Handbook of Families & Poverty


Edited by: D. Russell Crane & Tim B. Heaton

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: What Welfare Can and Cannot Do

    Part II: Poverty among Diverse Populations and Settings

    Part III: Intervention and Education for Working with Poor Families

  • Copyright

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    The Handbook of Families and Poverty: Interdisciplinary Perspectives is intended to discuss the most recent research and issues related to this important topic for families. It is interdisciplinary in nature, beginning with a marriage and family therapist and a sociologist as the co-editors. The contributors represent a broad number of disciplines ranging from marriage and family therapy, sociology, nursing, political science, psychology, family studies, and business.

    The Handbook began as an outgrowth of the Brigham Young University (BYU) biennial research conference in 2004 organized by the Director of the Family Studies Center (Crane) in the School of Family Life. The School of Family Life hosts a research conference every 2 years on an important topic related to family life. Other conferences in the series include “Families and Work” (2006), “Families and Health” (2002), and “Revitalizing the Institution of Marriage for the 21st Century” (2000). Scholars from around the world are brought to the BYU campus to present their latest research on the topics of interest.

    The proceedings of the Families and Poverty Research Conference provided the nucleus of the present volume, with a number of scholars being invited to broaden the number of subjects discussed beyond what could be contained in a single conference.

    The Handbook is intended for readers from a multidisciplinary audience. Just as we sought a wide range of scholars to contribute to the volume, we hope that readers in a number of different disciplines might find articles of interest in the Handbook.


    This Handbook of Families and Poverty began as an outgrowth of the 2004 biennial research conference at Brigham Young University (BYU), organized by the Director of the Family Studies Center in the School of Family Life, D. Russell Crane. At these conferences, scholars from many parts of the world come to the BYU campus and discuss the latest issues in research and practice on topics that relate to families. The proceedings of the conference on Families and Poverty provided the nucleus of this volume. Following literature reviews on various issues in poverty and families, we then invited additional scholars to broaden the perspective.

    The purpose of the book is to explore the roadmap for the next generation of scholars in areas related to families and poverty. The chapters represent the state-of-the-art thinking related to the reciprocal influences of couple, marital, and family issues on poverty. Some explore the specific areas of policy, others discuss research, and others offer examples in practice. Other chapters are important sources of information on a wide range of diverse populations and settings.

    Conceptualizing Families and Poverty

    Although poverty is measured in simple terms—income below the poverty threshold adjusted for household size—the phenomenon is much more complex. Poverty is influenced by, and in turn influences, a broad complex of social structural, family, and personal characteristics. Figure 1 provides a conceptual model of the various interrelationships between poverty, determined by income in a given year and household size, and these other characteristics.

    Poverty implies a lack of capital. During the last few decades, social scientists have done extensive work to identify various types of capital. Originally, capital was assumed to be monetary. In contemporary industrial societies, other forms of financial capital such as homeownership, retirement savings, and savings and investments are also important. Financial capital reduces the chances of having inadequate income in a given year. For example, the elderly who have retirement savings are less likely to be poor. Poverty, especially when extended over a long period, makes it very difficult to accumulate financial capital such as savings, a home, and a pension plan.

    Other forms of capital are also important for understanding poverty. The poor often do not have social networks (social capital) that can give assistance in overcoming poverty. Such networks could include institutions such as banks or places that provide job training, as well as individuals who could help with finding jobs or meeting other needs. Indeed, the social networks of the poor may contribute to persistent poverty. Extended periods of poverty may also contribute to deterioration in social networks. Poverty is closely associated with the lack of skill (human capital) required to acquire jobs that pay a living wage, and poverty makes it more difficult to finish schooling or enhance one's skills. The poor have a weaker voice in political institutions (political capital), so governments are not always responsive to the needs of the poor. Finally, the poor may not have socially desirable attributes (cultural capital) such as language and dress that facilitate success in a capitalist economy, and the social isolation that comes with poverty makes it more difficult to acquire cultural capital.

    Figure 1 Links Between Poverty and Other Characteristics

    Poverty increases the likelihood of experiencing negative life events such as divorce, unwed parenthood, becoming a victim of crime, illnesses, death of a partner, or loss of a job. Certainly, all are at risk of bad luck, but the chances increase with poverty. The cycle becomes more vicious when these events increase vulnerability to long-term poverty. Health is of particular concern and so it is included as a separate category. As several authors in this volume note, the health-care systems of the United States and other societies give unequal treatment based on ability to pay. This is especially the case for health problems such as mental disorders and addictions that are less likely to be adequately covered by standard health insurance policies. Work conditions, stress, and environmental conditions increase the risk of health problems among the poor, and low-quality care available to the poor reinforces their vulnerability. Poor health, in turn, is a major barrier to finding good jobs. To the degree that those without access to good health care turn to self-medication with various substances, the risk of addiction increases. To date, most societies have not been successful in creating a health-care system that eliminates the vulnerability of the poor.

