The purpose of this book is to improve our understanding of how social contexts--especially those of family, neighborhood, and school—bear on the long-term well-being of disadvantaged urban youth. Well-being, for our purposes, is captured not only in objective measures such as educational level, occupation, earnings, family formation, and avoidance of problem behaviors (substance use, brushes with the law), but also in self-perceptions of well-being and life satisfaction.
Russell Sage Foundation
American fathers are a highly diverse group, but the breadwinning, live-in, biological dad prevails as the fatherhood ideal. Consequently, policymakers continue to emphasize marriage and residency over initiatives that might help foster healthy father-child relationships and creative co-parenting regardless of marital or residential status.
The social safety net responded in significant and favorable ways during the Great Recession. Aggregate per capita expenditures in safety net programs grew significantly, with particularly strong growth in the SNAP, EITC, UI, and Medicaid programs. The increase in transfers was widely shared across demographic groups, including families with and without children, and single-parent and two-parent families. Transfers grew as well among families with more employed members and with fewer employed members.
The effects of the Great Recession on individuals and workers are well studied. Many reports document how and why individuals became more likely to be unemployed, to be in poverty, or to face foreclosure.
Description: Recession Trends provides 16 up-to-date briefs by top scholars addressing recent trends in wealth, consumption, the labor market, housing, poverty, safety net systems, health, education, crime, attitudes, and a variety of other domains. The site also archives over a thousand time series and allows visitors to build their own graphs representing key trends in 16 domain areas.
During the 1990s, growing demands to end chronic welfare dependency culminated in the 1996 federal “welfare-to-work” reforms. But regardless of welfare reform, the United States has always been home to a large population of working poor—people who remain poor even when they work and do not receive welfare.
Poverty declined significantly in the decade after Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 declaration of “War on Poverty.” Dramatically increased federal funding for education and training programs, social security benefits, other income support programs, and a growing economy reduced poverty and raised expectations that income poverty could be eliminated within a generation. Yet the official poverty rate has never fallen below its 1973 level and remains higher than the rates in many other advanced economies.
Parents can supplement children’s in-school educational activities and promote children’s learning through a wide variety of investments. For preschool-age children, family income may be invested in early care and education programs as well as enrichment items and activities such as books and toys, computers, and music and art lessons.
High rates of divorce, single-parenthood, and nonmarital cohabitation are forcing Americans to reexamine their definition of family. This evolving social reality requires public policy to evolve as well. The Future of the Family brings together the top scholars of family policy—headlined by editors Lee Rainwater, Tim Smeeding, and, in his last published work, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan—to take stock of the state of the family in the United States today and address the ways in which public policy affects the family and vice versa.
In spite of an unprecedented period of growth and prosperity, the poverty rate in the United States remains high relative to the levels of the early 1970s and relative to those in many industrialized countries today. Understanding Poverty brings the problem of poverty in America to the fore, focusing on its nature and extent at the dawn of the twenty-first century.