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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 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: Barnes, Carolyn; Danziger, Sandra K.; Rodems, Richard
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    Research on public welfare agencies demonstrates that the design of the cash assistance program negatively affects recipients’ external political efficacy and political participation. This line of research suggests that public welfare administration may have political feedback effects on mass political behavior in two ways: 1) by offering resources and incentives for political action (resource effects) and 2) by providing information and meaning (interpretive effects). Essentially, policies teach lessons about citizenship, government, and politics that influence people’s values and attitudes, group identities, their orientations to government, and patterns of political participation.

    Our inquiry examines these questions in the context of a voluntary private social service program, Starfish Family Success Program (FSP). We ask whether and how participation shapes the efficacy beliefs of low income parents and specifically disconnected parents in the Detroit metro area. Our data consists of panel survey data and in-depth interview data collected as part of a program...

    Research on public welfare agencies demonstrates that the design of the cash assistance program negatively affects recipients’ external political efficacy and political participation. This line of research suggests that public welfare administration may have political feedback effects on mass political behavior in two ways: 1) by offering resources and incentives for political action (resource effects) and 2) by providing information and meaning (interpretive effects). Essentially, policies teach lessons about citizenship, government, and politics that influence people’s values and attitudes, group identities, their orientations to government, and patterns of political participation.

    Our inquiry examines these questions in the context of a voluntary private social service program, Starfish Family Success Program (FSP). We ask whether and how participation shapes the efficacy beliefs of low income parents and specifically disconnected parents in the Detroit metro area. Our data consists of panel survey data and in-depth interview data collected as part of a program evaluation of the Starfish Family Success Program. We use ordinary least squares regression to test the claim that FSP participation has spill-over effects on individuals’ values and beliefs. Through qualitative analysis, we further highlight mechanisms of program design that may affect our efficacy outcomes. The subjective reports of experiences in the FSP program highlight the most salient program attributes and how these experiences may contribute to their efficacy beliefs. Our findings suggest that voluntary FSP program participation is associated with substantial increases in both self-efficacy and parental efficacy among parents in our sample who have been disconnected from work and welfare. Our qualitative analysis supports our statistical findings regarding self-efficacy, suggesting that the FSP program is a source of social and emotional support that helps families feel empowered to improve how they navigate hardships, cope with stress and solve problems. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Isen, Adam; Stevenson, Betsey
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men. (author abstract)

    This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college degree. In contrast, there have been fewer changes in marital patterns by education for men. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gordon, Rachel A.; Heinrich, Carolyn J.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2009

    We present findings from a nonexperimental evaluation of an employment program in which both partners in young, low-income, primarily African- American couples simultaneously participated. Mothers participating in the couples program had larger immediate gains in employment and earnings and decreases in TANF receipt following their exit from the program relative to mothers who received employment assistance as individuals. Fathers showed similar although weaker results. These immediate benefits appeared to be driven by higher rates of program completion among couples’ participants. Couples in which both partners completed the program experienced the largest quarterly earnings gains, and couples with greater earnings’ gains were more likely to still be together one year after the program ended. Mothers’ earnings gains eroded in the two years following program completion and many reported new pregnancies and problems with child care. We suggest directions for future programs and encourage future studies to consider the range of mechanisms associated with a couples focus, including...

    We present findings from a nonexperimental evaluation of an employment program in which both partners in young, low-income, primarily African- American couples simultaneously participated. Mothers participating in the couples program had larger immediate gains in employment and earnings and decreases in TANF receipt following their exit from the program relative to mothers who received employment assistance as individuals. Fathers showed similar although weaker results. These immediate benefits appeared to be driven by higher rates of program completion among couples’ participants. Couples in which both partners completed the program experienced the largest quarterly earnings gains, and couples with greater earnings’ gains were more likely to still be together one year after the program ended. Mothers’ earnings gains eroded in the two years following program completion and many reported new pregnancies and problems with child care. We suggest directions for future programs and encourage future studies to consider the range of mechanisms associated with a couples focus, including potential motivational benefits and unintended consequences. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Rahal, Ramy T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2013

    This study uses a prospective design, only including children whose parents were married at the time of the child's birth and who remained married at the child's outset of high school. Using data from the 1979 version of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) and the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult Supplement, I ran a series of probit models to estimate the effects of parental divorce during a child's high school years on the likelihood of that child graduating from high school by the age of 20. The age limit of 20, rather than within four years, diminishes the problem of right-censorship. (author abstract).

    This study uses a prospective design, only including children whose parents were married at the time of the child's birth and who remained married at the child's outset of high school. Using data from the 1979 version of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) and the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult Supplement, I ran a series of probit models to estimate the effects of parental divorce during a child's high school years on the likelihood of that child graduating from high school by the age of 20. The age limit of 20, rather than within four years, diminishes the problem of right-censorship. (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Mosle, Anne; Patel, Nisha
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    With catalytic support from a core circle of investors, Ascend at The Aspen Institute was launched with the mission to serve as a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to its work and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. Two-generation  approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable parents and children together. Two-generation approaches can be applied to programs, policies, systems, and research. This paper outlines the emerging case for and shares a framework for two-generation approaches. Key economic and demographic trends are driving the need for these approaches. (author abstract)

    With catalytic support from a core circle of investors, Ascend at The Aspen Institute was launched with the mission to serve as a hub for breakthrough ideas and proven strategies that move parents, especially women, and their children beyond poverty toward educational success and economic security. Ascend takes a two-generation approach to its work and brings a gender and racial equity lens to analysis. Two-generation  approaches focus on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both vulnerable parents and children together. Two-generation approaches can be applied to programs, policies, systems, and research. This paper outlines the emerging case for and shares a framework for two-generation approaches. Key economic and demographic trends are driving the need for these approaches. (author abstract)

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