    Critics of state-supported antipoverty programs often point to individual problems that contribute to poverty. For example, the term culture of poverty denotes behaviors and values of the poor that play a role in persistent poverty and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. If programs do not address such flaws, it is reasoned, the money will be wasted, at best. At worst, such programs facilitate the perpetuation of poverty. However, we find it more useful to consider a deficit of skills such as ability to budget, to deal with stress, and to locate resources that contribute to poverty. Conversely, poverty may interfere with acquisition and development of such skills. For example, a daily struggle to meet basic needs is not conducive to developing good long-term budgeting skills.

    Chapters 16 explicitly addresses the relationship between poverty and the criminal justice system. To the extent that police are more likely to monitor the poor and the poor are less likely to receive good legal services, the poor are more likely to be convicted of criminal offenses. The risk is exacerbated when the poor turn to criminal behavior such as theft, prostitution, or dealing drugs because legitimate means are less accessible. Moreover, the criminal justice system is more likely to give prison sentences to the types of crime most common among the poor. The cycle continues because prisons do not adequately prepare inmates for reentry into paid employment upon release. In addition, the process of imprisonment separates inmates from their families and support networks. This process is especially difficult for poor families where the cost of transportation to and from a distant correctional facility may make visitation impossible.

    Finally, geography plays a role. Whether in inner-city neighborhoods or depressed rural areas, the poor neighborhoods lack job opportunities and role models. Low income increases the likelihood that people will be compelled to live in disadvantaged neighborhoods and receive lower quality education and health-care services. Living in these neighborhoods increases the chance of continuing in poverty and reduces opportunities to get out of poverty.

    In short, interrelationships between poverty and other phenomena are complex and interactive. Poverty increases the risk of being in circumstances that create major obstacles to getting out of poverty. The picture may not be so bleak for short-term episodes of poverty induced by acute illness or abrupt change in family circumstances. But extended periods of poverty create a vicious cycle. Policies and programs that conceptualize poverty solely in terms of inadequate income are doomed to failure because they do not address the host of interrelated conditions.

    The central focus of this work is on the reciprocal relationships between family and poverty. Figure 2 summarizes some of the key aspects of these relationships. With the exception of people living alone, with unrelated individuals, or in institutions, the family is generally the unit that acquires and distributes resources. Of course, the family can also play this role for members who are not currently living in the same household such as children living away or in institutions. As the definition indicates, income is the resource that determines poverty status. But the family also plays a vital role in most of the other sources of capital presented in Figure 1. Families acquire all forms of capital, jointly experience many life events, create the context for health and access to the health-care system, determine geographic location, and are interdependent when coping with life's contingencies. In short, poverty and its connections are generally a family affair. Moreover, family processes influence and are, in turn, influenced by poverty.

    Figure 2 Family Processes and Poverty

    One of the major concerns regarding poverty is that consequences for children are profound and detrimental. Poverty increases the likelihood of poor health and malnutrition for children. Children in poor families are more likely to exhibit problem behaviors and are less successful in the education system. Poverty also increases the chances that children will make early life-course transitions such as premarital pregnancy, marriage, and marital disruption. Such early transitions make it more difficult to escape poverty in adulthood.

    Collectively, the chapters in this volume enhance our understanding of the linkages between poverty and other characteristics, the central role that the family plays in these linkages, and the consequences for children.

    Outline of the Book

    In the first section, we cover current issues related to welfare and social policy on the forefront of concerns among policymakers and professionals working to reduce or eliminate poverty. These include welfare policy and the outcome of “welfare reform” in the United States.

    In the second section, we highlight issues of poverty among diverse populations and settings including families, children, Appalachian families, immigrant populations, Mexican Americans, Northern Cheyenne Nations, families dealing with issues of aging, families with a seriously mentally ill member, families with a substance-abusing member, families with incarcerated family members, and health outcomes for poor families.

    The last section provides examples and explorations of specific interventions to potentially improve the lives of those living in poverty. For example, we address the role of Head Start, health care, microenterprise, the Triple P-Parenting Education Program, and the role of government in strengthening couple and family relationships.

    Organization of the Contributions

    The domains discussed here are not organized in order of importance. Such an effort would be futile. We are concerned about all issues related to families and poverty, but we necessarily had to place one chapter in front of another. We hope our decisions in this regard are not taken as any signal of our regard for colleagues working in all of these important areas.

    No handbook can adequately cover all important issues related to families and poverty. We expect this volume to be a beginning to provoke collegial discussion. In some cases, we were simply not able to secure authors in needed areas that met our time line. For example, an author on poverty issues of African Americans was not able to make the expected contribution. We offer only a sampling of important topics in helping families with poverty issues. We did not require contributors to adhere to a standard format for the chapters. Instead, we encouraged authors to write in the way that best addressed their areas of expertise. We think this approach should enrich the ongoing discussion among the disciplines.

