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Single Parent Families

Building connections: Using integrated administrative data to identify issues and solutions spanning the child welfare and child support systems

Individual Author: 
Howard, Lanikque
Vogel, Lisa Klein
Cancian, Maria
Noyes, Jennifer L.

We analyze the role of newly integrated data from the child support and child welfare systems in seeding a major policy change in Wisconsin. Parents are often ordered to pay child support to offset the costs of their children’s stay in foster care. Policy allows for consideration of the “best interests of the child.” Concerns that charging parents could delay or disrupt reunification motivated our analyses of integrated data to identify the impacts of current policy. We summarize the results of the analyses and then focus on the role of administrative data in supporting policy development.

Grandmothers’ familism values, adolescent mothers’ parenting efficacy, and children’s well-being

Individual Author: 
Zeiders, Katharine H.
Umaña-Taylor, Adriana J.
Jahromi, Laudan B.
Updegraff, Kimberly A.

The current study examined intergenerational processes related to familism values among grandmothers, adolescent mothers, and their children. Mexican-origin families (N = 180) participated in in-home interviews during adolescent mothers' third trimester of pregnancy and 10-, 24-, 48-, and 60-months postpartum. Using longitudinal path analyses, we linked grandmothers' familism values and behaviors to adolescent mothers' parenting processes and, in turn, their child's well-being, taking into account developmentally relevant needs of adolescent mothers.

Consequences of partner incarceration for women's employment

Individual Author: 
Bruns, Angela

Research has documented the limited opportunities men have to earn income while in prison and the barriers to securing employment and decent wages upon release. However, little research has considered the relationship between men's incarceration and the employment of the women in their lives. Economic theory suggests that family members of incarcerated individuals may attempt to smooth income fluctuation resulting from incarceration by increasing their labor supply.

What is the relationship between benefit conditionality and mental health? Evidence from the United States on TANF policies

Individual Author: 
Davis, Owen

This article provides new evidence on the relationship between benefit conditionality and mental health. Using data on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families policies (TANF) – the main form of poverty relief in the United States – it explores whether the mental health of low-educated single mothers varies according to the stringency of conditionality requirements attached to receipt of benefit.

Child care choices and children’s cognitive achievement: The case of single mothers

Individual Author: 
Bernal, Raquel
Keane, Michael P.

We evaluate the effect of child care versus maternal time inputs on child cognitive development using single mothers from the NLSY79. To deal with nonrandom selection of children into child care, we exploit the exogenous variation in welfare policy rules facing single mothers. In particular, the 1996 welfare reform and earlier state-level policy changes generated substantial increases in their work/child care use. We construct a comprehensive set of welfare policy variables and use them as instruments to estimate child cognitive ability production functions.

An ecological review of literature on factors influencing working mothers’ child care arrangements

Individual Author: 
Liu, Meirong

As more mothers with young children enter the workplace, there is an increased need for non-maternal child care services. Prior research indicates that the type of child care utilized for children under age six not only affects maternal labor force participation, but is a critical factor in later developmental outcomes for children. Within this context, understanding how working mothers choose child care for their young children is important. A growing body of research has examined influences on mothers’ child care choice behaviors.

Asset poverty among children: A cross-national study of poverty risk

Individual Author: 
Rothwell, David W.
Ottusch, Timothy
Finders, Jennifer K.

Children who grow up in income poverty experience increased risks for lifelong hardship. These hardships include low birth weight, increased infant mortality, emotional and behavioral problems, delayed cognitive development, lower academic achievement, and high school dropout, to name a few. The effects of income poverty are intergenerational, such that children in poverty are substantially more likely to be poor as adults.

Unpaid caregiving, savings and wealth

Individual Author: 
Tolson, Michele E.
Weller, Christian E.

Unpaid caregiving for the elderly is a growing phenomenon in aging societies. Survey data suggest that most unpaid caregivers work, but they often face adverse labor market consequences. They involuntarily work fewer hours, have lower earnings and face potentially more volatile incomes as they try to balance unexpected caregiving events and work. 

Set up to fail: When low-wage work jeopardizes parents’ and children’s success

Individual Author: 
Vogtman, Julie
Schulman, Karen

Every day, working parents in low-wage jobs are desperate to keep food on the table and a roof over their families’ heads, and to provide a better life for their children. Yet, even when they work full time, they may not earn enough to lift their children out of poverty. They often have unpredictable work hours over which they have little control, making it difficult to arrange child care or manage other family responsibilities. And when they must miss work to meet the demands that all parents face—sick children, doctors’ appointments, parent-teacher conferences—their jobs may be at risk.

Three measures of non-resident fathers' involvement, maternal parenting and child development in low-income single-mother families

Individual Author: 
Choi, Jeong-Kyun
Palmer, Robert J.
Pyun, Ho-Soon

This study examined the relationships among non-resident fathers’ involvement, mothers’ parenting and parenting stress, and children’s behavioural and cognitive development in low-income single-mother families. Based on the theoretical concepts of father involvement in terms of accessibility, responsibility and interaction, this study operationalizes fathers’ involvement with three different measures: (i) fathers’ frequency of contact with their children; (ii) fathers’ amount of child support payment; and (iii) fathers’ quality of parenting.