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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: Moffitt, Robert; Cherlin, Andrew; Burton, Linda; King, Mark; Roff, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This paper reports the characteristics of women who have remained on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. Data come from the Three-City Study of 2,400 low income families with children. The study collected data on employment, income, family structure, and caregiver characteristics. Results indicate that these women have average employment rates of 18 percent and poverty rates of 85 percent. These compare to an employment rate among TANF leavers of about 60 percent and a poverty rate of about 70 percent. About 40 percent of stayers have less than a high school education, and many suffer from high levels of depression and domestic violence. These characteristics do not differ greatly from those of TANF leavers. They are more likely to report being in poor health than are leavers. Employed recipients have higher levels of education and better health than nonemployed recipients. They also have significantly higher income because their earnings are not fully offset by lower benefits. Nonemployed recipients nevertheless have higher incomes...

    This paper reports the characteristics of women who have remained on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. Data come from the Three-City Study of 2,400 low income families with children. The study collected data on employment, income, family structure, and caregiver characteristics. Results indicate that these women have average employment rates of 18 percent and poverty rates of 85 percent. These compare to an employment rate among TANF leavers of about 60 percent and a poverty rate of about 70 percent. About 40 percent of stayers have less than a high school education, and many suffer from high levels of depression and domestic violence. These characteristics do not differ greatly from those of TANF leavers. They are more likely to report being in poor health than are leavers. Employed recipients have higher levels of education and better health than nonemployed recipients. They also have significantly higher income because their earnings are not fully offset by lower benefits. Nonemployed recipients nevertheless have higher incomes than nonemployed leavers, who have neither earnings nor TANF benefits. Two appendixes describe the Three-City Study and examine welfare policies in the three cities. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Annie E. Casey Foundation
    Reference Type: Dataset
    Year: 2010

    Description: Making Connections is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-term, multi-site effort to demonstrate that poor results for children and families in tough neighborhoods can be changed for the better.

    Population: Sites in Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, and Seattle. Aimed at improving outcomes of children and families in tough/isolated neighborhoods and communities, as well as outcomes for the communities as a whole.

    Periodicity: Started in 1999, 10 year initiative. Data collected periodically throughout each year.

    Researchers can apply for access to three waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Denver, Des Moines, Louisville, Indianapolis, Providence, San Antonio, and White Center (Seattle) and two waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Milwaukee, Oakland, and Hartford through NORC's data enclave. Learn more about the data and get information on...

    Description: Making Connections is the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s long-term, multi-site effort to demonstrate that poor results for children and families in tough neighborhoods can be changed for the better.

    Population: Sites in Denver, Des Moines, Hartford, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, Oakland, Providence, San Antonio, and Seattle. Aimed at improving outcomes of children and families in tough/isolated neighborhoods and communities, as well as outcomes for the communities as a whole.

    Periodicity: Started in 1999, 10 year initiative. Data collected periodically throughout each year.

    Researchers can apply for access to three waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Denver, Des Moines, Louisville, Indianapolis, Providence, San Antonio, and White Center (Seattle) and two waves of the neighborhood survey data and baseline countywide RDD survey data for Milwaukee, Oakland, and Hartford through NORC's data enclave. Learn more about the data and get information on accessing the data here.

    (Information adapted from the publisher)

    For more information, please see the Compendium of Family-Self Sufficiency Databases.

  • Individual Author: Arditti, Joyce; Burton, Linda; Neeves-Botelho, Sara
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    This article presents an emergent conceptual model of the features and links between cumulative disadvantage, maternal distress, and parenting practices in low-income families in which parental incarceration has occurred. The model emerged from the integration of extant conceptual and empirical research with grounded theory analysis of longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study. Fourteen exemplar family cases were used in the analysis. Results indicated that mothers in these families experienced life in the context of cumulative disadvantage, reporting a cascade of difficulties characterized by neighborhood worries, provider concerns, bureaucratic difficulties, violent intimate relationships, and the inability to meet children’s needs. Mothers, however, also had an intense desire to protect their children, and to make up for past mistakes. Although, in response to high levels of maternal distress and disadvantage, most mothers exhibited harsh discipline of their children, some mothers transformed their distress by advocating for their...

