving to ensure that our welfare system reflects traditional family values as well. Responding to this sentiment, the Bush Administration is encouraging states to use TANF to support marriage promotion efforts and the Administration's 2002 budget includes $100 million in support of demonstration projects to promote marriage. By contrast, the $60 million President Bush had committed to support efforts to promote responsible fatherhood, not restricted to marriage, has been pared back to $20 million, along with cutbacks in other domestic initiatives that are needed to pay for the "war against terrorism." (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Clayton, Obie; Mincy, Ronald; Blankenhorn, David
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2003

    The majority of African American children live in homes without their fathers, but the proportion of African American children living in intact, two-parent families has risen significantly since 1995. Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society looks at father absence from two sides, offering an in-depth analysis of how the absence of African American fathers affects their children, their relationships, and society as a whole, while countering the notion that father absence and family fragmentation within the African American community is inevitable.

    Editors Obie Clayton, Ronald B. Mincy, and David Blankenhorn lead a diverse group of contributors encompassing a range of disciplines and ideological perspectives who all agree that father absence among black families is one of the most pressing social problems today. In part I, the contributors offer possible explanations for the decline in marriage among African American families. William Julius Wilson believes that many men who live in the inner city no longer consider marriage an option because their limited economic...

    The majority of African American children live in homes without their fathers, but the proportion of African American children living in intact, two-parent families has risen significantly since 1995. Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society looks at father absence from two sides, offering an in-depth analysis of how the absence of African American fathers affects their children, their relationships, and society as a whole, while countering the notion that father absence and family fragmentation within the African American community is inevitable.

    Editors Obie Clayton, Ronald B. Mincy, and David Blankenhorn lead a diverse group of contributors encompassing a range of disciplines and ideological perspectives who all agree that father absence among black families is one of the most pressing social problems today. In part I, the contributors offer possible explanations for the decline in marriage among African American families. William Julius Wilson believes that many men who live in the inner city no longer consider marriage an option because their limited economic prospects do not enable them to provide for a family. Part II considers marriage from an economic perspective, emphasizing that it is in part a wealth-producing institution. Maggie Gallagher points out that married people earn, invest, and save more than single people, and that when marriage rates are low in a community, it is the children who suffer most. In part III, the contributors discuss policies to reduce absentee fatherhood. Wornie Reed demonstrates how public health interventions, such as personal development workshops and work-related skill-building services, can be used to address the causes of fatherlessness. Wade Horn illustrates the positive results achieved by fatherhood programs, especially when held early in a man's life. In the last chapter, Enola Aird notes that from 1995 to 2000, the proportion of African American children living in two-parent, married couple homes rose from 34.8 to 38.9 percent; a significant increase indicating the possible reversal of the long-term shift toward black family fragmentation.

    Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society provides an in-depth look at a problem affecting millions of children while offering proof that the trend of father absence is not irrevocable. (author abstract) 

    Chapter 1: The Woes of the Inner-City African American Father - William Julius Wilson

    Chapter 2: Marriage and Fatherhood in the Lives of African American Men - Steven Nock

    Chapter 3: The Marriage Mystery: Marriage, Assets, and the Expectations of African American Families - Ronald Mincy and Hillard Pouncy

    Chapter 4: The Marriage Gap: How and Why Marriage Creates Wealth and Boosts the Well-Being of Adults - Maggie Gallagher

    Chapter 5: The Effects of Crime and Imprisonment on Family Formation - Obie Clayton and Joan Moore

    Chapter 6: Building a Fatherhood Movement in South Carolina - Barbara Morrison-Rodriguez

    Chapter 7: Fatherlessness in African American Families: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Prevention - Wornie Reed

    Chapter 8: Is it Working? Early Evaluations of Fatherhood-Renewal Programs - Wade Horn

    Chapter 9: Making the Wounded Whole: Marriage as Civil Right and Civic Responsibility - Enola Aird 

     

  • Individual Author: England, Paula; Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2007

    Today, a third of American children are born outside of marriage, up from one child in twenty in the 1950s, and rates are even higher among low-income Americans. Many herald this trend as one of the most troubling of our time. But the decline in marriage does not necessarily signal the demise of the two parent family—over 80 percent of unmarried couples are still romantically involved when their child is born and nearly half are living together. Most claim they plan to marry eventually. Yet half have broken up by their child's third birthday. What keeps some couples together and what tears others apart? After a breakup, how do fathers so often disappear from their children's lives?

    An intimate portrait of the challenges of partnering and parenting in these families, Unmarried Couples with Children presents a variety of unique findings. Most of the pregnancies were not explicitly planned, but some couples feel having a child is the natural course of a serious relationship. Many of the parents are living with their child plus the mother’s child from a previous relationship....

