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

Policy Brief

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

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.

learn more about Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty
Policy Brief

Improving Access to Critical Nutrition Assistance Programs

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…

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News Release

A Third of U.S. Families Face a Different Kind of Poverty

DURHAM, N.C. – Before the pandemic, one-third of U.S. households with children were already “net worth poor,” lacking enough financial resources to sustain their families for three months at a poverty level, finds new research from Duke University. In 2019, 57 percent of Black families and 50 percent of Latino families with children were poor…

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Carolyn Barnes

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Anna Gassman-Pines

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Lisa Gennetian

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Christina Gibson-Davis

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Related Projects

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WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina

Investigate the barriers and facilitators of applying for, receiving, and redeeming safety net program benefits, including the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in North Carolina. Including before and during COVID-19.

learn more about WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina
learn more about WIC, SNAP and Medicaid Participation in North Carolina

Baby’s First Years Study

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.

learn more about Baby’s First Years Study
learn more about Baby’s First Years Study

Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

Many childhood interventions target low-income and high-risk children, with evidence that some early interventions improve adult health and wellbeing. This study asks whether children who benefit from early interventions grow up to become better parents and, subsequently, have children who experience fewer health problems, educational challenges, and emotional problems.

learn more about Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects
learn more about Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children

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.

learn more about Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children
learn more about Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children
September 1, 2021
Journal Articles

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

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.

learn more about Understanding Patterns of Food Insecurity and Family Well-Being Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic Using Daily Surveys
July 1, 2021
Policy Briefs

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

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.

learn more about Behind the Findings: Policies that Contribute to Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Net Worth Poverty
May 25, 2021
Book Chapter

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

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.

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