    This article presents an emergent conceptual model of the features and links between cumulative disadvantage, maternal distress, and parenting practices in low-income families in which parental incarceration has occurred. The model emerged from the integration of extant conceptual and empirical research with grounded theory analysis of longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study. Fourteen exemplar family cases were used in the analysis. Results indicated that mothers in these families experienced life in the context of cumulative disadvantage, reporting a cascade of difficulties characterized by neighborhood worries, provider concerns, bureaucratic difficulties, violent intimate relationships, and the inability to meet children’s needs. Mothers, however, also had an intense desire to protect their children, and to make up for past mistakes. Although, in response to high levels of maternal distress and disadvantage, most mothers exhibited harsh discipline of their children, some mothers transformed their distress by advocating for their children under difficult circumstances. Women’s use of harsh discipline and advocacy was not necessarily an ‘‘either/or’’ phenomenon as half of the mothers included in our analysis exhibited both harsh discipline and care/advocacy behaviors. Maternal distress characterized by substance use, while connected to harsh disciplinary behavior, did not preclude mothers engaging in positive parenting behaviors. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Burt, Martha R.; Pindus, Nancy M.; Capizzano, Jeffrey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2000

    This paper focuses on the ways in which the varied programs and services that comprised this social safety net worked for low-income families with children in late 1996 and early 1997, just before implementation of major federal welfare reforms. By "worked," we mean how easy or difficult it would have been for families on welfare—and for nonwelfare, working poor families—to get the services they needed from safety net programs. The crux of this issue lies in local service structures and the avenues they provide for client access to needed programs. A particularly important dimension of client access is whether the programs most likely to be approached by nonwelfare, working poor families are as well structured to help clients make connections to other needed services as are the programs most commonly used by clients on welfare.

    Our inquiry into local service delivery structures is grounded in the context of state choices and organizational structure. The paper begins with an overview of poverty and safety net program use in the 13 states that were the subject of intensive...

    This paper focuses on the ways in which the varied programs and services that comprised this social safety net worked for low-income families with children in late 1996 and early 1997, just before implementation of major federal welfare reforms. By "worked," we mean how easy or difficult it would have been for families on welfare—and for nonwelfare, working poor families—to get the services they needed from safety net programs. The crux of this issue lies in local service structures and the avenues they provide for client access to needed programs. A particularly important dimension of client access is whether the programs most likely to be approached by nonwelfare, working poor families are as well structured to help clients make connections to other needed services as are the programs most commonly used by clients on welfare.

    Our inquiry into local service delivery structures is grounded in the context of state choices and organizational structure. The paper begins with an overview of poverty and safety net program use in the 13 states that were the subject of intensive case studies during 1996 and 1997 as part of the Urban Institute's Assessing the New Federalism (ANF) project. Thereafter we look at where programs of interest are located in the state organizational structure, and the degree to which state control or local autonomy prevails in administering programs at the local level.

    Once the state context is understood, the paper shifts to the local level and the client perspective. It looks at access to services for welfare and nonwelfare families and asks whether differences in state organizational arrangements make a difference for clients' ability to access an array of services through local programs. It establishes a baseline in 1996-1997, describing the linkages as they existed in the 13 ANF intensive case study states. Against the background of this baseline, data being collected for the 1999-2000 wave of case studies will let us see how much PRWORA has changed the landscape of safety net programs.

    This paper focuses on specific elements of the social safety net, including income support programs such as AFDC, TANF, general assistance (GA),2 and food stamps; Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) and other non-welfare-specific employment and training programs; the child support system; child care assistance; child welfare services; and Medicaid and other publicly supported health insurance for low-income families. These programs were selected for several reasons, including their historic linkages and their anticipated linkages under TANF. Historically, families receiving AFDC have been categorically eligible for Medicaid, and many states developed combined application procedures for AFDC, Medicaid, and food stamps. JOBS is specifically a work-readiness program for AFDC recipients, and states have been obliged to provide child care for any AFDC recipients required to participate in JOBS. Medicaid and child care have also been important transitional benefits to which many families leaving welfare were entitled for specified periods of time. PRWORA changed the relationships among these programs, in some instances delinking them and in others increasing the support requirements for current and former TANF recipients. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Rawlings, Lynette A.; Gentsch, Kerstin
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2008

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

    In the second fact sheet we examine what percent of respondents in low-income neighborhoods received financial help in the last 12 months from families and friends or from other people they live with. Overall, 25 percent of respondents received financial help from families and friends. This figure differs substantially by nativity. Moreover, the patterns of receiving help from family and friends are fairly similar across race and ethnic groups for U.S.-born respondents, whereas the percent of immigrant respondents who received help from family and friends differed sizably among region of origin. (author abstract)

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