    Today, a third of American children are born outside of marriage, up from one child in twenty in the 1950s, and rates are even higher among low-income Americans. Many herald this trend as one of the most troubling of our time. But the decline in marriage does not necessarily signal the demise of the two parent family—over 80 percent of unmarried couples are still romantically involved when their child is born and nearly half are living together. Most claim they plan to marry eventually. Yet half have broken up by their child's third birthday. What keeps some couples together and what tears others apart? After a breakup, how do fathers so often disappear from their children's lives?

    An intimate portrait of the challenges of partnering and parenting in these families, Unmarried Couples with Children presents a variety of unique findings. Most of the pregnancies were not explicitly planned, but some couples feel having a child is the natural course of a serious relationship. Many of the parents are living with their child plus the mother’s child from a previous relationship. When the father also has children from a previous relationship, his visits to see them at their mother’s house often cause his current partner to be jealous. Breakups are more often driven by sexual infidelity or conflict than economic problems. After couples break up, many fathers complain they are shut out, especially when the mother has a new partner. For their part, mothers claim to limit dads’ access to their children because of their involvement with crime, drugs, or other dangers. For couples living together with their child several years after the birth, marriage remains an aspiration, but something couples are resolutely unwilling to enter without the financial stability they see as a sine qua non of marriage. They also hold marriage to a high relational standard, and not enough emotional attention from their partners is women’s number one complaint.

    Unmarried Couples with Children is a landmark study of the family lives of nearly fifty American children born outside of a marital union at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Based on personal narratives gathered from both mothers and fathers over the first four years of their children’s lives, and told partly in the couples' own words, the story begins before the child is conceived, takes the reader through the tumultuous months of pregnancy to the moment of birth, and on through the child's fourth birthday. It captures in rich detail the complex relationship dynamics and powerful social forces that derail the plans of so many unmarried parents. The volume injects some much-needed reality into the national discussion about family values, and reveals that the issues are more complex than our political discourse suggests. (author abstract)

    Table of Contents 

    Part I- Introduction

    Chapter 1: Unmarried Couples with Children: Hoping for Love and the White Picket Fence - Paula England and Kathryn Edin

    Part II - Couple Relationships among Unmarried Parents

    Chapter 2: Forming Fragile Families: Was the Baby Planned, Unplanned, or In Between? - Kathryn Edin, Paula England, Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer, and Joanna Reed

    Chapter 3: Everyday Gender Conflicts in Low-Income Couples - Paula England and Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer

    Chapter 4: Expectations and the Economic Bar to Marriage among Low-Income Couples - Christina Gibson-Davis

    Chapter 5: Steppin' Out: Infidelity and Sexual Jealousy among Unmarried Parents - Heather Hill

    Chapter 6: Anatomy of the Breakup: How and Why do Unmarried Couples with Children Break Up? - Joanna Reed

    Part III - Parenting Together and Apart

    Chapter 7: #1 Father or Fathering 101?: Couple Relationship Quality and Father Involvement When Fathers Live with Their Children - Kathryn Linnenberg

    Chapter 8: Blended but Not the Bradys: Navigating Unmarried Multiple Partner Fertility - Lindsay Monte

    Chapter 9: Gatekeeper Moms and (Un)Involved Dads: What Happens After a Breakup? - Amy Claessens

    Chapter 10: Child Support among Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers - Katherine Magnuson and Christina Gibson-Davis

    Part IV - Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods and Data 

    Chapter 11: Mixing Methods: Reliability and Validity Across Quantitative and Qualitative Measures of Relationship Quality - Mimi Engel

    Chapter 12: Data from the TLC3 - Emily Fitzgibbons Shafer

  • Individual Author: McKay, Tasseli; Bir, Anupa; Lindquist, Christine; Corwin, Elise; Stahl, Mindy H.; McDonald, Hope S.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2009

    This brief describes the work of Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Re-Entering Fathers and Their Partners (MFS-IP) grantees in delivering programming to the partners of incarcerated fathers. The brief documents services offered to partners; challenges encountered in enrolling and serving partners; and solutions grantees employed to meet these challenges. (author abstract)

    This brief describes the work of Responsible Fatherhood, Marriage, and Family Strengthening Grants for Incarcerated and Re-Entering Fathers and Their Partners (MFS-IP) grantees in delivering programming to the partners of incarcerated fathers. The brief documents services offered to partners; challenges encountered in enrolling and serving partners; and solutions grantees employed to meet these challenges. (author abstract)

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