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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: Polit, Denise F.; London, Andrew S.; Martinez, John M.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    Despite the strength of the American economy in the past few years, food insecurity and hunger continue to affect millions of American families. Drawing on 1998-1999 survey and ethnographic data from the Urban Change study (a multicomponent study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in four large cities), this paper describes the food security of mother-headed families who were living in highly disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and who had received or were currently receiving cash welfare benefits. The families of four groups of women were compared: those who, at the time of the interview, worked and were no longer receiving welfare; those who combined welfare and work; nonworking welfare recipients; and those who neither worked nor were then receiving welfare. The survey results indicated that food insecurity in the prior year was high in all groups. Overall, about half the families were food insecure, and hunger was found in slightly more than 15 percent of the families. Moreover, in nearly one-third of the families there were food hardships that affected the...

    Despite the strength of the American economy in the past few years, food insecurity and hunger continue to affect millions of American families. Drawing on 1998-1999 survey and ethnographic data from the Urban Change study (a multicomponent study of the implementation and effects of welfare reform in four large cities), this paper describes the food security of mother-headed families who were living in highly disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and who had received or were currently receiving cash welfare benefits. The families of four groups of women were compared: those who, at the time of the interview, worked and were no longer receiving welfare; those who combined welfare and work; nonworking welfare recipients; and those who neither worked nor were then receiving welfare. The survey results indicated that food insecurity in the prior year was high in all groups. Overall, about half the families were food insecure, and hunger was found in slightly more than 15 percent of the families. Moreover, in nearly one-third of the families there were food hardships that affected the children’s diets. Food insecurity was most prevalent among families where the mother had neither employment income nor welfare benefits. Food insecurity was lowest among the families where the mothers were working and no longer getting welfare, but even in this group 44.5 percent were food insecure, and nearly 15 percent had experienced hunger. Data from in-depth ethnographic interviews indicate that, in this population, women who are food secure nevertheless expend considerable energy piecing together strategies to ensure that there is an adequate amount of food available for themselves and their children. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Quint, Janet; Widom, Rebecca; Moore, Lindsay
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2001

    Medicaid and food stamps are important potential sources of support for low-wage workers, including those who have recently received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare. Yet many former welfare recipients are not getting these benefits, despite the fact that the vast majority of TANF recipients who find employment are eligible for transitional Medicaid and that, depending on their income, they may be eligible for food stamps as well. While many explanations for declines in the Medicaid and food stamp rolls have been offered, this report focuses on what happens in welfare offices as eligibility workers put policies into practice and interact with agency clients. This report is part of the Project on Devolution and Urban Change (“Urban Change” for short), which is being undertaken by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). The report is based on research conducted in early 2000 in welfare offices located in the four large urban counties participating in the project: Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio); Los Angeles County (California); Miami-Dade...

    Medicaid and food stamps are important potential sources of support for low-wage workers, including those who have recently received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) welfare. Yet many former welfare recipients are not getting these benefits, despite the fact that the vast majority of TANF recipients who find employment are eligible for transitional Medicaid and that, depending on their income, they may be eligible for food stamps as well. While many explanations for declines in the Medicaid and food stamp rolls have been offered, this report focuses on what happens in welfare offices as eligibility workers put policies into practice and interact with agency clients. This report is part of the Project on Devolution and Urban Change (“Urban Change” for short), which is being undertaken by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). The report is based on research conducted in early 2000 in welfare offices located in the four large urban counties participating in the project: Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio); Los Angeles County (California); Miami-Dade County (Florida); and Philadelphia County (Pennsylvania). The findings are based primarily on 67 interviews with line staff members (referred to here as “workers”) and their supervisors, and on 28 observations of worker-client meetings. The authors drew also on quantitative data from surveys administered to 615 line staff members at all sites except Los Angeles (where the surveys were fielded too late for the data to be included here). Finally, they analyzed the contents of in-depth interviews with 50 welfare recipients in Cuyahoga and Los Angeles Counties that were conducted as part of the Urban Change project’s ethnographic study. This report contains the findings of that research and, based on those findings, recommendations to state and local welfare agencies and to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS, the agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that administers the Food Stamp Program). The authors shared a draft of the report with FNS as well. On November 18, 2000, as the report was made into its final form, President Clinton announced new rules governing the administration of food stamps that could substantially address some of the problems observed. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cook, John T.; Skalicky, Anne
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This report summarizes the association of welfare sanctions--benefits terminated or reduced for failure to comply with behavioral requirements--with the health and food security of children younger than 3 years of age in 6 large U.S. cities (Baltimore, Boston, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C.). Information for the report includes data collected through the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP). The C-SNAP involved a sentinel sample of caregivers of infants and toddlers presenting at pediatric emergency rooms and primary care services for non-life- threatening conditions. Eligible caregivers were interviewed regarding the child's and parent's health, household demographics, use of public assistance programs, and food security. The main findings are summarized as follows: (1) welfare sanctions and benefits decrease are associated with significantly increased rates of hospitalizations for young children, and these effects were not altered by receipt of food stamp or WIC benefits; (2) welfare sanctions are associated with significantly...

