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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: Lahti, Michel; Sabol, Terri; Starr, Rebecca; Langill, Carolyn; Tout, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    In a recent Brief produced through the Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium – INQUIRE – Zellman and Fiene (2012) provide a framework to guide QRIS validation and examples of the activities that could be conducted as part of validation efforts. The current Brief serves as a companion to the 2012 INQUIRE Brief by providing detailed examples and findings from the validation activities in four states: Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Virginia. The purpose of this Brief is to demonstrate how different states have approached QRIS validation, to compare findings, and to highlight challenges in designing and conducting QRIS validation studies.

    The picture that emerges from the synthesis of findings across the four states and across the validation approaches is mixed. For instance, the results of efforts to validate the quality standards and indicators in QRIS generally have been successful. Efforts to review how well measures are functioning, however, reveal concerns about limited variation on some measures and QRIS structures that are producing skewed distribution...

    In a recent Brief produced through the Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium – INQUIRE – Zellman and Fiene (2012) provide a framework to guide QRIS validation and examples of the activities that could be conducted as part of validation efforts. The current Brief serves as a companion to the 2012 INQUIRE Brief by providing detailed examples and findings from the validation activities in four states: Indiana, Maine, Minnesota and Virginia. The purpose of this Brief is to demonstrate how different states have approached QRIS validation, to compare findings, and to highlight challenges in designing and conducting QRIS validation studies.

    The picture that emerges from the synthesis of findings across the four states and across the validation approaches is mixed. For instance, the results of efforts to validate the quality standards and indicators in QRIS generally have been successful. Efforts to review how well measures are functioning, however, reveal concerns about limited variation on some measures and QRIS structures that are producing skewed distribution of programs across the rating levels. There are some indications that QRIS levels are distinct with respect to measures of observed quality, but only in the QRIS that used the observational measures as part of the rating process. Finally, validation studies that included measures of children’s developmental progress indicate limited support for linkages between these measures of children’s growth, QRIS ratings and program quality elements. The findings suggest that further work is needed to strengthen the ability of QRIS ratings to serve as meaningful markers of program quality. A key theme discussed in the brief is that the information gained from validation efforts can serve as a critical tool for guiding initial design of QRIS, redesign efforts and continuous quality improvement. Zellman and Fiene (2012) emphasize that validation studies do not produce “yes” or “no” answers about QRIS but provide data that can support QRIS in a process of refining and improving. As such, validation efforts must be timed appropriately and aligned with a clear decision-making framework for how the findings will be used. In the four states highlighted in this Brief, researchers partnered with state agency leaders and other QRIS stakeholders to assist in developing a validation plan that could support QRIS development as well as a process for reviewing and interpreting findings so that the results could be applied appropriately. As states continue implementation of QRIS, administrators and stakeholders are encouraged to engage in validation efforts that can inform their systems and move progressively toward the provision of effective services. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Fein, David
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    The analysis of data from 3,719 students in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation highlights risk factors that disadvantaged students face in college success. The data indicates a strong relationship between college success and past educational experience; economic status; expected work hours; and expected part-time status. Findings also affirm the role of psycho-social factors - especially determination and confidence - in college success. Each program targeted and recruited different segments of the national population of disadvantaged adults. (author abstract)

    The analysis of data from 3,719 students in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation highlights risk factors that disadvantaged students face in college success. The data indicates a strong relationship between college success and past educational experience; economic status; expected work hours; and expected part-time status. Findings also affirm the role of psycho-social factors - especially determination and confidence - in college success. Each program targeted and recruited different segments of the national population of disadvantaged adults. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Ashenfelter, Orley; Ashmore, David; Deschênes, Olivier
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    In this paper, we report the results of the only field test of which we are aware that uses randomized trials to measure whether stricter enforcement and verification of work search behavior alone decreases unemployment claims and benefits paid in the U.S. unemployment insurance (UI) program. These experiments, which were implemented in four U.S. sites in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee, were designed to explicitly test claims based on nonexperimental data, summarized in Burgess and Kingston (An Incentives Approach to Improving the Unemployment Compensation System, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1987), that a prime cause of overpayments is the failure of claimants to actively seek work. Our results provide no support for the view that the failure to actively search for work has been a cause of overpayment in the UI system. (Author abstract)

    In this paper, we report the results of the only field test of which we are aware that uses randomized trials to measure whether stricter enforcement and verification of work search behavior alone decreases unemployment claims and benefits paid in the U.S. unemployment insurance (UI) program. These experiments, which were implemented in four U.S. sites in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee, were designed to explicitly test claims based on nonexperimental data, summarized in Burgess and Kingston (An Incentives Approach to Improving the Unemployment Compensation System, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 1987), that a prime cause of overpayments is the failure of claimants to actively seek work. Our results provide no support for the view that the failure to actively search for work has been a cause of overpayment in the UI system. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mills, Gregory ; Vericker, Tracy; Lippold, Kye; Wheaton, Laura; Elkin, Sam; Koball, Heather
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2014

    “Churning” in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is defined as when a household exits SNAP and then re-enters the program within 4 months. Churning is a policy concern due to the financial and administrative burden incurred by both SNAP households and State agencies that administer SNAP. This study explores the circumstances of churning in SNAP by determining the rates and patterns of churn, examining the causes of caseload churn, and calculating costs of churn to both participants and administering agencies in six States. (Author abstract)

    “Churning” in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is defined as when a household exits SNAP and then re-enters the program within 4 months. Churning is a policy concern due to the financial and administrative burden incurred by both SNAP households and State agencies that administer SNAP. This study explores the circumstances of churning in SNAP by determining the rates and patterns of churn, examining the causes of caseload churn, and calculating costs of churn to both participants and administering agencies in six States. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Steven; Gryzlak, Brian
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    This study examined early research findings concerning the well-being of people who leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs and then applies these findings in the development of TANF-related advocacy strategies. Based on secondary data analysis of TANF leaver studies from 12 states with large TANF caseloads, the authors focus on the employment and earnings experiences of leavers; TANF recidivism and its relationship to job stability; and the use of support services. State studies typically have found employment levels among leavers in the 55 percent to 65 percent range, but average earnings fall below the poverty level. Although those who remain employed can expect earnings growth, job instability is a significant problem and contributes to TANF recidivism rates of 21 percent to 35 percent within the first year. Available support services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care subsidies are underused, often because leavers do not understand that they are eligible. Recommended advocacy strategies include policy interventions to improve the economic...

    This study examined early research findings concerning the well-being of people who leave Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs and then applies these findings in the development of TANF-related advocacy strategies. Based on secondary data analysis of TANF leaver studies from 12 states with large TANF caseloads, the authors focus on the employment and earnings experiences of leavers; TANF recidivism and its relationship to job stability; and the use of support services. State studies typically have found employment levels among leavers in the 55 percent to 65 percent range, but average earnings fall below the poverty level. Although those who remain employed can expect earnings growth, job instability is a significant problem and contributes to TANF recidivism rates of 21 percent to 35 percent within the first year. Available support services such as Medicaid, food stamps, and child care subsidies are underused, often because leavers do not understand that they are eligible. Recommended advocacy strategies include policy interventions to improve the economic well-being of low-income working people, as well as administrative and direct practice strategies to improve the implementation of existing policies. The authors argue that attention to such advocacy efforts is both critical and opportune for social work, given the profession's historical mission, impending federal TANF reauthorization, and unspent TANF allocations. (author abstract) 

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