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Employment coaching program snapshots

Individual Author: 
Joyce, Kristen
McConnell, Sheena

Together with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families, Mathematica and its partners Abt Associates and MDRC are examining the effectiveness of using coaches to help low-income individuals work toward self-sufficiency through the Evaluation of Employment Coaching for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Related Populations. The coaching programs participating in the evaluation implement distinct approaches to employment coaching, as described in these four program snapshots:

Biological sensitivity to family income: Differential effects on early executive functioning

Individual Author: 
Obradovic, Jelena
Portilla, Ximena A.
Ballard, Parissa J.

The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context.

Improving employment outcomes: Using innovative goal-oriented strategies in TANF programs

Individual Author: 
Derr, Michelle
McCay, Jonathan
Kauff, Jacqueline F.

New evidence from neuroscience, psychology, and other behavioral sciences suggests that TANF programs may be able to improve participants’ outcomes by applying the science of self-regulation. Self-regulation refers to a foundational set of skills and personality factors that enable people to control their thoughts, emotions, and behavior. It is what helps people set goals, make plans, solve problems, reason, organize, prioritize, initiate tasks, manage time, and persist in and monitor their actions.

Positive parenting, family cohesion, and child social competence among immigrant Latino families

Individual Author: 
Leidy, Melinda S.
Guerra, Nancy G.
Toro, Rosa I.

The relation between positive parenting, family cohesion, and child social competence was examined among Latino families (predominantly from Mexico) who were recent immigrants to the United States. A mixed method study was conducted, including both pre- and post-test self-reported surveys (9-month interval) and qualitative data from focus groups. A total of 282 parents and 282 children (ages 9–12) participated in the survey study.

Too far from jobs: Spatial mismatch and hourly workers

Individual Author: 
Stacy, Christina
Craigie, Terry-Ann
Meixell, Brady
MacDonald, Graham
Zheng, Sihan Vivian
Davis, Christopher
Baird, Christina
Chartoff, Ben
Hinson, David
Lei, Serena

In many cities, low-income residents live far from available jobs, and employers can’t find people to fill open positions. Economists call this “spatial mismatch”—a mismatch between where jobs are located and where job seekers live, which can cause high unemployment rates and lead to longer spells of joblessness. Data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs, show us that this is true for job seekers who use their platform.

“We get a chance to show impact": Program staff reflect on participating in a rigorous, multi-site evaluation

Individual Author: 
Hamadyk, Jill
Gardiner, Karen

This brief summarizes the experiences of leaders and staff from eight career pathways programs that participated in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. Based on firsthand accounts, the brief describes how staff perceived the benefits of participating in the randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluation, the challenges they experienced—in particular recruiting study participants and implementing its random assignment procedures—and how they overcame challenges. The brief then describes lessons staff learned from participating in PACE.

Child care in poor communities: Early learning effects of type, quality, and stability

Individual Author: 
Loeb, Susanna
Fuller, Bruce
Kagan, Sharon Lynn
Carrol, Bidemi

Young children in poor communities are spending more hours in nonparental care because of policy reforms and expansion of early childhood programs. Studies show positive effects of high-quality center-based care on children's cognitive growth. Yet, little is known about the effects of center care typically available in poor communities or the effects of home-based care. Using a sample of children who were between 12 and 42 months when their mothers entered welfare-to-work programs, this paper finds positive cognitive effects for children in center care.

Skill, career, and wage mobility among refugees: Understanding refugee's transitions into higher-skill, higher-wage work as a lens to inform effective workforce development policies in the US

Individual Author: 
Bouris, Erica

This presentation draws on: 1) administrative program data collected from over 700 individuals participating in International Rescue Committee career programs (workforce development programs that are explicitly focused on supporting refugees – regardless of previous professional experience or educational background – to move into higher-skill, higher-wage jobs); 2) in-depth, semi-structured interviews with more than 40 refugees from nearly a dozen countries that have participated in International Rescue Committee career programs and; 3) interviews with nearly 20 program staff and key

Developmental trajectories of acculturation: Links with family functioning and mental health in recent-immigrant Hispanic adolescents

Individual Author: 
Schwartz, Seth J.
Unger, Jennifer B.
Zamboanga, Byron L.
Córdova, David
Mason, Craig A.
Huang, Shi
Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes
Lorenzo-Blanco, Elma I.
Des Rosiers, Sabrina
Soto, Daniel W.
Villamar, Juan A.
Pattarroyo, Monica
Lizzi, Karina M.
Szapocznik, José

The present study was designed to examine acculturative changes, and their effects on mental health and family functioning, in recent-immigrant Hispanic adolescents. A sample of 302 Hispanic adolescents was assessed five times over a 2.5-year period. Participants completed measures of Hispanic and U.S. practices, collectivist and individualist values, and ethnic and U.S. identity at each timepoint. Baseline and Time 5 levels of mental health and family functioning were also assessed. Latent class growth analyses produced two-class solutions for practices, values, and identifications.

Findings from in-depth interviews with participants in subsidized employment programs

Individual Author: 
Fink, Barbara

Subsidized employment and transitional jobs programs seek to increase employment and earnings among individuals who have not been able to find employment on their own. First-hand accounts of participants’ experiences in these programs can inform efforts to improve long-term employment outcomes for various “hard-to-employ” populations.