ERIC Number: ED452289
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Dec-31
Welfare Reform and Child Well-Being. JCPR Working Paper.
Duncan, Greg J.; Chase-Lansdale, P. Lindsay
This paper examines conflicting evidence regarding the impacts of welfare reform on children's wellbeing. Research shows that poverty rates, teen crime and fertility, and child maltreatment are down. Lack of appropriate state-level data on indicators of child wellbeing precludes serious analysis of the role of welfare reform for most indicators. Good data come from welfare reform experiments from the 1990s, which indicate the impacts of welfare reform packages under evaluation relative to the old AFDC system. For elementary students, evidence strongly indicates that welfare reform can powerfully enhance achievement and positive behavior, with little evidence of harm. The beneficial impacts appear strongest for children in families with longer histories of welfare receipt. More limited evidence suggests that welfare reforms may cause detrimental increases in teens' school problems and risky behaviors. Reforms with work mandates but few supports for working mothers are significantly less beneficial for elementary students than programs with work supports. Reforms with positive impacts on children operate more through changes outside the family. Poverty, maternal depression, domestic violence, and children's developmental problems are very common. Policy recommendations include providing after-school and community programs for older children and encouraging fathers' involvement with children. (Contains 57 bibliographic references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Child Development, Child Health, Children, Elementary Secondary Education, Family Life, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform, Welfare Services, Wellness
For full text: http://www.jcpr.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ.; National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA.; William T. Grant Foundation, Washington, DC. Commission on Youth and America's Future.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Joint Center for Poverty Research, IL.
Note: Paper presented at the Blank/Haskins Conference (Washington, DC, February 1-2, 2001).