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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: 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: 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)

  • 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: Winder, Katie; Moffitt, Robert
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2002

    For program analysts working with targeted social assistance programs, a good understanding of the extent of volatility in the caseload is important to budgetary decisions and proper evaluation of the effects of the program. The state and federal welfare reforms of the mid-1990s were associated with declines in participation that were precipitous in the case of cash welfare, but also significant for programs such as Medicaid and Food Stamps. Most research investigating the employment and income consequences of these reforms has focused on those who have left welfare. It is, however, equally important to understand the consequences for those who entered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) after the reforms and for potentially eligible families who did not enter welfare. The research reported in this article explores postreform patterns of welfare program use, income, and employment among poor families, using data from the Three-City Study, a longitudinal survey of about 2,400 families with children living in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, and...

    For program analysts working with targeted social assistance programs, a good understanding of the extent of volatility in the caseload is important to budgetary decisions and proper evaluation of the effects of the program. The state and federal welfare reforms of the mid-1990s were associated with declines in participation that were precipitous in the case of cash welfare, but also significant for programs such as Medicaid and Food Stamps. Most research investigating the employment and income consequences of these reforms has focused on those who have left welfare. It is, however, equally important to understand the consequences for those who entered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) after the reforms and for potentially eligible families who did not enter welfare. The research reported in this article explores postreform patterns of welfare program use, income, and employment among poor families, using data from the Three-City Study, a longitudinal survey of about 2,400 families with children living in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio. (author introduction)

     

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