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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: 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: Report
    Year: 2005

    In contrast to the standard individualistic approach to employment services delivery, we present evaluation results for an employment program in which both partners in a couple relationship simultaneously participate. We find that participating mothers had larger gains in employment and earnings and decreases in TANF receipt immediately upon program exit relative to mothers who participated as individuals. These gains eroded in the two years following program completion. Fathers show similar though weaker results. We suggest directions for future couples-oriented employment programs based on couples interventions in other fields and encourage program developers to consider the range of mechanisms associated with a focus on couples, including potential unintended consequences. (author abstract)

    In contrast to the standard individualistic approach to employment services delivery, we present evaluation results for an employment program in which both partners in a couple relationship simultaneously participate. We find that participating mothers had larger gains in employment and earnings and decreases in TANF receipt immediately upon program exit relative to mothers who participated as individuals. These gains eroded in the two years following program completion. Fathers show similar though weaker results. We suggest directions for future couples-oriented employment programs based on couples interventions in other fields and encourage program developers to consider the range of mechanisms associated with a focus on couples, including potential unintended consequences. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Sawhill, Isabel
    Reference Type: Stakeholder Resource
    Year: 2015

    Fifty years ago, in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan presciently warned that the breakdown of the family was becoming a key source of disadvantage in the African American community. He received intense criticism at the time. Yet the trends he identified have not gone away. Indeed, they have “trickled up” to encompass not just a much larger fraction of the African American community but a large swath of the white community as well. Still, the racial gaps remain large. The proportion of black children born outside marriage was 72 percent in 2012, while the white proportion was 36 percent (see “Was Moynihan Right?” features, Spring 2015, Figure 2). The effects on children of the increase in single parents is no longer much debated. They do less well in school, are less likely to graduate, and are more likely to be involved in crime, teen pregnancy, and other behaviors that make it harder to succeed in life. Not every child raised by a single parent will suffer from the experience, but, on average, a lone parent has fewer resources—both time and money—with which to raise a child....

    Fifty years ago, in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan presciently warned that the breakdown of the family was becoming a key source of disadvantage in the African American community. He received intense criticism at the time. Yet the trends he identified have not gone away. Indeed, they have “trickled up” to encompass not just a much larger fraction of the African American community but a large swath of the white community as well. Still, the racial gaps remain large. The proportion of black children born outside marriage was 72 percent in 2012, while the white proportion was 36 percent (see “Was Moynihan Right?” features, Spring 2015, Figure 2). The effects on children of the increase in single parents is no longer much debated. They do less well in school, are less likely to graduate, and are more likely to be involved in crime, teen pregnancy, and other behaviors that make it harder to succeed in life. Not every child raised by a single parent will suffer from the experience, but, on average, a lone parent has fewer resources—both time and money—with which to raise a child. Poverty rates for single-parent families are five times those for married-parent families (see “Was Moynihan Right?” features, Spring 2015, Figure 4)...Recent research suggests that boys are indeed more affected than girls by the lack of a male role model in the family. If true, this sets the stage for a cycle of poverty in which mother-headed families produce boys who go on to father their own children outside marriage. But what does all of this have to do with education? Rates of unwed childbearing and divorce are much lower among well-educated than among less-educated women. The proportion of first births that occur outside of marriage is only 12 percent for those who are college graduates but 58 percent for everyone else. So more and better education is one clear path to reducing unwed parenthood and the growth of single parent families in the future. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Sandefur, Gary D. ; Wells, Thomas
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1997

    This paper examines the effects of family structure on educational attainment after controlling for common family influences, observed and unobserved, using data from siblings. The use of sibling data permits us to examine whether the apparent effects of family structure are due to unmeasured characteristics of families that are common to siblings. The data come from pairs of siblings in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979–1992. The results suggest that taking into account the unmeasured family characteristics yields estimates of the effects of family structure on educational attainment that are smaller, but still statistically significant, than estimates based on analyses that do not take unmeasured family influences into account. (author abstract)

    This paper examines the effects of family structure on educational attainment after controlling for common family influences, observed and unobserved, using data from siblings. The use of sibling data permits us to examine whether the apparent effects of family structure are due to unmeasured characteristics of families that are common to siblings. The data come from pairs of siblings in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979–1992. The results suggest that taking into account the unmeasured family characteristics yields estimates of the effects of family structure on educational attainment that are smaller, but still statistically significant, than estimates based on analyses that do not take unmeasured family influences into account. (author abstract)

  • 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)

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