    Audience for the Work

    This is a beginning effort to include the perspective from a broad range of disciplines. It is a compilation rather than integration. To adequately address important needs of families, the next step for scholars is to do the hard work of integration and true collaboration. We look forward to works that bring scholars together in such integration.

    The handbook is intended for readers from all areas devoted to the poverty of families. Just as we sought a wide range of scholars to create this volume, we hope that readers from all disciplines might be enriched by the work. We expect that researchers, practitioners, and students from many disciplines will find areas to entice their interests, provoke their thinking, and expand their practice. We hope that differences and commonalities of family issues will emerge in the study of the volume.

    D. RussellCrane and Tim B.Heaton
  • About the Editors

    D. Russell Crane is Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He has written one sole-author text, Fundamentals of Marital Therapy (1996), co-edited another, Handbook of Families and Health: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2006), and more than 50 refereed journal articles and book chapters. His work has appeared in leading scholarly journals including the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy; Journal of Marriage and Family; Journal of Family Issues; Family Relations; American Journal of Family Therapy; Family Process; Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry; Families, Systems and Health; Contemporary Family Therapy; and Family Therapy. He has recently completed a 6-year term (2000-2006) as the Director of the Families Studies Center and Associate Director for Research in the School of Family life at Brigham Young University. In addition, he has completed a 6-year term (2000-2006; 2006 as chair) as a member of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    Tim B. Heaton is Professor in the Department of Sociology and Associate Director of the Family Studies Center at Brigham Young University. His major research focuses on the relationship between family characteristics on children's health in Latin America. In addition to analysis of the extensive data provided by the demographic and health surveys, he has helped collect data on mothers with children younger than age 5 in Bolivia and Colombia. He also continues to be interested in family demographics. Current work focuses on the divorce generation—the cohort married in the late 1960s and the early 1970s that experienced unprecedented divorce rates. Now half of this cohort has experienced marital disruption. He has authored more than 100 articles and chapters, and authored or edited 11 books.

    About the Contributors

    Angela Abela is a senior lecturer at the University of Malta where she is Course Director of the professional Masters Programme in Clinical, Counseling and Educational psychology. She has published on marital conflict, children, and families. She is also a practicing clinical psychologist and a family therapist and supervisor. Between 2002 and 2006, she chaired the National Family Commission. In 2005, she was appointed by the Council of Europe to be part of a European Working Party on Parenting Children at Risk of Social Exclusion. She holds a PhD from the Tavistock Clinic and the University of London, and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the Université de la Sorbonne Paris V.

    Jacqueline L. Angel earned her PhD from Rutgers University and is Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Sociology, the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on health and social welfare policy issues with a special emphasis on populations of Hispanic origin. Currently, she is collaborating with investigators from the UT medical schools in Galveston and San Antonio on a benchmark study of elderly Mexican Americans' health in the southwestern United States. She has also recently completed a National Institute on Aging funded study on the health and economic well-being of older immigrants in the United States. Some recent publications from this work appear in the American Journal of Public Health, International Migration Review, Journal of Gerontology: Social Science, and Public Administration Review and also in a forthcoming edited collection titled The Health of Aging Hispanics: The Mexican-Origin Population.

    Ronald J. Angel received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1981. Currently, he is Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the role of culture and social class on health and health-care use, and he has published extensively on these and other topics. He is a former editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Currently, in collaboration with colleagues at the medical schools at Galveston and San Antonio, he is Principal Investigator of the Austin site on a benchmark study of the health of elderly Mexican Americans in the southwestern United States. He is also a Principal Investigator on a major study of the impact of welfare reform on children and families funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and several private foundations. His most recent book is Poor Families in America's Health Care Crisis (2006).

    Stephen J. Bahr is Professor of Sociology at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from Washington State University and previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin. In recent years, his research has focused on three major areas. First, he has studied the process of prisoner reentry into society and characteristics associated with successful reentry. Second, he has done research on risk factors that are associated with adolescent drug use. Finally, he is currently analyzing changes in divorce rates and the process of marital and relationship dissolution.

    R. Gabriela Barajas is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University and a graduate research fellow at the National Center for Children and Families. Her research interests include the effects of poverty and maternal depression on child development. She is particularly interested in the health and scholastic achievement of children in “at risk” environments. Ms. Barajas earned her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University (2001) and her MA in Developmental Psychology at Teachers College (2005). At the Center, Ms. Barajas works on the Yonkers Family and Community Project and the Fragile Families study.

    Douglas J. Besharov, JD, LLM, is Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and the Joseph J. and Violet Jacobs Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Professor Besharov was the first director of the U.S. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. His most recent book is Recognizing Child Abuse: A Guide for the Concerned (1990), a book designed to help professionals and laypersons identify and report suspected child abuse. He has written or edited 14 other books, and has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times.

