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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: Dion, M. Robin; Avellar, Sarah A.; Clary, Elizabeth
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project was launched in 2002 to develop, implement, and rigorously test voluntary interventions aimed at strengthening the families of unmarried couples with children. BSF programs were implemented by non-profit and public agencies at 12 locations in seven states, and enrolled more than 5,000 volunteer couples, who were randomly assigned by the BSF research team to an intervention or control group. The intervention featured up to 42 hours of multi-couple group sessions led by trained facilitators, focusing on skills that, according to earlier research, are associated with relationship and marital stability and satisfaction. The BSF project grew out of research in four areas: demographic shifts in family formation; the consequences of those shifts for the well-being of children; the needs and circumstances of low-income families; and the potential of relationship education for strengthening the families of unmarried couples.

    The purpose of this Executive Summary and the accompanying report is to document the design and implementation of BSF programs, report on services received by the program group to which the intervention was offered, analyze characteristics of couples and programs that may affect participation, and describe the experiences of program group couples. A report on the effectiveness of BSF—its impacts on the lives of couples and their children—is expected in 2010. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Dion, M. Robin; Hershey, Alan M.; Zaveri, Heather H.; Avellar, Sarah A.; Strong, Debra A.; Silman, Timothy; Moore, Ravaris
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project is a large-scale program demonstration and rigorous evaluation to learn whether well-designed interventions can help interested romantically involved unmarried parents build stronger relationships and fulfill their aspirations for a healthy marriage if they choose to wed. The central question of the evaluation is whether interventions can succeed in helping these parents improve their couple relationships, enter into and sustain healthy marriages, and enhance the well-being of their children.  Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the project has been underway since late 2002 and involves programs operating in seven sites.  This report analyzes the implementation of the BSF program in these sites and presents information on their development, operations and lessons learned, and provides context for the future analysis of program impacts on couples and their children.  Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:

    What is the...

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project is a large-scale program demonstration and rigorous evaluation to learn whether well-designed interventions can help interested romantically involved unmarried parents build stronger relationships and fulfill their aspirations for a healthy marriage if they choose to wed. The central question of the evaluation is whether interventions can succeed in helping these parents improve their couple relationships, enter into and sustain healthy marriages, and enhance the well-being of their children.  Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the project has been underway since late 2002 and involves programs operating in seven sites.  This report analyzes the implementation of the BSF program in these sites and presents information on their development, operations and lessons learned, and provides context for the future analysis of program impacts on couples and their children.  Specifically, the report addresses the following questions:

    What is the context in which programs are implemented?

    How are participants identified as eligible for BSF and then enrolled in the program?

    What are the characteristics of couples that choose to enroll in BSF?

    How is the BSF model put into operation at local sites?

    To what extent do enrolled couples attend and complete BSF?

    What is the experience of couples enrolled in the BSF program?

    What are the lessons learned that may be useful for other similar programs?

    (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Wood, Robert G.; McConnell, Sheena; Moore, Quinn; Clarkwest, Andrew; Hsueh, JoAnn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    Although most children raised by single parents fare well, on average, they are at greater risk of living in poverty and experiencing health, academic, and behavioral problems than children growing up with married biological parents. If interventions can improve the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships and increase the likelihood that they remain together, these interventions might also improve the well-being of their children. One possible approach to improving child well-being is thus strengthening the relationships of low-income couples through relationship skills education.

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been evaluating this kind of approach. The project developed, implemented, and tested voluntary programs that offer relationship skills education and other support services to unwed couples who are expecting a child or who have just had a baby. Eight organizations volunteered to be part of a rigorous evaluation designed to test a new...

    Although most children raised by single parents fare well, on average, they are at greater risk of living in poverty and experiencing health, academic, and behavioral problems than children growing up with married biological parents. If interventions can improve the quality of unmarried parents’ relationships and increase the likelihood that they remain together, these interventions might also improve the well-being of their children. One possible approach to improving child well-being is thus strengthening the relationships of low-income couples through relationship skills education.

    The Building Strong Families (BSF) project, sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been evaluating this kind of approach. The project developed, implemented, and tested voluntary programs that offer relationship skills education and other support services to unwed couples who are expecting a child or who have just had a baby. Eight organizations volunteered to be part of a rigorous evaluation designed to test a new strategy to improve the lives of low-income families. These organizations implemented BSF programs around the country, complying with a set of research-based program guidelines. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Moore, Quinn; Wood, Robert G.; Clarkwest, Andrew; Killewald, Alexandra; Monahan, Shannon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    This report is a technical supplement to the 36-month impact report for the Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation (Wood et al. 2012). It provides additional detail about the research design, analytic methods, and variable construction that were used for the 36-month analysis, as well as a discussion of the subgroup analysis that was conducted. Additionally, the report discusses the treatment-on-the-treated (TOT) impact analysis, an analysis of BSF’s effects on couples who actually attended BSF group sessions. The full set of impact results generated as part of the 36-month analysis is included in the appendices of this volume. Restricted use data files and documentation are available through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research. (author abstract)

    This report is a technical supplement to the 36-month impact report for the Building Strong Families (BSF) evaluation (Wood et al. 2012). It provides additional detail about the research design, analytic methods, and variable construction that were used for the 36-month analysis, as well as a discussion of the subgroup analysis that was conducted. Additionally, the report discusses the treatment-on-the-treated (TOT) impact analysis, an analysis of BSF’s effects on couples who actually attended BSF group sessions. The full set of impact results generated as part of the 36-month analysis is included in the appendices of this volume. Restricted use data files and documentation are available through the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Shattuck, Rachel M.
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 2017

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop discusses the likelihood of low-income children who received federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) - subsidized care in early childhood - being held back in school, from kindergarten onward. Additionally, this presentation explores whether this association is particularly pronounced for low-income Black and Hispanic children relative to low-income children from other race/ethnic groups.

    This PowerPoint presentation from the 2017 NAWRS workshop discusses the likelihood of low-income children who received federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) - subsidized care in early childhood - being held back in school, from kindergarten onward. Additionally, this presentation explores whether this association is particularly pronounced for low-income Black and Hispanic children relative to low-income children from other race/ethnic groups.

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