Research Projects

Poverty and Inequality

Current Projects

Children of Color in the (Southern) Welfare State: How Politics, Poverty, and Social Policy Implementation Shape Child Development in the Rural South

July 2019 - July 2024

Thia study draws from quantitative and ethnographic data across three rural counties to examine how the distinct features of rural southern communities inform organizational practices of public welfare agencies in ways that reinforce racial inequality and negatively influences family processes and adolescent development outcomes. This study examines how rural contexts shape access to four prominent safety net programs: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the Child Care Subsidy, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

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Baby’s First Years Study

August 2019 - August 2040

Baby’s First Years is a pathbreaking study of the causal impact of monthly, unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers and their children in the first three years of the child’s life. The cash gifts are funded through charitable foundations. The study will identify whether reducing poverty can affect early childhood development and the family processes that support children’s development.

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Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children

September 2019 - September 2023

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families is a collaboration between Child Trends and three university based research partners and serves as a hub of research-based information on low-income Hispanic children and families.

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Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being

December 2019 - December 2024

This study is evaluating a local program in Durham, NC, that waives the fees of those who have a suspended license due to failure to pay, in order to discover how reinstating drivers’ licenses can reduce barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.

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Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development

August 2022 - July 2024

Project Description This study examines how net worth poverty – or household’s whose wealth levels fall below one-quarter of the federal poverty line – is associated with children’s cognitive and behavioral development. Most children who are net worth poor are not income poor, meaning that these economically vulnerable group of children have been conventionally overlooked…

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Past Projects