OBJECTIVES: We investigated the impact of statewide job loss on adolescent suicide-related behaviors. METHODS: We used 1997 to 2009 data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate the effects of statewide job loss on adolescents' suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide plans. Probit regression models controlled for demographic characteristics, state of residence, and year; samples were divided according to gender and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: Statewide job losses during the year preceding the survey increased girls' probability of suicidal ideation and suicide plans and non-Hispanic Black adolescents' probability of suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts. Job losses among 1% of a state's working-age population increased the probability of girls and Blacks reporting suicide-related behaviors by 2 to 3 percentage points. Job losses did not affect the suicide-related behaviors of boys, non-Hispanic Whites, or Hispanics. The results were robust to the inclusion of other state economic characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: As are adults, adolescents are affected by economic downturns. Our findings show that statewide job loss increases adolescent girls' and non-Hispanic Blacks' suicide-related behaviors.
Using North Carolina data for the period 1990-2010, we estimate the effects of economic downturns on the birthrates of 15- to 19-year-olds, using county-level business closings and layoffs as a plausibly exogenous source of variation in the strength of the local economy. We find little effect of job losses on the white teen birthrate. For black teens, however, job losses to 1 % of the working-age population decrease the birthrate by around 2 %. Birth declines start five months after the job loss and then last for more than one year. Linking the timing of job losses and conceptions suggests that black teen births decline because of increased terminations and perhaps also because of changes in prepregnancy behaviors. National data on risk behaviors also provide evidence that black teens reduce sexual activity and increase contraception use in response to job losses. Job losses seven to nine months after conception do not affect teen birthrates, indicating that teens do not anticipate job losses and lending confidence that job losses are "shocks" that can be viewed as quasi-experimental variation. We also find evidence that relatively advantaged black teens disproportionately abort after job losses, implying that the average child born to a black teen in the wake of job loss is relatively more disadvantaged.
Grounded in person-environment fit theory, this study examined whether low-income mothers' preferences for education moderated the effects of employment- and education-focused welfare programs on children's positive and problem behaviors. The sample included 1,365 families with children between ages 3 and 5 years at study entry. Results 5 years after random assignment, when children were ages 8-10 years, indicated that mothers' education preferences did moderate program impacts on teacher-reported child behavior problems and positive behavior. Children whose mothers were assigned to the education program were rated by teachers to have less externalizing behavior and more positive behavior than children whose mothers were assigned to the employment program but only when mothers had strong preferences for education.
Following changes to federal cash assistance programs in 1996, low-income families now rely on a set of social programs: the Earned Income Tax Credit, food assistance, publicly funded health insurance, and child-care subsidies. In this review, we present evidence on the effects of these programs on families' economic circumstances, families' psychological well-being and functioning, and children's developmental outcomes. Social safety net programs improve families' economic circumstances, thereby achieving their primary goal. Few studies have examined impacts on children's developmental outcomes but overall, programs improve children's academic, behavioral, and physical well-being. Even fewer studies have examined impacts on parents' psychological well-being or family functioning, leaving gaps in the literature. The review concludes with discussions of the Great Recession and whether effects found during stronger economic times generalize to the most recent economic crisis, and with a discussion of social safety net policies in countries outside the United States. Â© 2013 The Society for Research in Child Development.
This study investigated associations of low-income working mothers' daily interactions with supervisors and their interactions with children. Sixty-one mothers of preschool-aged children were asked to report on their interactions with their supervisors at work and their interactions with children for 2 weeks (N = 520 workdays). Results show significant within-day spillover from the quality of mothers' perceived work interactions with supervisors to their reports of interactions with children. Supervisor criticism was positively correlated with harsh and withdrawn mother-child interactions on the same day. Supervisor recognition for good work was positively associated with warm mother-child interactions on the same day. Lagged analyses showed some significant associations between perceived supervisor interactions on a given day and mother-child interactions the next day. Â© National Council on Family Relations, 2011.
This study investigated low-income mothers' daily nighttime and weekend work and family outcomes. Sixty-one mothers of preschool-aged children reported daily on work hours, mood, mother-child interaction, and child behavior for two weeks (N = 724 person-days). Although nighttime and weekend work are both nonstandard schedules, results showed adverse associations of working nighttime hours on family outcomes-more negative mood and mother-child interactions; less positive child behavior-but no relationship between weekend work and family outcomes. Â© 2011 by the National Council on Family Relations.