    This report summarizes the association of welfare sanctions--benefits terminated or reduced for failure to comply with behavioral requirements--with the health and food security of children younger than 3 years of age in 6 large U.S. cities (Baltimore, Boston, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C.). Information for the report includes data collected through the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP). The C-SNAP involved a sentinel sample of caregivers of infants and toddlers presenting at pediatric emergency rooms and primary care services for non-life- threatening conditions. Eligible caregivers were interviewed regarding the child's and parent's health, household demographics, use of public assistance programs, and food security. The main findings are summarized as follows: (1) welfare sanctions and benefits decrease are associated with significantly increased rates of hospitalizations for young children, and these effects were not altered by receipt of food stamp or WIC benefits; (2) welfare sanctions are associated with significantly increased rates of food insecurity in households of young children; (3) in Boston and Minneapolis, infants and toddlers in 2001 had approximately a 40 percent higher risk of food insecurity compared to 1999, a 30 percent higher risk of being underweight, and a 50 percent higher risk of being hospitalized during an emergency room visit. The report's three appendices provide additional detail on the study's methodology, the food security questions, and a description of welfare sanction policies. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Weber, Bruce A.; Duncan, Greg J.; Whitener, Leslie A.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2002

    This volume presents a comprehensive look at how welfare reforms enacted in 1996 are affecting caseloads, employment, earnings, and family well-being in rural areas. (author abstract)

    Contents

    Introduction: As the Dust Settles: Welfare Reform and Rural America / Leslie A. Whitener, Bruce A. Weber, Greg Duncan

    1. Approaching the Limit: Early National Lessons from Welfare Reform / Sheldon Danziger
    2. Rural Labor Markets in an Era of Welfare Reform / Robert M. Gibbs
    3. Rural America in Transition: Poverty and Welfare at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century / Daniel T. Lichter, Leif Jensen
    4. Reducing Food Stamp and Welfare Caseloads in the South: Are Rural Areas Less Likely to Succeed than Urban Centers? / Mark Henry, Lynn Reinschmiedt, Willis Lewis, Darren Hudson
    5. Seasonal Employment Dynamics and Welfare Use in Agricultural and Rural California Counties / Henry E. Brady, Mary Sprague, Fredric C. Gey, Michael Wiseman
    6. Location and the Low-Income Experience: Analyses of Program Dynamics in the Iowa Family Investment Program...

    This volume presents a comprehensive look at how welfare reforms enacted in 1996 are affecting caseloads, employment, earnings, and family well-being in rural areas. (author abstract)

    Contents

    Introduction: As the Dust Settles: Welfare Reform and Rural America / Leslie A. Whitener, Bruce A. Weber, Greg Duncan