    Ana Birkhead, WHNP, is an instructor in the Brigham Young University College of Nursing and earned her PhD from the University of California at San Francisco. Her research focus is the health and well-being of Hispanic immigrant women.

    Kevin D. Blair received his MSW from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the University at Buffalo. Dr. Blair is also a graduate of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Blair's practice experience includes work as a school social worker, and in crisis intervention, divorce mediation, family therapy, and community organizing. His research interests include the practice of social work in schools and linkages between anthropology and social work. Dr. Blair has published several articles that examine the practice of social work in schools. Recently Dr. Blair has focused his attention on the Child Only component of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. He is currently engaged in a study of the strengths and stressors associated with being a kinship caregiver who is involved in the TANF program.

    William Bor, DPM, is the Director of KidsinMind Research (http://www.kidsinmind.org.au) at the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. He is a certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Queensland. Dr. Bor's research interests include the developmental origins, trajectory, and treatment of severe aggression and antisocial behavior. Dr. Bor is involved in two longitudinal studies, a prevention program with disruptive preschoolers and a large-scale birth cohort study beginning in 1981. Dr. Bor is part of team implementing a trial of Multisystemic Therapy for abused and neglected children. Dr. Bor has coauthored 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

    Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, PhD, is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development and Education at Teachers College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She is also co-director of the National Center for Children and Families at Columbia (http://policyforchildren.org). Dr. Brooks-Gunn Received an EdM from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. As a developmental psychologist, she conducts policy-relevant research on children, youth, and families and is the author of more than 400 articles, 4 books, and numerous edited volumes.

    Gary Bryner is Professor in the Political Science Department and Public Policy Program at Brigham Young University (BYU), where he teaches courses in public policy, American politics, constitutional law, and environmental and natural resources policy. He has been a research fellow at the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the Brookings Institution, and has worked with the Rockefeller Institute of Government on studies of state welfare and Medicaid policy. He has BS and MA degrees in Economics from the University of Utah, a PhD in Government from Cornell University, and a JD from BYU.

    Kevin Ray Bush is Associate Professor of Family Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. His research interests focus on child and adolescent development in the contexts of family and culture including self-concept, self-efficacy, academic achievement, internalizing and externalizing issues. He has conducted studies with U.S. (Appalachian, African American, Asian American, and Latinos) and international (e.g., Chinese, Mexican, South Korean, and Russian) samples of children, adolescents, and parents.

    Lynn Clark Callister, RN, PhD, FAAN, is Professor in the Brigham Young University College of Nursing and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She has conducted cross-cultural research with childbearing women for the past 20 years in North and Central America, Scandinavia, the Middle East, the People's Republic of China, and the Russian Federation. She was a 2004 Fulbright Scholar to the Russian Federation. Dr. Callister has a master's degree from Wichita State University and a doctorate from the University of Utah.

    Michael Chavez, MA, is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. His current work focuses on the stress that disease can cause within intimate relationships. More specifically, he is concerned with certain types of relapsing or remitting diseases because these types of illnesses may prove to have fundamentally different implications on otherwise healthy relationships. He also does research on discrimination toward language minority students in the local educational system.

    Lynda Clarke is a Senior Lecturer in Demography and Head of the Centre of Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the renowned postgraduate public health institution of the University of London. Dr. Clarke specializes in family demography in developed countries, being particularly interested in the changing family circumstances of children and the policy implications of family change. Previous work includes research into mothers, work and child care, childbearing decisions and teenage pregnancy. Currently, Dr. Clarke is the UK expert for the EU Monitor on the “Social Situation of the EU,” directing a study of fatherhood in South Asian families and collaborating in international studies of men in prison and a study of fatherhood in South Africa.

    Scott Coltrane, PhD, is Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Center for Family Studies at the University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on families, gender, and social inequality. He is past president of the Pacific Sociological Association and is author of Family Man, Gender and Families (1996) and Sociology of Marriage and the Family (2001) and editor of Families and Society (2004). His most recent NIH-funded research projects investigate the impact of economic stress and the meaning of fatherhood in Mexican American and European American families.

    Katherine Jewsbury Conger, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of California, Davis (UCD). Dr. Conger's program of research focuses on the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of economic stress on family functioning and individual well-being. In particular, she examines the interpersonal processes in sibling and parent-child relationships that influence the onset and change in problem behaviors and important competencies during adolescence and early adulthood. During the past 15 years, her research has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development as well as UCD and has been published in numerous book chapters and journal articles.

    Rand D. Conger is Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Conger's research focuses on social, cultural and individual characteristics that influence risk for problem behavior, substance abuse, and psychiatric disorders over time. He has published his research in more than 200 books, book chapters, and journal articles. During the past 30 years, his research has been supported by a series of federal grants from the National Institutes of Health. In addition, the significance of his scholarly activities has been recognized through several awards from professional organizations including the National Association for Rural Mental Health, the National Council on Family Relations, the Family Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, the International Association for Relationship Research, the Rural Sociological Society, and by election to the status of Fellow in the American Psychological Association and the National Council on Family Relations.

