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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: Coley, Rebekah Levine; Schindler, Holly S.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2008

    Objective . This study assessed the supposition that fathers' parenting and economic contributions help to support maternal and family functioning. Design . Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of low-income families with young children (N = 402), semidifference models assessed whether fathers' parenting, cash, and in-kind contributions predicted maternal functioning (mothers' psychological distress and parenting stress) and family functioning (cognitive stimulation and family routines). Results . Increases in fathers' parenting contributions predicted declines in maternal psychological distress and parenting stress. Fathers' cash and in-kind contributions showed limited relations to maternal and family functioning. Interactions by fathers' residence status found few significant differences in links between resident and nonresident fathers. Conclusions . These results add empirical support to...

    Objective . This study assessed the supposition that fathers' parenting and economic contributions help to support maternal and family functioning. Design . Using longitudinal data from a representative sample of low-income families with young children (N = 402), semidifference models assessed whether fathers' parenting, cash, and in-kind contributions predicted maternal functioning (mothers' psychological distress and parenting stress) and family functioning (cognitive stimulation and family routines). Results . Increases in fathers' parenting contributions predicted declines in maternal psychological distress and parenting stress. Fathers' cash and in-kind contributions showed limited relations to maternal and family functioning. Interactions by fathers' residence status found few significant differences in links between resident and nonresident fathers. Conclusions . These results add empirical support to conceptual models delineating indirect pathways by which parental support may influence children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bachman, Heather J.; Coley, Rebekah L.; Carrano, Jennifer
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    The present study investigated the association of family structure and maternal partnership instability patterns with adolescents' behavioral and emotional well-being among urban low-income families. Analyses employed data from the Three-City Study to track maternal partnerships over the youth's life span, linking longitudinal family structure and transition patterns to adolescent well-being (N = 2305). Families were classified into nine mutually exclusive longitudinal partnership groups based on current status at wave 3 (single, married, or cohabiting) and the longevity of that status: always (since adolescent's birth with no transitions), stable (lasting two years or more, preceded by transitions), or new (transpiring in the past 2 years). Adolescents in the always married group displayed less delinquency and externalizing problems, according to both youth and mother reports, than peers in always single-parent or newly married households. In contrast, youth in always cohabiting households had higher maternal ratings of internalizing problems and youth with newly cohabiting...

    The present study investigated the association of family structure and maternal partnership instability patterns with adolescents' behavioral and emotional well-being among urban low-income families. Analyses employed data from the Three-City Study to track maternal partnerships over the youth's life span, linking longitudinal family structure and transition patterns to adolescent well-being (N = 2305). Families were classified into nine mutually exclusive longitudinal partnership groups based on current status at wave 3 (single, married, or cohabiting) and the longevity of that status: always (since adolescent's birth with no transitions), stable (lasting two years or more, preceded by transitions), or new (transpiring in the past 2 years). Adolescents in the always married group displayed less delinquency and externalizing problems, according to both youth and mother reports, than peers in always single-parent or newly married households. In contrast, youth in always cohabiting households had higher maternal ratings of internalizing problems and youth with newly cohabiting mothers reported higher psychological distress than peers in similar stability groups with single or married mothers. Overall, several potential explanatory processes for the family structure and stability patterns surfaced: married parent families reported less economic hardship, more family routines and father involvement, and less maternal psychological distress and parenting stress than their single and cohabiting counterparts. Policy implications of these findings are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cherlin, Andrew J.; Fomby, Paula
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2005

    Data from a two-wave survey of low-income families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio are used to replicate recent reports of a modest increase in the number of low-income children living in two-adult families and to analyze the increase. We find that most of the increase occurred through the addition of a man other than the biological father to the household and that more of it occurred through cohabitation than through marriage. Moreover, across the two waves, cohabiting and marital unions were highly unstable. We review research on stepfamilies and on instability in children’s living arrangements, and we conclude that the kinds of two-adult families being formed in these low-income central-city neighborhoods may not benefit children as much as policy-makers hope. In addition, we investigate the associations between marital and cohabiting transitions, on the one hand, and transitions into and out of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, employment, and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) usage between the two waves on the other. We find that marital transitions...

