Racial/ethnic differences in effects of welfare policies on early school readiness and later achievement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined whether the effects of employment-based policies on children's math and reading achievement differed for African American, Latino and Caucasian children of welfare receiving parents, and if so, why. Two kinds of employment policies were examined: education-first programs with an emphasis on adult education and job training; and work-first programs with an emphasis on immediate employment. With data from two- and five-year follow-ups in four experimental demonstrations in Grand Rapids, Michigan (N = 4591) and Riverside County, California (N = 629), there was evidence of small positive effects of the Grand Rapids and Riverside education-first programs on African American and Latino children's school readiness and math scores. An opposite pattern of effects emerged among Caucasian children. In one of the two sites, we found that Latino parents' higher levels of goals for pursuing their own education appeared to explain why their children benefited to a greater degree from the program than their Caucasian counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

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school readiness
social policy
Hispanic Americans
Education
Caucasian
African Americans
Parents
parents
effect on employment
employment policy
education
Child Welfare
Adult Education
Reading
welfare
evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Applied Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examined whether the effects of employment-based policies on children's math and reading achievement differed for African American, Latino and Caucasian children of welfare receiving parents, and if so, why. Two kinds of employment policies were examined: education-first programs with an emphasis on adult education and job training; and work-first programs with an emphasis on immediate employment. With data from two- and five-year follow-ups in four experimental demonstrations in Grand Rapids, Michigan (N = 4591) and Riverside County, California (N = 629), there was evidence of small positive effects of the Grand Rapids and Riverside education-first programs on African American and Latino children's school readiness and math scores. An opposite pattern of effects emerged among Caucasian children. In one of the two sites, we found that Latino parents' higher levels of goals for pursuing their own education appeared to explain why their children benefited to a greater degree from the program than their Caucasian counterparts.",
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