    Martha L. Crowley, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on how class, race, and gender stratification play out in social institutions, including work, education, and the family. She is currently investigating worker control techniques, their impact on the experience of work, and variation along lines of class, race, and gender. Other recent research addresses the organizational foundations of sexual harassment, Mexican migration into new settlement destinations, and variation in educational resources, investment and outcomes across rural, urban, and suburban locales. She currently serves on the editorial board of Family Relations.

    M. Robin Dion is a Senior Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. Since earning an MA degree in Social Psychology in 1994, she has studied family formation in the low-income population. She was at the vanguard of early federal and state interest in supporting healthy marriage among disadvantaged groups, creating research-based conceptual frameworks and guiding and analyzing the development of various efforts. Ms. Dion is Principal Investigator for Building Strong Families, a large-scale federally sponsored demonstration and rigorous 9-year evaluation of multiple programs to support healthy couple relationships and marriage among unwed parents. She also directs the process evaluation of the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, the largest and most long-standing statewide initiative. A frequent speaker and author, she serves on the advisory groups of several state marriage initiatives.

    Patrick F. Fagan is the William H. G. FitzGerald Research Fellow in Family and Cultural Issues at the Heritage Foundation. A former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Bush administration, Mr. Fagan examines the relationship between family, community, and social problems. He also studies urban policy, the breakdown of the family in America, crime, and cultural issues. He has served as a legislative analyst for Senator Dan Coats of Indiana and, before becoming involved in public policy, was a family therapist and clinical psychologist in the inner city and elsewhere. Fagan, a native of Ireland, earned his master's degree in psychology at University College Dublin and has pursued doctoral studies at American University. He is presently doing doctoral work at University College Dublin.

    Rebecca Glauber is a PhD candidate in Sociology at New York University. Her research interests include stratification, families, gender, and labor markets. Her dissertation, which she is currently completing, examines the effect of becoming a father on men's employment outcomes and on gender labor market inequality over the life course.

    Anjali E. Gupta is a doctoral student of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests are child and family policy, specifically, the mental health and work of low-income women. She has a master's degree in Public Administration from Indiana University at Bloomington. Before starting her doctoral work, she was a research analyst at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago where she analyzed data from minority and poor populations. In addition, she was a Fulbright Scholar based in Kingston, Jamaica, and a VISTA volunteer in Denver, Colorado.

    Alan J. Hawkins is Professor of Family Life at Brigham University. He received his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University in 1990. He has published extensively on issues related to fathering and marriage. His recent scholarship has focused on exploring ways to strengthen marriage through education and policy. In 2003-2004, he was a visiting scholar with the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, working on the federal Healthy Marriage Initiative. He also helped build the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, a federally funded, Web-based clearinghouse of information to support efforts to help couples form and sustain healthy marriages. He is also a member of the Utah Commission on Marriage.

    Charles B. Hennon received his PhD in Sociology from Case Western Reserve University). He is Professor of Family Studies, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he was professor of Child and Family Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. The author or editor of 6 books and more than 60 articles/book chapters, he is founding editor of the Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Dr. Hennon was a recipient of the 2006 Richard T. Delp Outstanding Faculty Award (Miami University) in recognition of significant contributions in influencing the lives of students, in scholarship, and in service.

    Caeli A. Higney was a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) from 2004 to 2006. Now attending Stanford Law School, she is the coauthor of “Federal and State Child Care Expenditures (1997-2004): Rapid Growth Followed by Steady Spending” (with Douglas J. Besharov), and “Summaries of Twenty Early Childhood Evaluations” (with Douglas J. Besharov and Peter Germanis).

    Harvey Hillin is a policy analyst for Kansas Health Policy Authority (Medicaid). He graduated from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, has an MSW from the University of Kansas, and a PhD in Education from Kansas State University. He has worked in child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse treatment settings. He is author of Better Living Through Chemistry? What You Should Know About Addiction (2002), and coauthor (with Mary Hillin, PhD) of three other books. He also practices as a licensed clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor serving parolees for the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Aletha C. Huston, PhD, is the Priscilla Pond Flawn Regents Professor of Child Development at the University of Texas at Austin and president of the Society for Research in Child Development. She specializes in understanding the effects of poverty on children and the impact of child care and income support policies on children's development. Her books include Children in Poverty: Child Development (1991); Public Policy, Big World, Small Screen: The Role of Television in American Society (1992); and Developmental Contexts in Middle Childhood: Bridges to Adolescence and Adulthood (2006) (http://www.utexas.edu/research/critc).

