Welfare receipt, financial strain, and African-American adolescent functioning

Rebekah Levine Coley, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Using a random sample of African-American adolescent girls in impoverished urban neighborhoods in Chicago, we consider income-related predictors (poverty, financial strain, welfare receipt, and welfare exposure) of adolescents' job preparation and nonmarital childbearing risk. Maternal financial strain is the most consistent predictor, linked to poor school performance and greater sexual experience. Maternal welfare receipt predicts higher school grades in youth, but welfare exposure from broader social networks is related to lower grades and greater pregnancy experience. We discuss the implications for families as federal welfare reforms alter the income sources and financial situations of many poor families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-402
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Service Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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