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Author: Deane, Claudia
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Morin, Richard
Deane, Claudia
Welfare Reform Reforms Teens, Study Says
Washington Post, (May 28, 2002): A15.
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: Washington Post
Keyword(s): Adolescent Fertility; Behavior; Birth Rate; Educational Attainment; Household Composition; Legislation; Mothers, Education; Parents, Single; School Dropouts; Teenagers; Welfare

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Welfare reform has reduced the birth rate among teenage women who are at the greatest risk of going on public assistance, cut their welfare use and lowered their school dropout rate, according to a paper published last week by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Economists Robert Kaestner and June O'Neill of Baruch College in New York also said that teenage mothers were less likely to go on the dole and "more likely to live with a spouse or to live with at least one parent than in the pre-reform era." If confirmed by additional studies, these results suggest that the 1996 act overhauling the welfare system may be doing what parents, government and social agencies have failed to do: change the behaviors of teenagers -- particularly those most at risk of falling into welfare, Kaestner and O'Neill said. They based their conclusions on a detailed analysis of data from the federally funded National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. This ongoing series of polls annually samples young people and then reinterviews them in succeeding years. Kaestner and O'Neill were particularly interested in tracking the fortunes of "high risk" girls aged 17 and 19 in the 1979 sample and a group of similarly aged teens in the 1997 survey. Both groups were followed for about three years. High-risk teens were defined as girls who, among other things, lived at age 12 in a family headed by a single female and had a mother with relatively little education. The authors found that 28 percent of the 19-year-olds in the 1979 study group had given birth, compared with 19 percent in the 1997 group. The dropout rate stood at 26 percent among 19-year-olds in the 1979 sample but at 16 percent in the most recent group. About 10 percent of these teens in the earlier study had received welfare, compared with 5 percent in the post-reform group. The study comes at a politically propitious time. The 1996 welfare act expires in the fall. The House recently passed a Republican welfare plan but the Senate has not yet voted on welfare legislation.
Bibliography Citation
Morin, Richard and Claudia Deane. "Welfare Reform Reforms Teens, Study Says." Washington Post, (May 28, 2002): A15.