    Anna D. Johnson is pursuing a doctoral student at Columbia University Teachers College, pursuing a PhD in Developmental Psychology under the advisement of Dr. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. As a graduate research fellow at the National Center for Children and Families, a research center co-directed by Dr. Brooks-Gunn, Ms. Johnson works on a variety of large, longitudinal, and multisite studies that aim to inform policy decisions that impact children and families. Before beginning her doctoral work, she was a trial preparation assistant in the Child Abuse and Family Violence Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

    Eric D. Johnson is currently Assistant Professor in the Programs in Couple and Family Therapy, Drexel University, where he is the Interim Director of the PhD Program. He holds a PhD in Social Work from Rutgers University (1996), a MSW from Syracuse University (1975), and a MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary (1971). During the past 25 years, he has been a consultant to numerous organizations in the areas of community mental health, child services, juvenile justice, and corrections. His primary clinical and research interests focus on services to underserved populations, including minority, low-income, mentally ill, and jail populations. He has published several journal articles and book chapters on families of the seriously mentally ill.

    Kirk A. Johnson, PhD, was Senior Policy Analyst for the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis in Washington, D.C. While he was there, he conducted statistical research on a broad range of topics, including marriage and family, welfare, academic achievement, labor, and consumer finance issues. He has also held positions at George Mason University, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the University of North Texas.

    Laura Lein received her PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University in 1973. She is Professor in the School of Social Work and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the interface between families in poverty and the institutions that serve them. She recently coauthored with Ronald Angel and Jane Henrici Poor Families in America's Health Care Crisis (2006). Recent publications on families in poverty have appeared in the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy (2006), Human Behavior in the Social Environment (2006), and Community, Work and Family (2005). She is also continuing work on the experience of welfare reform among groups in Texas and on the experience of poverty among families living in the Monterrey-San Antonio corridor.

    Daniel T. Lichter is the Ferris Family Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. He also directs the University's Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center. His research focuses on welfare reform and child poverty, marriage promotion policies, and the family formation behaviors of low-income unwed mothers. He is coauthor with Zhenchao Qian of Marriage and Family in a Multiracial Society (2004), published by the Population Reference Bureau and Russell Sage Foundation, and he is currently studying racial diversity and immigration in America's new rural destinations. He is past editor of Demography.

    Shoon Lio is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. His research interest is in how the boundaries of American citizenship are constituted by racial projects such as the formation of collective memory and the construction of moral panics over racialized “others.” He is also conducting research on neighborhoods as the context for child development, collective identity and youth violence, and Asian American social movements. He is interested in the sociology of citizenship, race and ethnic relations, social theory, urban sociology and social psychology.

    David F. Marks is Professor of Psychology at City University, London. Before that, he held appointments at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Middlesex University, United Kingdom. His books include The Health Psychology Reader (2002), Research Methods for Clinical and Health Psychology (2004, with L. Yardley), Health Psychology: Theory, Research, Practice (2005, with M. Murray, B. Evans, C. Willig, C. Woodall, and C. Sykes), and Overcoming Your Smoking Habit (2005). He is editor of the Journal of Health Psychology.

    Ryan Martin is a specialist focusing on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is a graduate of the Presidential Management Fellowship program, the premier program for leadership development in the federal civil service. His has researched state policy choices regarding work incentives for low-income individuals, as well as methods of increasing the involvement of noncustodial parents in the lives of their children. He received a MPP and a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University.

    Lawrence M. Mead received his PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and is Professor of Politics at New York University, where he teaches public policy and American government. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Wisconsin. An expert on the problems of poverty and welfare in the United States, he was the principal academic exponent of work requirements in welfare, the approach that now dominates national policy. He is also a leading scholar of the politics and implementation of welfare reform. His works have helped shape welfare reform in the United States and abroad.

    Michael Murray is Chair of Applied Social and Health Psychology at Keele University, United Kingdom. Previously, he held appointments at St. Thomas' Hospital Medical School, London, the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, and Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. He has published extensively on social psychological aspects of health and illness including Health Psychology: Theory, Research, Practice (2005, with D. F. Marks, B. Evans, C. Willig, C. Woodall, and C. Sykes), Qualitative Health Psychology: Theories and Methods (1999, with K. Chamberlain), and Critical Health Psychology (2004).

    W. Sean Newsome, MSW, PhD, is Assistant Professor and BSW Program Director at Miami (Ohio) University. Currently, Dr. Newsome teaches social work practice, human behavior in the social environment (HBSE) and social welfare and its impact on diverse groups. His applied research interests include the use of solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) with at-risk K-12 populations, school-family-community partnerships, risk and protective factors associated with school truancy, bullying behavior and school violence, and the impact of grandparents raising grandchildren in K-12 settings. Before pursuing his doctorate work in social work, he practiced as a treatment coordinator for Boysville of Michigan and as a school social worker in Birmingham, Michigan. He received his doctorate in social work from The Ohio State University.

