Research Topic

Poverty and Inequality

CCFP researchers study the impact of poverty and economic inequality on children, families, and communities. Our teams study and evaluate the effectiveness of programs and policies designed to help low-income families, the day-to-day experiences of working parents and their families, and the impact of living in poverty on children and families. CCFP researchers also study and evaluate efforts that have been successful at disrupting systemic inequities affecting low-wealth families and building on the strengths of communities to improve outcomes for children and families.

Latest Research

Journal Articles

Family Cash Transfers in Childhood and Birthing Persons and Birth Outcomes Later in Life

Using data from a quasi-random natural experiment of a large family cash transfer among an American Indian tribe in rural North Carolina, this paper examines whether a positive disruption in socioeconomic status during childhood improves birthing person/perinatal outcomes when they become parents themselves.

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Journal Articles

Contraception Use and Satisfaction Among Mothers with Low-Income: Evidence from the Baby’s First Years Study

Low income can lead to limited choice of and access to contraception. This study examined whether an unconditional cash transfer (UCT) impacts contraceptive use, including increased satisfaction with and reduced barriers to preferred methods, for individuals with low income. Receipt of monthly UCTs did not impact contraception methods, perceived barriers to use, or satisfaction.

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Anna Gassman-Pines

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Lisa Gennetian

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Christina Gibson-Davis

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STEPS: Study of Teen Experiences that Promote Success

This project aims to advance research on the relationship between economic well-being, wealth, adolescent functioning and mental health.

learn more about STEPS: Study of Teen Experiences that Promote Success
learn more about STEPS: Study of Teen Experiences that Promote Success

Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development

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 in conversations about poverty.

learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development
learn more about Net Worth Poverty and Children’s Development

Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity

This research will provide an in-depth view of variation in state-level policy rules and program administration across WIC and Medicaid in three states and illuminate the consequences for policy beneficiaries’ ability to access benefits, engage with programs, and function as democratic citizens.

learn more about Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity
learn more about Examining Medicaid and the Nutrition Program for Women and Children to Understand How to Design Social Policy to Achieve Health Equity

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

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.

learn more about Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being
learn more about Local Criminal Justice Reform Efforts: Effects on Employment, Self-Sufficiency, and Family Well-Being
September 28, 2023
Working Papers

Education Gradients in Parental Time Investment and Subjective Well-Being

College-educated mothers spend substantially more time in intensive childcare than less educated mothers despite their higher opportunity cost of time and working more hours. This study looks at one reason this may be by testing the hypothesis that college-educated mothers enjoy childcare more.

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September 15, 2023
Journal Articles

Associations Between Maternal Stress and Infant Resting Brain Activity Among Families Residing in Poverty in the U.S.

Findings from this study suggest that, among families experiencing low economic resources, maternal reports of stress are associated with differences in patterns of infant resting brain activity during the first year of life.

learn more about Associations Between Maternal Stress and Infant Resting Brain Activity Among Families Residing in Poverty in the U.S.
August 22, 2023
Journal Articles

Intergenerational Effects of a Family Cash Transfer on the Home Environment

A family cash transfer in childhood that had long-term effects on individual functioning did not impact the home environment of participants who became parents. Rather, parents in both groups were providing home environments generally conducive to their children’s growth and development.

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July 7, 2023
Journal Articles

Cross-Sector Intervention Strategies to Target Childhood Food Insecurity in North Carolina

Health care systems are increasingly prioritizing food insecurity interventions to improve health, but it is unclear how health systems collaborate with other sectors that are addressing food insecurity. This study evaluated existing collaborations and explore opportunities for further cross-sector engagement.

learn more about Cross-Sector Intervention Strategies to Target Childhood Food Insecurity in North Carolina