Building Self-Sufficiency Among Welfare-Dependent Teenage Parents: Lessons from the Teenage Parent Demonstration. Impacts on Economic, Social, and Demographic Outcomes

06/01/1993

The prospects for these young mothers were not promising without some form of intervention, judging by the experiences of those in the regular-services group.  Two years after starting to receive welfare for themselves and their first child, 75 to 80 percent would still be on welfare; 80 to 90 percent would be living in poverty; over half would have another child; only 10 to 25 percent would have a job; fewer than 10 percent would be living with a spouse or a male partner; and only one fourth would have regular contact with the fathers of their children.  Poverty rates would exceed 90 percent for those who did manage to get jobs. (See Table ES-3)

The benefits of participation in the demonstration programs included increased rates of school attendance, job training, and employment.  The program-induces increases in employment were accompanied by earnings gains that, in combination with program sanctions, resulted in lower rates of dependence on public assistance.  There was little or no measurable change in economic welfare, however, except for those who became employed.  The hoped-for improvements in social and demographic outcomes generally have not been observed to date.  Also, we have not yet examined possible impacts on the children of these young mothers.

TABLE ES-3
OUTCOMES AND ESTIMATED PROGRAM IMPACTS

Outcome Measures Regular-
Services
Group Mean
Enhanced-
Services
Group Mean
Estimated Impacts
Level

Percent Change


Activity Levels and Choices (Two Years Following Intake)
School, Job Training, or Employment (Percent) 66.4 78.8 12.4** 18.7**
Percent of Months Active 27.5 35.2 7.7** 28.0 **
In School (Percent) 29.3 41.6 12.3** 42.0**
In Job Training (Percent) 22.6 26.8 4.2** 18.6**
Employed (Percent) 43.1 48.2 5.1** 11.8**
In Job Club (Percent) 6.7 24.9 18.2** 273.7**
Income, by Source (Two Years Following Intake)
Monthly Earnings $114 $137 $23** 20.0**
Monthly AFDC Benefits $261 $242 -$19** -7.3**
Percent of Months Receiving AFDC 80.9 78.3 -2.6 -3.2
Monthly Food Stamp Benefits $127 $125 -$2 -1.6
Percent of Months Receiving Food Stamps 70.2 67.7 -2.5** -3.6**
Monthly Child Support $23 $20 -$3 -13.0
Social and Demographic Status (at Follow-Up)
Percent with Income Below Poverty 86.2 84.9 -1.3 -1.5
Living with Supportive Adult (Percent) 50.0 51.5 1.5 3.0
Living with Spouse or Male Partner (Percent) 8.8 9.9 1.1 12.5
Paternity Established (Percent) 46.2 49.8 3.6** 7.8**
Receiving Regular Financial Support from Child's Father (Percent) 10.0 9.3 -0.7 -7.0
In Regular Contact with Child's Father (Percent) 26.1 27.9 1.8 6.9
Number of Repeat Pregnancies 1.00 1.01 0.01 1.0
Number of New Births 0.60 0.64 0.04* 6.6*

Sample Size 1,924 - 2,275 1,943 - 2,284 3,867 - 4,559 3,867 - 4,559

Source:  Earnings, AFDC, food stamp, and child support data are from administrative records.  All other data are from follow-up surveys conducted an average of 28 months after sample intake.  The larger sample sizes pertain to those outcome measures derived from administrative data sources.
 *  Statistically significant at the 10 percent level, two-tailed test.
** Statistically significant at the 5 percent level, two-tailed test.