This study examines the relationship between grade retention and completing high school in a sample of very low-income children from an urban school district. Results suggest that being retained–whether in first grade or in later grades–increases the risk of dropout. Moreover, youths who are retained in middle school are at greater risk of dropping out early in high school. Regardless of when retention occurs, youths who participate in extracurricular activities remain in school longer, relative to their counterparts.
Taylor & Francis
Guided by human capital, socialization, and institutionalization theories, this study examined mid-life health and economic well-being of General Education Development (GED) certificate recipients. Relying on a study sample (N = 1,927) obtained from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, GED recipients were found to have worse mid-life outcomes than conventional high school graduates on measures of family income and depression and to have better mid-life outcomes than high school dropouts on measures of assets, family income, depression, and self-reported physical illnesses.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act severely restricted access to postsecondary education for people receiving welfare. Through well-organized advocacy efforts, Maine was able to maintain access to higher education for families on welfare–one of only two states to do so in 1997–through the Parents as Scholars (PaS) program. This paper reports on the second wave of data in a longitudinal study of PaS participants. Findings indicate many benefits for survey respondents, including increased earnings and enhanced self-esteem.
Sweeping changes in 1996 to the U.S. national welfare system prioritized “work-first” policies while restricting educational opportunities for mothers on welfare.
In the debate preceding welfare reform, a consensus emerged that welfare receipt promotes an unacceptable and unhealthy dependence while work in the formal economy leads to a preferable state of independence. Feminist welfare theorists have challenged this equation. This article presents three major findings from focus groups with welfare recipients that demonstrate that recipients are also engaged in challenging popular concepts of welfare dependency.
Poverty and battering trap women. Poor battered women find it especially difficult to move quickly from welfare to work and therefore to comply with the requirements of welfare reform. Interviews with the population of Black and White women enrolled at six sites of a short-term job readiness program (N = 122) revealed a significant association between battering and welfare-to-work transition. Women threatened or battered severely enough to have sought a protective order had three times the drop out rate of other enrollees.
Teenaged mothers have been the target of some welfare reforms, many of which are based on the assumption that the availability of welfare encourages teenagers to have babies. This study of 75 teenaged mothers found that welfare was not a motivator to become pregnant.
This article contrasts the views of two advocacy groups, Action for Families and Children and the Statewide Association of Tenants (SWAT), composed of social service providers and current and former welfare recipients who are residents of assisted housing, respectively, with those framing Delaware's welfare reform program, “A Better Chance” (ABC).
By specifically including religious-based nonprofits and congregations in Title 1, Section 104 of federal welfare legislation passed in 1996, policy makers signaled that they expected these organizations would play an increased role as providers of social services while also being on the frontlines of the development and implementation of anti-poverty and community development strategies. Churches, however, are primarily interested in the concept of welfare dependency and reform as it is relevant to the suffering poverty causes families and its impacts on the vitality of their communities.
This article explores how work-first policy-as embodied in the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, Michigan's state TANF plan, and the routines and processes of Michigan's implementing agencies-affects the ability of low-income single mothers to pursue post-secondary education.