    Data from a two-wave survey of low-income families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio are used to replicate recent reports of a modest increase in the number of low-income children living in two-adult families and to analyze the increase. We find that most of the increase occurred through the addition of a man other than the biological father to the household and that more of it occurred through cohabitation than through marriage. Moreover, across the two waves, cohabiting and marital unions were highly unstable. We review research on stepfamilies and on instability in children’s living arrangements, and we conclude that the kinds of two-adult families being formed in these low-income central-city neighborhoods may not benefit children as much as policy-makers hope. In addition, we investigate the associations between marital and cohabiting transitions, on the one hand, and transitions into and out of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, employment, and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) usage between the two waves on the other. We find that marital transitions are related to TANF and employment transitions but that cohabiting transitions are not. We suggest that low-income mothers may view marriage as more of an economic partnership than cohabitation and may expect more of an economic contribution from a husband than from a cohabiting partner. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Romero, Diana; Chavkin, Wendy; Wise, Paul H.; Smith, Lauren A.; Wood, Pamela R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    Objectives. This study investigated whether health problems among poor mothers of chronically ill children affect their ability to obtain and maintain employment.

    Methods. Mothers of children with chronic illnesses were surveyed at clinical and welfare agency sites in San Antonio, Tex.

    Results. There were distinct health differences according to mothers’ TANF and employment status. Mothers without TANF experience reported better physical and mental health and less domestic violence and substance use than did those who had TANF experience. Those not currently working had higher rates of physical and mental health problems.

    Conclusions. Poor maternal health is associated with need for cash assistance and health insurance. Policymakers must recognize that social policies promoting employment will fail if they do not address the health needs of poor women and children. (author abstract)

    Objectives. This study investigated whether health problems among poor mothers of chronically ill children affect their ability to obtain and maintain employment.

    Methods. Mothers of children with chronic illnesses were surveyed at clinical and welfare agency sites in San Antonio, Tex.

    Results. There were distinct health differences according to mothers’ TANF and employment status. Mothers without TANF experience reported better physical and mental health and less domestic violence and substance use than did those who had TANF experience. Those not currently working had higher rates of physical and mental health problems.

    Conclusions. Poor maternal health is associated with need for cash assistance and health insurance. Policymakers must recognize that social policies promoting employment will fail if they do not address the health needs of poor women and children. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Joshi, Pamela; Quane, James M.; Cherlin, Andrew J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    In this paper, the authors advance and test an integrative model of the effects of employment status, nonstandard work schedules, male employment, and women's perceptions of economic instability on union formation among low-income single mothers. On the basis of the longitudinal data from 1,299 low-income mothers from the Three-City Welfare Study, results indicate that employment status alone is not significantly associated with whether women marry or cohabit. Rather, it is found that non-employed mothers and mothers working nonstandard schedules were less likely to marry compared to those working standard schedules. Mothers' perceptions of economic well-being were associated with marriage at Wave 2. In contrast, cohabitation outcomes were not explained by economic factors, but were related to the perception of child care support. The policy implications of these results are discussed, in particular, as they relate to welfare reform's work and family goals. (author abstract)

    In this paper, the authors advance and test an integrative model of the effects of employment status, nonstandard work schedules, male employment, and women's perceptions of economic instability on union formation among low-income single mothers. On the basis of the longitudinal data from 1,299 low-income mothers from the Three-City Welfare Study, results indicate that employment status alone is not significantly associated with whether women marry or cohabit. Rather, it is found that non-employed mothers and mothers working nonstandard schedules were less likely to marry compared to those working standard schedules. Mothers' perceptions of economic well-being were associated with marriage at Wave 2. In contrast, cohabitation outcomes were not explained by economic factors, but were related to the perception of child care support. The policy implications of these results are discussed, in particular, as they relate to welfare reform's work and family goals. (author abstract)

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