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


The programs produced few significant impacts on social and demographic outcomes.  Moreover, there were no consistent patterns across sites in the few estimated changes observed.  Notable results did occur for living arrangements, child support, and pregnancies and births.  (See Table ES-3)

Although there was no significant overall impact on the likelihood that those in the enhanced- services group would live with a potentially supportive adult -- a parent, spouse, or male partner - - there was a sizable and statistically significant impact in Camden.  There, 52 percent of the enhance-services group were living in such arrangements at the time of follow-up, compared with 47 percent of those receiving regular AFDC services.

An overall four percentage point increase in the incidence of paternity establishment for the study sample as a whole resulted from the significant impacts of four and five percentage points, respectively, observed in Newark and Chicago.  There were not impacts observed in Camden.  Moreover, the impacts in Newark and Chicago were substantially larger among those enrolled in the program later in time, when the demonstration child support services were stronger.  These higher rates of paternity establishment were not, however, accompanied by significantly higher levels of child support.

A different pattern of impacts was observed for financial support form noncustodial fathers.  At the time of the follow-up survey, the enhanced-services group members in Camden were nearly 30 percent more likely than their regular-services group counterparts to receive financial support from their children's fathers and to have regular contact with them.  In contrast, negative or no impacts were observed in Newark and Chicago.

There were no significant impacts on pregnancy rates.  Young mothers in the enhanced-services group, however, were somewhat more likely than their control-group counterparts to report subsequent births -- an increase concentrated in the Chicago site and among older participants.  In all three sites, there was a tendency for the program to reduce pregnancy and birth rates among the younger participants and Hispanics -- groups that were most prevalent in Camden.