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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.

Taking care of mine: Can child support become a family-building institution?

Individual Author: 
Edin, Kathryn
Nelson, Timothy J.
Butler, Rachel
Francis, Robert

U.S. children are more likely to live apart from a biological parent than at any time in history. Although the Child Support Enforcement system has tremendous reach, its policies have not kept pace with significant economic, demographic, and cultural changes. Narrative analysis of in-depth interviews with 429 low-income noncustodial fathers suggests that the system faces a crisis of legitimacy. Visualization of language used to describe all forms child support show that the formal system is considered punitive and to lead to a loss of power and autonomy.

Modeling the impacts of child care quality on children's preschool cognitive development

Individual Author: 
Duncan, Greg J.
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care compared 3 statistical methods that adjust for family selection bias to test whether child care type and quality relate to cognitive and academic skills. The methods included: multiple regression models of 54-month outcomes, change models of differences in 24- and 54-month outcomes, and residualized change models of 54-month outcomes adjusting for the 24-month outcome. The study was unable to establish empirically which model best adjusted for selection and omitted-variable bias.

Using research to better understand and close the opportunity gap for low-income youth

Individual Author: 
Rosenblatt, Raphael
Silverberg, Marsha
Fein, David
Maynard, Rebecca
Provasnik, Stephen

This video and its accompanying presentation slides are from the 2018 Research and Evaluation Conference on Self-Sufficiency (RECS). The session began with an overview of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) population-level data and how analysis of new education-employment variables can help promote young adults’ self-sufficiency. Then, two presentations featured Year Up, one of the nation’s foremost programs for low-income youth. Evaluation findings from both Year Up’s core model and its Professional Training Corps model were presented.

Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2): An analytic approach to using evidence for continuous program improvement

Individual Author: 
Kabak, Victoria
Derr, Michelle
Mastri, Annalisa
McCay, Jonathan

This session describes Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2), a systematic approach to managing human services program change and continuous quality improvement. LI2 involves assessing the environment and motivation for change (Learn); designing evidence-informed solutions (Innovate); and conducting iterative pilots (“road tests”) and other analytic techniques to refine implementation (Improve). Moderated by Victoria Kabak (Administration for Children and Families), this session provided an overview of LI2 and illustrate how LI2 has been used. (Author introduction)

Effect of greening vacant land on mental health of community-dwelling adults: A cluster randomized trial

Individual Author: 
South, Eugenia C.
Hohl, Bernadette C.
Kondo, Michelle C.
MacDonald, John M.
Branas, Charles C.

Importance Neighborhood physical conditions have been associated with mental illness and may partially explain persistent socioeconomic disparities in the prevalence of poor mental health.

Objective To evaluate whether interventions to green vacant urban land can improve self-reported mental health.

The health status and well-being of low-resource, housing-unstable, single-parent families living in violent neighbourhoods in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Individual Author: 
Jacoby, Sara F.
Tach, Laura
Guerra, Terry
Wiebe, Douglas J.
Richmond, Therese S.

The health and well-being of single-parent families living in violent neighbourhoods in US cities who participate in housing programmes is not well described. This two-phase, mixed-methods study explores the health status of families who were participants in a housing-plus programme in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2013 and the relationship between the characteristics of the neighbourhoods in which they lived and their perceptions of well-being and safety.

Employment pathways for boys and young men of color: Solutions and strategies that can make a difference

Individual Author: 
Bird, Kisha
Okoh, Clarence

Employment is an important part of youth development and the successful progression into young adulthood. Young people learn important communication and social skills, and are also exposed to careers, workplace culture, and opportunities to hone problem-solving and interpersonal skills. Research reinforces the importance of early work experience, especially for poor and low-income youth. Youth employment strategies, including summer jobs, paid internships, and year-round subsidized work experiences, can be linked to a broader approach to address poverty.

Parenthood and motivation to change in homeless older adolescents

Individual Author: 
Zimbrick-Rogers, Charles G.
Ginsburg, Kenneth
Hill, Cordella
Fegley, Suzanne
Ravitch, Sharon
Ford, Carol A.

Parenthood among adolescents who are homeless is poorly studied. Understanding how these adolescents perceive parenthood is important for providing effective health care, public policy, and social services. Fifteen fathers and 16 mothers, ages 18 to 22, from a shelter in Philadelphia participated in semistructured interviews. Coding and analysis involved standard qualitative methodologies.

Homelessness during pregnancy: A unique, time-dependent risk factor of birth outcomes

Individual Author: 
Cutts, Diana B.
Coleman, Sharon
Black, Maureen M.
Chilton, Mariana M.
Cook, John T.
Ettinger de Cuba, Stephanie
Heeren, Timothy C.
Meyers, Alan
Sandel, Megan
Casey, Patrick H.
Frank, Deborah A.

Evaluate homelessness during pregnancy as a unique, time-dependent risk factor for adverse birth outcomes. 9,995 mothers of children <48 months old surveyed at emergency departments and primary care clinics in five US cities. Mothers were classified as either homeless during pregnancy with the index child, homeless only after the index child’s birth, or consistently housed. Outcomes included birth weight as a continuous variable, as well as categorical outcomes of low birth weight (LBW; <2,500 g) and preterm delivery (<37 weeks).