Parental pathways to self-sufficiency and the well-being of younger children

Published

Book Section

The push for antipoverty programs that promote parents' self-sufficiency by requiring or supporting employment has been building for over thirty years, since the early 1980s. Yet increasing the self-sufficiency of single parents raises some important questions about how such strategies affect the development of their children. Most important, how do children fare when their parents increase their employment? Transitions from welfare to work may benefit children by placing them in stimulating child-care settings, creating positive maternal role models, promoting maternal self-esteem and sense of control, introducing productive daily routines into family life, and, eventually, fostering career advancement and higher earnings on the part of both parents and children. On the other hand, efforts to promote employment may overwhelm already stressed parents, force young children into substandard child care, reduce parents' abilities to monitor the behavior of their older children, and, for those unable to sustain steady employment, deepen family poverty. Copyright © 2009 by Russell Sage Foundation.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Duncan, GJ; Gennetian, L; Morris, P

Published Date

  • December 1, 2009

Book Title

  • Making the Work-Based Safety Net Work Better: Forward-Looking Policies to Help Low-Income Families

Start / End Page

  • 117 - 148

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780871544667

Citation Source

  • Scopus