An anti-poverty program in Milwaukee, Wisc., substantially increased marriage rates among single mothers who have never been married, according to research by New York University psychology professor Hiro Yoshikawa and Anna Gassman-Pines, a doctoral candidate in psychology. The findings, the result of an unprecedented five-year study of Milwaukees "New Hope Project," will be presented on Sat., April 9, at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Most marriage-promotion programs for lower-income single mothers focus on improving relationship skills or increasing employment. However, little information exists on the long-term effects on marriage of more direct anti-poverty approaches.
Implemented in two Milwaukee neighborhoods in the mid to late 1990s, the New Hope Project provided participants--low-income parents working 30 hours a week or more--the following benefits over a three-year period: a wage supplement that brought their income above the poverty line; child care and health insurance subsidies; a minimum-wage community service job for those unable to find work on their own; and support from program representatives for finding and maintaining work. The program ended in 1998.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
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