With data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n = 6,449), a nationally representative sample of births in 2001, we used hierarchical linear modeling to analyze differences in observed interactions between married, cohabiting, never-married, and divorced mothers and their children. In contrast to previous studies, we concentrated on early childhood, a developmentally critical period that has been understudied in the family structure literature, and relied on objective observational measures of mother-child interactions, which are unlikely to be biased by maternal perceptions of interactions with children. Nonmarital family structures were common in the lives of young children, as 32% lived outside of a married, biological parent home. Initial results indicated that married families were consistently associated with higher quality interactions. Moreover, though it was hypothesized that the presence of a biological father might be associated with higher quality interactions than single-parent households, this hypothesis was not confirmed. Additional models suggest that race and ethnicity moderated the effect of family structure, as non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White participants showed little significant variation between married and unmarried families. Among Hispanics, mothers living in cohabiting, divorced, or single families, when compared to married mothers, exhibited more negative and more intrusive behaviors; cohabiting mothers also scored lower on the measure of cognitive stimulation. Results suggest that marriage may not be uniformly associated with higher levels of mother-child interactions and that cohabitation, particularly for Hispanics, may be associated with adverse outcomes.
This study examined whether the effects of employment-based policies on children's math and reading achievement differed for African American, Latino and Caucasian children of welfare receiving parents, and if so, why. Two kinds of employment policies were examined: education-first programs with an emphasis on adult education and job training; and work-first programs with an emphasis on immediate employment. With data from two- and five-year follow-ups in four experimental demonstrations in Grand Rapids, Michigan (N = 591) and Riverside County, California (N = 629), there was evidence of small positive effects of the Grand Rapids and Riverside education-first programs on African American and Latino children's school readiness and math scores. An opposite pattern of effects emerged among Caucasian children. In one of the two sites, we found that Latino parents' higher levels of goals for pursuing their own education appeared to explain why their children benefited to a greater degree from the program than their Caucasian counterparts.
The authors examined the effects of antipoverty programs on children's cumulative poverty-related risk and the relationship between cumulative poverty-related risk and child outcomes among low-income families. Samples included 419 children ages 3-10 years in the New Hope program and 759 children ages 2-9 years in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), which tested 2 program approaches. Nine poverty-related risks made up the measure of cumulative risk. Both MFIP program approaches reduced cumulative poverty-related risk. New Hope reduced cumulative poverty-related risk among long-term welfare recipients. In both New Hope and MFIP, significant linear relationships between cumulative poverty-related risk and parent-reported behavior problems and school achievement were found. Cumulative poverty-related risk partially mediated the impacts of the MFIP programs on children's behavior problems. Among long-term welfare recipients, cumulative poverty-related risk partially mediated New Hope's impact on parent-reported school achievement.
Using data from an experimental evaluation of the New Hope project, an antipoverty program that increased employment and income, this study examined the effects of New Hope on entry into marriage among never-married mothers. Among never-married mothers, New Hope significantly increased rates of marriage. Five years after random assignment, 21 percent of women assigned to the New Hope condition were married, compared to 12 percent of those assigned to the control group. The New Hope impact on marriage was robust to variations in model specification. The program also increased income, wage growth, and goal efficacy among never-married mothers, and decreased depression. In non-experimental analyses, income and earnings were associated with higher probability of marriage and material hardship was associated with lower probability of marriage. Â© 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Using data from an experimental evaluation of the New Hope project, an anti-poverty program that increased employment and income, this study examined the effects of New Hope on entry into marriage among never-married mothers. Among never-married mothers, New Hope significantly increased rates of marriage. Five years after random assignment, 21 percent of women assigned to the New Hope condition were married, compared to 12 percent of those assigned to the control group. The New Hope impact on marriage was robust to variations in model specification. The program also increased income, wage growth, and goal efficacy among never-married mothers, and decreased depression. In nonexperimental analyses, income and earnings were associated with higher probability of marriage and material hardship was associated with lower probability of marriage. Â© 2008 the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Â© Cambridge University Press 2006 and Cambridge University Press 2009. In recent years, research examining the effects of welfare and antipoverty policies on children and adolescents has surged (Chase-Lansdale et al., 2003; Gennetian et al., 2002; Morris, Huston, Duncan, Crosby, & Bos, 2001; Huston et al., 2001; Yoshikawa, Rosman, & Hsueh, 2001; Yoshikawa, Magnuson, Bos, & Hsueh, 2003). Much of this interest has stemmed from the implementation of large-scale, nonexperimental and experimental studies assessing the effects of particular welfare-to-work approaches on school performance. These studies, in turn, were motivated by policy developments, starting in the 1980s, that first resulted in the Family Support Act of 1988; then over the course of the 1990s a series of welfare policy waiver programs in many states, and culminated in the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Weaver, 2000). That legislation transformed the welfare system in the United States from an entitlement program to one contingent on work effort and subject to a cumulative lifetime limit of 60 months. As of this writing, that act is still in the process of reauthorization in the U.S. Congress. Little research has examined whether race/ethnicity might moderate the effects of welfare policies in middle childhood. This question is of interest for several reasons. First, race and ethnicity continue to be major sources of social stratification in the United States. Racial and ethnic gaps in children's school achievement and earlier school readiness are persistent, despite some declines in recent years (Lee & Burkham, 2002; Jencks & Phillips, 1998).