Resources

Poverty and Inequality

Three Reasons Why Providing Cash to Families With Children Is a Sound Policy Investment

May 13, 2022

This paper, co-authored by Lisa Gennetian, provides three reasons why giving cash to families with low incomes is a sound policy investment for families and children. (It focuses on why cash is important, not which policy option is the optimal mechanism for distributing cash to families.)

The impact of a poverty reduction intervention on infant brain activity

January 24, 2022

Data from the Baby’s First Years study, a randomized control trial, show that a predictable, monthly unconditional cash transfer given to low-income families may have a causal impact on infant brain activity.

Evaluation of a Family Connects Dissemination to Four High-Poverty Rural Counties

January 12, 2022

Home visiting is a popular approach to improving the health and well-being of families with infants and young children in the United States; but, to date, no home visiting program has achieved population impact for families in rural communities. The current report includes evaluation results from the dissemination of a brief, universal postpartum home visiting program to four high-poverty rural counties.

Understanding Patterns of Food Insecurity and Family Well-Being Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic Using Daily Surveys

September 1, 2021

This paper investigates economic and psychological hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic among a diverse sample of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents and their elementary school-aged children. Longitudinal models revealed that food insecurity, negative parent and child mood, and child misbehavior significantly increased when schools closed; only food insecurity and parent depression later decreased.

Childhood Wealth Inequality in the United States: Implications for Social Stratification and Well-Being

August 1, 2021

Wealth inequality—the unequal distribution of assets and debts across a population—has reached historic levels in the United States, particularly for households with children.

Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty

July 1, 2021

This brief summarizes the findings from Net Worth Poverty in Child Households by Race and Ethnicity, 1989–2019 in the Journal of Marriage and the Family and offers historical context for U.S. policies that have contributed to racial and ethnic differences in net worth poverty in child households.

Maternal Imprisonment and the Timing of Children’s Foster Care Involvement

May 25, 2021

Beth Gifford, Megan Golonka and Kelly Evans wrote a chapter of the book, Children with Incarceratead Mothers Separation, Loss, and Reunification. The chapter summarized findings of their study that examined the timing of mother’s incarceration in relation to her children’s involvement with social services, contributory factors leading to foster care placement, and foster care discharge outcomes.

Improving Access to Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs

May 1, 2021

Participants of the study pointed to a number of actionable recommendations to increase program participation and enhance the participant experience in the nutrition assistance programs SNAP and WIC: Federal and state WIC programs should strengthen vendor management to improve the shopping experience. State and local agencies should develop peer programs to educate WIC participants on…

Lower neural value signaling in the prefrontal cortex is related to childhood family income and depressive symptomatology during adolescence

April 1, 2021

Lower family income during childhood is related to increased rates of adolescent depression, though the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.

Work Schedule Unpredictability: Daily Occurrence and Effects on Working Parents’ Well-Being

February 1, 2021

Family science has long considered the ways in which parents’ experiences in the workplace can affect families.

Reimagining Policing: How Community-Led Interventions Can Improve Outcomes for Domestic Violence and Mental Health Calls

January 1, 2021

In response to police killings of Black people and the ensuing protests that took place in communities across the country in 2020, media coverage in North Carolina and in much of the nation this past year has focused heavily on instances of police violence and the protests and counterprotests that have since occurred throughout the…

Net Worth Poverty in Child Households by Race and Ethnicity, 1989–2019

November 26, 2020

This study is the first to examine net worth poverty, and its intersection with income poverty, by race and ethnicity among child households in the United States.

Working Families’ Experiences of the Enduring COVID Crisis: Snapshot from Midsummer

November 1, 2020

Key Takeaways: Economic instability remains high among hourly service workers — from both job and household income loss. Food insecurity has increased significantly among working families. Safety net programs can help families maintain their incomes and reduce food insecurity, however benefits are not reaching everyone. Keeping vulnerable families afloat during the pandemic will require policymakers…

“New Normal” for Children and Families: Developing a Universal Approach with a Focus on Equity

August 1, 2020

This brief provides an overview of the various channels through which COVID-19 has affected the lives of children and families, and proposes 4 key actions to help communities heal and build stronger, equitable systems: Create a “new” public health system centered upon a universal approach to care with a focus on equity. Invest in early…

The Added Benefit of North Carolina’s Evictions Moratorium: Protecting Vulnerable Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 1, 2020

Key Takeaways: Government officials halted housing evictions in North Carolina as a response to the COVID-19 crisis. We analyze administrative data on evictions from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts and on public school children in Durham to identify characteristics of children who experience eviction. Our analysis shows that an additional benefit of the…

State of Empowerment: Low-Income Families and the New Welfare State

February 21, 2020

Carolyn Barnes uses ethnographic accounts of three organizations to reveal how interacting with government-funded after-school programs can enhance the civic and political lives of low-income citizens.

Mothers’ and Fathers’ Time Spent with Children in the U.S.: Variations by Race/Ethnicity Within Income from 2003 to 2013

February 10, 2020

Using data from the American Time Use Survey, we examine the empirically underexplored ways in which racial and ethnic identity shapes parental time use.

Professionals, friends, and confidants: After-school staff as social support to low-income parents

March 1, 2019

Policy makers, practitioners, and researchers have emphasized the importance of supportive relationships between staff and parents in early childhood education settings and schools.

WIC Recipients in the Retail Environment: A Qualitative Study Assessing Customer Experience and Satisfaction

November 27, 2018

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is an important intervention for prevention and treatment of obesity and food insecurity, but participation has dropped among eligible populations from 2009 to 2015.

Multifaceted Aid for Low-Income Students and College Outcomes: Evidence From North Carolina

August 10, 2017

We study the evolution of a campus-based aid program for low-income students that began with grant-heavy financial aid and later added a suite of nonfinancial supports.