Effects of a Work-Based Anti-Poverty Program for Parents on Youths' Employment Experiences and Future Orientation: Understanding Pathways of Influence and Subgroup Differences in Program Impacts Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Purtell, Kelly
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • This study examines mediating effects of the New Hope Project, a work-based, anti-poverty program directed at parents and implemented in Milwaukee, WI, during the mid-1990s, on youths' employment and future orientation. Families were randomly selected to receive New Hope benefits, which included earnings supplements, job search assistance, and child and health care subsidies. Benefits were available for three years. Importantly, effects on youths' future orientation were found eight years after the program began (five years after benefits ended). The present study investigates what factors sustained these positive impacts over time. Specifically, earlier effects (measured two years after benefits ended) on parental employment and income, youths' participation in center-based care and structured activities, youths' academic skills, youths' social behaviors, and youths' educational expectations are hypothesized to mediate the effects of New Hope on employment and future orientation. Program effects on employment and future orientation were concentrated among boys and African American youth. This study also examines how mediating factors may have contributed to the gender and ethnic differences found in program impacts. Results indicate that parent perceptions of reading performance mediate the effects of New Hope on duration of employment, cynicism about work, and pessimism about future employment. Results of subgroups analyses reveal that gender differences in impacts on employment and future orientation are primarily accounted for by the small impacts of New Hope on girls' academic skills at earlier time points. Results of ethnic subgroups are inconclusive due to unequal sample sizes across groups. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Henry, Gary
  • Cox, Martha
  • McLoyd, Vonnie C.
  • Jones, Deborah
  • Kurtz-Costes, Beth
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2010
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