Buoyed by the success of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), whose time limits and work requirements played a large role in the reduction of the welfare rolls, conservative advocates of welfare reform are now moving to ensure that our welfare system reflects traditional family values as well. Responding to this sentiment, the Bush Administration is encouraging states to use TANF to support marriage promotion efforts and the Administration's 2002 budget includes $100 million in support of demonstration projects to promote marriage.
Center for Research on Child Well-being
Child support reforms in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) have substantially improved child support outcomes for children born to unmarried parents, thereby decreasing minority status gaps. However, in the years following PRWORA, racial inequalities in employment and earnings among less-educated men increased, possibly contributing to larger minority status gaps in child support outcomes. We examine minority status differentials in child support outcomes for children of unmarried parents born two years after the passage of PRWORA.
Nearly a third of all births in the United States today occur outside marriage, up from 6 percent in the early 1960s (Ventura et al. 1995). The proportions are even higher among poor and minority populations--at 40 percent among Hispanics and 70 percent among African Americans. Non- marital childbearing also is increasing throughout the western European countries. Indeed, the rate of non- marital births is higher in the Scandinavian countries (and France) than it is in the United States (Ventura et. al. 1995).
Using previously unavailable data of fathers’ residence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and multiple imputation of missing fathers to select unemployment rates in fathers’ labor markets, our study estimates the reduced-form association between aggregate unemployment and child support compliance. The period of analysis is from 1998 to 2010 which includes the great recession. Previous research used unemployment rates in mothers’ location to represent relevant labor market conditions finding no significant results.
This study outlines different effects of paternal presence on child cognitive performance by exploiting data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS). In addition to incorporating numerous covariates in the model to exploit the richness of the data, the study employs a proxy variable-OLS solution to dealing with the problem of unobserved heterogeneity, where parents’ innate ability, values and preferences may be correlated with paternal presence as well as the child’s cognitive ability.
When parents engage in childbearing with more than one partner or multi-partnered fertility, this gives rise to a complex family system with strong implications for transfers to children. This study therefore seeks to measure the effect of multi-partnered fertility on formal and informal child support transfers, specifically to non-marital children.
Description: The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study was designed to address four primary questions: (1) What are the conditions and capabilities of unmarried parents, especially fathers?; (2) What is the nature of the relationships between unmarried parents?; (3) How do children born into these families fare?; and (4) How do policies and environmental conditions affect families and children?
Qualitative research suggests that day-to-day problems with child care produce significant costs for low-income mothers. But the relevance of daily child care problems for mothers of all socioeconomic backgrounds has been largely overlooked. This article asks two interrelated questions: What factors shape how often mothers experience child care disruptions? and What factors shape how often care disruptions lead mothers to miss work?
This brief is based on a paper entitled “Children in Fragile Families,” written by Sara McLanahan and published in Changing Families in an Unequal Society, edited by Paula England and Marcia Carlson, Stanford University Press. The data come from the first five years of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and are currently available to the public. Data from the nine-year survey will be available to researchers in 2012. (author abstract)