    Martha N. Ozawa, PhD, is Bettie Bofigner Brown Distinguished Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Martha N. Ozawa Center for Social Policy Studies at George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. She obtained her MSSW in 1966 and PhD in Social Welfare in 1969 from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her recent research focuses on the economic well-being of elderly persons and children, the effect of disability on income status in old age and on labor force participation among adults, distribution of income and wealth, and volatility in income status in the United States.

    Ross D. Parke is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Family Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He received his MA from the University of Toronto and PhD from the University of Waterloo. He is past president of the Society of Research in Child Development and former editor of the Journal of Family Psychology. In addition to his long-standing interest in fathers, his current work focuses on the links between family and peer social systems and on families and children of diverse ethnic backgrounds. He is author of Fatherhood (1996) and coauthor of Throwaway Dads (1999) and Child Psychology (6th ed., 2005).

    Gary “Pete” Peterson, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Family Studies and Social Work at Miami University-Ohio. His areas of teaching and scholarly interest are parent-child/adolescent relations, adolescent development, and family theory. Specific topics have included family (parental) contributors to adolescent social competence, family influences on adolescent autonomy development from parents, family influences on adolescent conformity to parents, and family influences on the status attainment of adolescents and young adults from rural Appalachia. His scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Marriage and the Family; Family Relations; Journal of Adolescent Research; Youth and Society; Family Science Review; Family Process; Sociological Inquiry; and Family Issues. Currently, he is examining parent-adolescent relations within samples of adolescents from the People's Republic of China, Russia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Chile, and the United States as part of the Cross-National Adolescent Project. He is a co-editor of the books Handbook of Marriage and the Family (2nd ed., 1999) and Adolescents in Families (1986), and editor of the journal Marriage and Family Review and the general editor of the handbook series for Haworth Press titled The Haworth Series on Marriage and Family Studies.

    Nina Philipsen is a doctoral student in Developmental Psychology and a graduate research fellow at the National Center for Children and Families (NCCF). Ms. Philipsen graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in Psychology in 2003 and earned a masters degree from Purdue University in Child Development and Family Studies. At NCCF, Nina works on the Fragile Families project. Her primary research interests include early child health, education, and care policy.

    Zhenchao Qian, PhD, is Professor of Sociology and Research Associate of Initiative in Population Research at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on changing patterns of union formation and assortative mating. He has published work on changes in cohabitation and marriage, racial differences in intermarriage, and racial identification of biracial children. He is coauthor with Daniel T. Lichter of “Social Boundaries and Marital Assimilation: Interpreting Trends in Racial and Ethnic Intermarriage” in American Sociological Review (2007).

    Robert E. Rector, Senior Policy Analyst, Welfare and Family Issues, the Heritage Foundation examines such issues as welfare reform, marriage and illegitimacy, tax reform to assist families, and poverty in America. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Mr. Rector earned his master's degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University. He recently authored America's Failed $5.4 Trillion War on Poverty (1995), which examines the U.S. welfare system. He has published articles the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and hundreds of other newspapers. Mr. Rector's writings have also appeared in National Review, Policy Review, The World and I, The American Enterprise, Insight, Human Events, the Harvard Journal on Legislation, and other magazines. He previously worked as a management analyst at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    Matthew R. Sanders, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland. He is founder of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program. This internationally recognized program has twice won the National Violence Prevention Award from the Commonwealth Heads of Governments in Australia. He conducts research in the area of parenting, family psychology, and the treatment and prevention of childhood psychopathology. The Parenting and Family Support Centre is involved in conducting a number of randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of family-based interventions for children and adolescents. Current research projects focus on evaluating family interventions for children at risk for the development of severe conduct problems, children with challenging behavior and developmental disabilities, parental maltreatment, parental depression, and marital conflict. He is author of the popular book Every Parent: A Positive Approachto Children's Behaviour (2004), and has published extensively on the nature, causes, prevention, and treatment of behavioral disturbance in children. In 1996, he was awarded a Distinguished Career Award from the Australian Association for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. He has served as a consultant for several government departments and agencies both within Australia and internationally interested in the adoption of population-level, evidence-based parenting and family support strategies. He is also a member of the National Suicide Prevention Council.

    Thomas J. Schofield, MA, is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, working toward completion of a dissertation examining the predictors and possible effects of changes in parenting across time among Mexican Americans and European Americans. His interests include the family unit, as studied across levels of analysis including dyadic, triadic, and family-level, as well as the interaction between the nature of family functioning and contexts, both perceived (culture, religion) and physical (neighborhoods).

    Carmel Tabone, OP, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work and the Department of Public Policy at the University of Malta. He holds an S.Th.L. from St. Thomas Aquinas College, Malta, and S.Th.Lic. (Moral Theology) and Sc.Soc.D. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. He was a visiting scholar at Templeton College, University of Oxford, and at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He served as chairman of the Family Study and Research Commission of the Ministry for Social Development in Malta. Dr. Tabone is Vice Chairperson of the National Family Commission and is a member of the National Commission for the Advancement of Women. He also served as co-coordinator of the Mediterranean Social Sciences Network and editor of the Mediterranean Social Sciences Journal. He is author of The Secularization of the Family in Changing Malta (1987) and Maltese Families in Transition (1995), and a series of articles dealing with the family and development.

