Children, Youth, Families & Education

Children, Youth, Families and Education

During the past 50 years in the United States, families at the upper end of the income distribution have experienced steady gains in income and wealth while those toward the bottom have endured stagnating fortunes.  Much of the work in Children, Youth,  Families and Education, takes a closer look at these families and unpacks the reasons for their diverging destinies.

OPR research has dealt with the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic and health status from parents to children, including genetics as a driver of both social mobility and reproduction (Conley), in-depth observations of the lives of low-income women, men, and children to address such questions as how do single mothers survive on welfare (Edin), and programs serving disadvantaged youth, especially mentoring, afterschool, and summer programs (Grossman).  OPR researchers conduct a landmark study, The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing,  a longitudinal birth cohort study of nearly 5,000 children born in the U.S. at the end of the 20th century provides new information on the capabilities of unwed parents, as well as the effects of parental resources and public policies on children’s wellbeing.  OPR researchers have also conducted a listening campaign with people across the U.S. to learn about what’s going well, what needs to be improved, and how we might make our neighborhoods and country work better (Edin), and an examination of the challenges, strengths, and texture of the nation’s most vulnerable communities (Edin).

Researchers have also examined educational outcomes among youth (Tienda; Jennings; Education Research Section), and the effects of out-of-school-time programming on academic outcomes (Grossman), and examined how the transition to adulthood can play young people at risk for HIV acquisition (Mojola).  Other research in this theme examines the labor-market work and child support experiences of low-income fathers interviewed across four U.S. metropolitan areas (Nelson; Edin), how neighborhood effects, crime, and violence in the United States affect outcomes for children (Sharkey), research on the role of labor market institutions and economic conditions on fertility decisions (Adsera), and how social arrangements and life course trajectories both perpetuate and reshape socioeconomic inequality (Tienda).


Dalton Conley

  • Connected Learning Research Network
  • Genetic analysis of the Dutch Hunger Winter Families Study to Boost Rigor and Robustness for Testing In-Utero Famine Effects on Aging-Related Health Conditions and Biological Aging
  • GxE and Health Inequality Over the Life Course
  • Understanding the Interplay of Genes and Environment in U.S. Families to Improve Child Health: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics

Kathryn Edin

  • Assessing the impact of Place-Based and Place-Conscious Interventions on Economic Mobility
  • Computational examination of threat and reward constructs in a predominantly low-income, longitudinal sample at increased risk for internalizing disorders
  • Deepening Our Understanding of America’s Most Vulnerable Communities
  • The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing & the Transition to Adulthood (BMGF)
  • The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing and the Transition to Adulthood (NIH)
  • The National Poverty Study
  • Support the The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing, Systems-Involved Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood follow-up survey activities
  • Support for the The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing panel study

Jennifer Jennings

  • Visiting Scholar program Russell Sage Foundation: Urban School Choice and Equality of Educational Opportunity

Sanyu A. Mojola

  • HIV after 40 in Rural South Africa: Aging in the Context of an HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Faculty Members