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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: Kauff, Jacqueline F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    This brief was developed under the Goal-Oriented Adult Learning in Self-Sufficiency (GOALS) project on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). Under this project, Mathematica Policy Research explored how emerging insights from psychology, neuroscience, behavioral science, and goal achievement can inform workforce development programs for lowincome adults. Several project activities contributed to the development of this brief, including

    (1) a literature synthesis that identified self-regulation skills that may be most relevant for attaining employment-related goals and the environmental influences that can support or inhibit optimal use of these skills (Cavadel et al. 2017),

    (2) telephone calls and exploratory site visits to document how programs for low-income populations are trying to improve and support use of self-regulation skills and goal attainment (Anderson et al. 2018),

    (3) the development of a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between self-regulation, goal...

    This brief was developed under the Goal-Oriented Adult Learning in Self-Sufficiency (GOALS) project on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). Under this project, Mathematica Policy Research explored how emerging insights from psychology, neuroscience, behavioral science, and goal achievement can inform workforce development programs for lowincome adults. Several project activities contributed to the development of this brief, including

    (1) a literature synthesis that identified self-regulation skills that may be most relevant for attaining employment-related goals and the environmental influences that can support or inhibit optimal use of these skills (Cavadel et al. 2017),

    (2) telephone calls and exploratory site visits to document how programs for low-income populations are trying to improve and support use of self-regulation skills and goal attainment (Anderson et al. 2018),

    (3) the development of a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between self-regulation, goal attainment, and employment outcomes (Anderson et al. 2017),

    (4) evidence-informed quality improvement activities in TANF programs implementing new interventions focused on self-regulation and goal attainment (Derr et al. 2018), and

    (5) telephone interviews with employers that have engaged in public-private partnerships for workforce development. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Kauff, Jacqueline F.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    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. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

    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. Mathematica engaged four TANF programs implementing new interventions informed by evidence on self-regulation and designed to help participants reach their personal and job-related goals in a process to improve the quality of the interventions and their implementation. The process, called Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), brings social science theory, research evidence, and practice wisdom together, with the goal of creating innovations that are practical, effective, scalable, and sustainable. (Author introduction)

     

  • Individual Author: Farrell, Mary; Morrison, Carly
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is...

    The Behavioral Interventions for Child Support Services (BICS) project aims to improve federally funded child support services by increasing program efficiency, developing interventions informed by behavioral science, and building a culture of rapid-cycle evaluation. The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the BICS team developed an intervention designed to increase the percentage of employed parents who made payments during the first months after an order was established. The intervention, called Start Smart, was designed to inform parents about the likely delay in income withholding and to help them plan to make payments during that time. Start Smart used strategies from behavioral science to clarify the process and encourage parents to make required payments. Start Smart was implemented in four regions of Texas: Amarillo, Dallas, El Paso, and Paris/Tyler.

    Start Smart increased the percentage of parents who made payments in the first month after an order was established by 4.9 percentage points, from 56.5 percent to 61.4 percent. This difference is statistically significant at the 10 percent level (which suggests that it is due to the Start Smart intervention rather than random chance), and represents a 9 percent increase in payments made during the first month. Start Smart did not produce statistically significant differences in payments made in the second or third month. (Edited author overview)

  • Individual Author: Parolin, Zachary; Luigjes, Christiaan
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Spending on cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has declined across the U.S. throughout recent decades. Simultaneously, spending on the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs has steadily increased. This papers investigates whether retrenchment of TANF assistance has led to increases in the participation and levels of benefit receipt of SNAP and SSI. Applying a differences-in-differences approach on household income data from 1997 to 2015, we find that a $50 policy-induced decline in states’ TANF cash assistance allocations leads to an increase of between $17 to $32 per month in federal allocations of SNAP and SSI benefits among single-mother households. From a household income perspective, these findings suggest that increases in SNAP and SSI participation have partially offset the retrenchment in TANF assistance. From a state incentive perspective, we find that state governments have the ability, and even a financial incentive, to shift social assistance...

    Spending on cash assistance from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program has declined across the U.S. throughout recent decades. Simultaneously, spending on the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs has steadily increased. This papers investigates whether retrenchment of TANF assistance has led to increases in the participation and levels of benefit receipt of SNAP and SSI. Applying a differences-in-differences approach on household income data from 1997 to 2015, we find that a $50 policy-induced decline in states’ TANF cash assistance allocations leads to an increase of between $17 to $32 per month in federal allocations of SNAP and SSI benefits among single-mother households. From a household income perspective, these findings suggest that increases in SNAP and SSI participation have partially offset the retrenchment in TANF assistance. From a state incentive perspective, we find that state governments have the ability, and even a financial incentive, to shift social assistance caseloads to the federal government. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Derr, Michelle; McCay, Jonathan; Person, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

    The Learn, Innovate, Improve (or LI2) process is an approach that practitioners might use as part of the change and continuous quality improvement process. LI2 was developed by Mathematica Policy Research in partnership with the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families and Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child. LI2 is distinct from other change management strategies in its explicit emphasis on: (1) close collaboration between researchers and practitioners for sustainable change, (2) embedding evidence and analytic approaches at every stage, (3) capacity building of state and local human services agencies to self-administer the improvement process, and (4) knowledge building for the program and the field. This practice brief focuses on the second phase of the process—Innovate—which is intended to help both researchers of human services programs and the professionals who administer programs to generate new and innovative ideas to address pressing challenges. (Author abstract)

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