Public Assistance Use Among Two-Parent Families: An Analysis of TANF and Food Stamp Program Eligibility and Participation - Research Brief. Cohabiting family outcomes generally fell between those for single and married parents


In addition to examining married- and single-parent families, the report examined eligibility and participation rates for cohabiting families. Cohabiting parents in the sample tended to be younger and more poorly educated than their married and single counterparts. While their TANF and FSP outcomes generally fell between those for single- and married-parent families, it is interesting to note that they more closely resembled single parents with respect to TANF participation and married parents with respect to FSP participation.



1. While the model captured many state policy effects, it was unable to include program rules that treat single and two-parent families differently, yet do not vary across states (such as required work hours for single vs. married parents), because there was insufficient variation to estimate their effects. The model also could not capture any undocumented differences in how states may implement policies for single and married parents.

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