Losing the Safety Net: How a Time-Limited Welfare Policy Affects Families at Risk of Reaching Time Limits

Pamela A. Morris, Richard Hendra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors examined the effects of Florida's Family Transition Program (FTP), one of the first welfare reform initiatives to include a time limit on the receipt of federal cash assistance with other welfare requirements, on single-mother welfare-receiving families. Using a regression-based subgroup approach, they identified a group of families who were at risk of reaching the welfare time limit and subsequently assessed the experimental effects of the time-limited welfare policy on this group as compared to an otherwise comparable group of single-mother welfare-recipient families. For the families who were at risk of reaching the welfare time limit, FTP had few effects. FTP decreased mothers' depressive symptoms, and mothers in the FTP group reported higher levels of children's school achievement. There were no effects on parenting behavior or mothers' reports of children's social-emotional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-400
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • children
  • poverty
  • time limits
  • welfare policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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