    Kate Tarrant, MPA, is a doctoral student in Curriculum and Teaching, concentrating on early childhood policy, and a graduate research fellow at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University. Ms. Tarrant earned her Masters degree in Public Administration at Columbia University. Her research interests include the impact of early childhood policy for teachers, families, and children in different early learning settings, particularly home-based settings.

    David B. Taylor earned a PhD in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine in 1999. He is Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Niagara University. His primary research emphasis is on kinship caregiving, and he is currently conducting research on the implementation of strengths-based approaches in case management. Dr. Taylor is the recipient of several nationally recognized funding awards, has served as a consultant on several other national grants, and has reviewed and edited proposals in a broad range of areas. He is a member of the American Society of Criminology and a lifetime member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

    Shigueru J. Tsuha, MA, is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. His interests include the study of race and class in the United States and at a global level, work, organizations, exploitation, labor, and social movements. Shigueru is conducting dissertation research on racial identities and racism as they are experienced by Japanese descendants born in Peru now living in the United States, Peru, and Japan.

    Jessica Thornton Walker is a doctoral student of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is the 2005 recipient of the University's Preemptive Fellowship, the Zeifman Graduate Fellowship, and the Dean's Excellence Award. Her research focuses on the intersection of poverty, policy, and child development with particular attention to children's academic performance. Before her doctoral studies, she worked as a research assistant at Georgetown University, examining parenting among low-income and adolescent mothers, and at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., examining the academic and behavioral consequences of traumatic brain injury.

    Carol Ward received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992. She was a research specialist for the Administration for Native Americans in Washington, D.C. for 5 years and also completed a dropout study on the Northern Cheyenne Indian reservation that was published as a monograph, Native Americans in the School System (2005). She joined the Sociology faculty at Brigham Young University in 1990 but still works with the Northern Cheyenne on issues related to education, substance abuse recovery, welfare reform, and food assistance programs. She teaches classes in racial and ethnic relations, sociology of education, community, qualitative and survey methods.

    Erin Feinauer Whiting received her MS in Sociology from Brigham Young University (1999) and her PhD in Rural Sociology at the University of Missouri-Columbia (2006). She has worked on a variety of research endeavors on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation since she first visited in autumn of 1998. She is interested in all aspects of poverty and especially hunger. Additionally, she is interested in the importance of places in social life and the organization of social spaces, as well as community organization and development.

    Melvin N. Wilson, PhD, is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Wilson has an extensive background in academic, research and training activities generally focused on understanding contextual processes and outcomes in African American families and children. He has conducted analyses on young, low-income, unwed, and nonresident fathers and their involvement with their children. In addition, he has developed intervention protocols aimed at helping young men meet family responsibilities and involvements and services to men who are court-ordered for treatment of wife-battering. Currently, Dr. Wilson is conducting a preventive intervention involving families with toddlers at risk for conduct disorder.

    Stephan M. Wilson, earned his PhD in Family Relations and Human Development from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Senior Associate Dean in the College of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has been on the faculty at the University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Montana State, and Kenyatta (in Kenya) universities. He is author of more than 60 articles and book chapters, editor of 2 edited books and 30 other publications, and serves on the editorial board of Family Relations and Marriage and Family Review as well as serving as an occasional reviewer for several other journals. In 2005, Dr. Wilson was awarded Fellow status in the National Council on Family Relations.

    Warner P. Woodworth earned his PhD in Psychology from the University of Michigan and is a social entrepreneur and Professor of Organizational Leadership and Strategy at the Marriott School, Brigham Young University. He is a consultant to corporations, governments, trade unions, and social enterprises worldwide. Teaching MBAs and doing action research, he has published 10 books and more than 160 articles, many on microenterprises and NGOs. During the last decade, he has been founder or director of 15 NGOs that raised in excess of $24 million and gave out some 920,000 microloans to empower the poor and build self-reliance in 21 countries.

    W. Jean Yeung, PhD, is Research Professor and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Advanced Social Science Research, Department of Sociology in New York University. She is a co-principal investigator of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and an affiliated scholar at the National Poverty Center of the Gerald Ford School of Public Policy in the University of Michigan and the RAND Policy Research Corporation. Her research focuses on intergenerational studies, family and children's well-being and policies, Demography, and research methods. Her recent publications include the effects of child poverty, family wealth, fathers' involvement on children's behavior and achievement.

    Hong-Sik Yoon is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Welfare, College of Social Science at Chonbuk National University in Deuckjin-Gu, Jeonju, Korea.

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