    1. Approaching the Limit: Early National Lessons from Welfare Reform / Sheldon Danziger
    2. Rural Labor Markets in an Era of Welfare Reform / Robert M. Gibbs
    3. Rural America in Transition: Poverty and Welfare at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century / Daniel T. Lichter, Leif Jensen
    4. Reducing Food Stamp and Welfare Caseloads in the South: Are Rural Areas Less Likely to Succeed than Urban Centers? / Mark Henry, Lynn Reinschmiedt, Willis Lewis, Darren Hudson
    5. Seasonal Employment Dynamics and Welfare Use in Agricultural and Rural California Counties / Henry E. Brady, Mary Sprague, Fredric C. Gey, Michael Wiseman
    6. Location and the Low-Income Experience: Analyses of Program Dynamics in the Iowa Family Investment Program / Helen H. Jensen, Shao-Hsun Keng, Steven Garasky
    7. Small Towns and Welfare Reform: Iowa Case Studies of Families and Communities / Cynthia Needles Fletcher, Jan L. Flora, Barbara J. Gaddis, Mary Winter, Jacquelyn S. Litt
    8. Where all the Counties are above Average: Human Service Agency Directors' Perspectives on Welfare Reform / Ann Tickamyer, Julie White, Barry Tadlock, Debra Henderson
    9. The impact of Welfare Policy on the Employment of Single Mothers Living in Rural and Urban Areas / Signe-Mary McKernan, Robert Lerman, Nancy Pindus, Jesse Valente
    10. Welfare Reform in Rural Minnesota: Experimental Findings from the Minnesota Family Investment Program / Lisa A. Gennetian, Cindy Redcross, and Cynthia Miller
    11. Will Attainable Jobs be Available for TANF Recipients in Local Labor Markets? Evidence from Mississippi on Prospects for "Job-Skill Matching" of TANF Adults / Frank M. Howell
    12. Whose Job Is It? Employers' Views on Welfare Reform / Ellen Shelton, Greg Owen, Amy Bush Stevens, Justine Nelson-Christinedaughter, Corinna Roy, June Heineman
    13. The Short-Term Impacts of Welfare Reform in Persistently Poor Rural Areas / Mark Harvey, Gene F. Summers, Kathleen Pickering, Patricia Richards
    14. Food Stamps in Rural America: Special Issues and Common Themes / Sheena McConnell, James Ohls
    15. The Decline in Food Stamp Use by Rural Low-Income Households: Less Need or Less Access? / Mark Nord
    16. Lessons Learned: Welfare Reform and Food Assistance in Rural America / Greg Duncan, Leslie A. Whitener, Bruce A. Weber
  • Individual Author: Kirlin, John A.; Cole, Nancy; Logan, Christopher; Kaufman, Phillip
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides both nutrition education and supplemental foods for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants, and children. These supplemental foods contain nutrients that nutritional research has found may otherwise be lacking in the diets of WIC recipients. State WIC agencies have implemented practices designed to reduce the cost of food packages containing these prescribed foods. For instance, one of the WIC program's primary cost-saving practices is negotiating rebate contracts with manufacturers of infant formula. Additional practices include limiting authorized vendors to stores with lower food prices; limiting approved brands, package sizes, forms, or prices; and negotiating rebates with food manufacturers or suppliers. There is concern that these practices may inadvertently counter the program's goal of providing supplemental foods and nutrition education. Based on a review of cost-containment practices in six States, including interviews with the various stakeholders and analysis of...

    The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides both nutrition education and supplemental foods for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, infants, and children. These supplemental foods contain nutrients that nutritional research has found may otherwise be lacking in the diets of WIC recipients. State WIC agencies have implemented practices designed to reduce the cost of food packages containing these prescribed foods. For instance, one of the WIC program's primary cost-saving practices is negotiating rebate contracts with manufacturers of infant formula. Additional practices include limiting authorized vendors to stores with lower food prices; limiting approved brands, package sizes, forms, or prices; and negotiating rebates with food manufacturers or suppliers. There is concern that these practices may inadvertently counter the program's goal of providing supplemental foods and nutrition education. Based on a review of cost-containment practices in six States, including interviews with the various stakeholders and analysis of WIC administrative files, the study draws three major conclusions: (1) cost-containment practices reduced average food package costs by 0.2 to 21.4 percent, depending on practices implemented and local conditions; (2) the cost-containment practices had few adverse outcomes for WIC participants; and (3) administrative costs of the practices were low, averaging about 1.5 percent of food package savings. (author abstract)

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