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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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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Harding, David J.; Wyse, Jessica J. B.; Dobson, Cheyney; Morenoff, Jeffrey D.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2014

    Former prisoners are at high risk of economic insecurity due to the challenges they face in finding employment and to the difficulties of securing and maintaining public assistance while incarcerated. This study examines the processes through which former prisoners attain economic security, examining how they meet basic material needs and achieve upward mobility over time. It draws on unique qualitative data from in-depth, unstructured interviews with a sample of former prisoners followed over a two- to three-year period to assess how subjects draw upon a combination of employment, social supports, and public benefits to make ends meet. Findings reveal considerable struggle among our subjects to meet even minimal needs for shelter and food, although economic security and stability could be attained when employment or public benefits were coupled with familial social support. Sustained economic security was rarely achieved absent either strong social support or access to long-term public benefits. However, a select few were able to leverage material support and social networks...

    Former prisoners are at high risk of economic insecurity due to the challenges they face in finding employment and to the difficulties of securing and maintaining public assistance while incarcerated. This study examines the processes through which former prisoners attain economic security, examining how they meet basic material needs and achieve upward mobility over time. It draws on unique qualitative data from in-depth, unstructured interviews with a sample of former prisoners followed over a two- to three-year period to assess how subjects draw upon a combination of employment, social supports, and public benefits to make ends meet. Findings reveal considerable struggle among our subjects to meet even minimal needs for shelter and food, although economic security and stability could be attained when employment or public benefits were coupled with familial social support. Sustained economic security was rarely achieved absent either strong social support or access to long-term public benefits. However, a select few were able to leverage material support and social networks into trajectories of upward mobility and economic independence. Policy implications are discussed. (author abstract)

    This article is based on working papers published by the Population Studies Center and National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Danziger, Sandra K.; Seefeldt, Kristin S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    In this article, we describe what we have found in the first three years of the Women’s Employment Study (WES), which follows a cohort of welfare recipients. We compare the characteristics of women who accumulated a relatively continuous amount of work experience from 1997 to 1999 with those who worked less; we also compare women who remained welfare recipients for most of this period with those who received welfare in fewer months. We first discuss how these findings build on existing research; next, we examine the barriers to employment associated with welfare recipients who are often defined as “hard to serve” and discuss the ways in which policies such as sanctions and time limits may affect these recipients. (author introduction)

    This resource is a summary of an article published in the journal "Social Policy and Society".

    In this article, we describe what we have found in the first three years of the Women’s Employment Study (WES), which follows a cohort of welfare recipients. We compare the characteristics of women who accumulated a relatively continuous amount of work experience from 1997 to 1999 with those who worked less; we also compare women who remained welfare recipients for most of this period with those who received welfare in fewer months. We first discuss how these findings build on existing research; next, we examine the barriers to employment associated with welfare recipients who are often defined as “hard to serve” and discuss the ways in which policies such as sanctions and time limits may affect these recipients. (author introduction)

    This resource is a summary of an article published in the journal "Social Policy and Society".

  • Individual Author: Heflin, Colleen M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2006

    An abundance of literature examines the dynamics of poverty, but little research considers the dynamics of material hardship. This work analyzes data from a welfare sample to determine how common experiences of material hardship are over time, if some forms of material hardship are more common than others, and if women experience multiple hardships. Data come from five waves of the Women’s Employment Study and measure six different forms of material hardship: food insufficiency, telephone disconnection, utility disconnection, unmet medical needs, improper winter clothing, and housing problems. This article finds that cross-sectional reports of material hardship are comparable with those found in other studies but that cumulative levels of hardship increase over time. Women also are likely to experience multiple forms of hardship over the observation period. This suggests that overall quality of life within these households is quite low at some point during the transition from welfare to work. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a...

    An abundance of literature examines the dynamics of poverty, but little research considers the dynamics of material hardship. This work analyzes data from a welfare sample to determine how common experiences of material hardship are over time, if some forms of material hardship are more common than others, and if women experience multiple hardships. Data come from five waves of the Women’s Employment Study and measure six different forms of material hardship: food insufficiency, telephone disconnection, utility disconnection, unmet medical needs, improper winter clothing, and housing problems. This article finds that cross-sectional reports of material hardship are comparable with those found in other studies but that cumulative levels of hardship increase over time. Women also are likely to experience multiple forms of hardship over the observation period. This suggests that overall quality of life within these households is quite low at some point during the transition from welfare to work. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a discussion paper that was published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: Danziger, Sandra K.; Ananat, Elizabeth O.; Browning, Kimberly G.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    We address how childcare subsidies help in the welfare-to-work transition relative to other factors. We examine how the policy operates, whether childcare problems differ by subsidy receipt, and the effect of subsidy on work. Data are from a random sample panel study of welfare recipients after 1996. Findings show that subsidy receipt reduces costs but not parenting stress or problems with care. It predicts earnings and work duration net of other factors. Increased use of subsidies by eligible families and greater funding for child care would help meet the demand for this important support for working-poor families. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

    We address how childcare subsidies help in the welfare-to-work transition relative to other factors. We examine how the policy operates, whether childcare problems differ by subsidy receipt, and the effect of subsidy on work. Data are from a random sample panel study of welfare recipients after 1996. Findings show that subsidy receipt reduces costs but not parenting stress or problems with care. It predicts earnings and work duration net of other factors. Increased use of subsidies by eligible families and greater funding for child care would help meet the demand for this important support for working-poor families. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Seefeldt, Kristin S. ; Orzol, Sean M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    The 1996 welfare reform made extended welfare stays more difficult. One of the most notable provisions was the 60-month lifetime limit on cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. This study investigated the personal characteristics associated with accumulating more months on TANF. Using four waves of data from the Women's Employment Study, we examined factors surrounding receipt at varying levels: low (less than 20 months), medium (20 to 39 months), and high (40 to 60 months). Medium and high accumulation groups had many factors in common relative to the low group. However, demographic variables, such as the presence of a partner and number of children, mattered more in determining whether someone would accumulate a relatively low as opposed to medium amount of time on TANF. For the high accumulation group, the presence of human capital problems, as well as persistent personal and family challenges, such as child and maternal health problems and domestic violence, greatly increased the likelihood of a longer stay. (author abstract)

    ...

    The 1996 welfare reform made extended welfare stays more difficult. One of the most notable provisions was the 60-month lifetime limit on cash benefits through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. This study investigated the personal characteristics associated with accumulating more months on TANF. Using four waves of data from the Women's Employment Study, we examined factors surrounding receipt at varying levels: low (less than 20 months), medium (20 to 39 months), and high (40 to 60 months). Medium and high accumulation groups had many factors in common relative to the low group. However, demographic variables, such as the presence of a partner and number of children, mattered more in determining whether someone would accumulate a relatively low as opposed to medium amount of time on TANF. For the high accumulation group, the presence of human capital problems, as well as persistent personal and family challenges, such as child and maternal health problems and domestic violence, greatly increased the likelihood of a longer stay. (author abstract)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

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