How welfare policies affect adolescents' school outcomes: A synthesis of evidence from experimental studies

Lisa A. Gennetian, Greg Duncan, Virginia Knox, Wanda Vargas, Elizabeth Clark-Kauffman, Andrew S. London

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations


Using data from 8 random assignment studies and employing meta-analytic techniques, this article provides systematic evidence that welfare and work policies targeted at low-income parents have small adverse effects on some school outcomes among adolescents ages 12 to 18 years at follow-up. These adverse effects were observed mostly for school performance outcomes and occurred in programs that required mothers to work or participate in employment-related activities and those that encouraged mothers to work voluntarily. The most pronounced negative effects on school outcomes occurred for the group of adolescents who had a younger sibling, possibly because of the increased home and sibling care responsibilities they assumed as their mothers increased their employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-423
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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