The Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) was a multi-component program implemented between 1987 and 1991 designed to help young mothers work toward economic self-sufficiency. Participation in the program was required upon application for welfare receipt. TPD services included informational and skill workshops, case management, employment-related services, and various support services. Experimental evaluations of the program show that participation in TPD had positive short-term employment and educational impacts on adult participants. It had a positive long-term impact on birth rates at one of the three sites, but negative subgroup-specific short-term birth rate impacts. Five years after enrollment in TPD, most program effects were null, including children’s educational and developmental outcomes.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population: Teenage mothers or teens in their third trimester of pregnancy (especially those between 17 and 19 years old) receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
The Teenage Parent Demonstration (TPD) was designed to help young mothers work toward economic self-sufficiency; it functioned as a mandatory program for first-time teenage parents applying for welfare in Camden and Newark, NJ, and the south side of Chicago between 1987 and 1991. Mothers who did not participate in TPD activities experienced sanctions in the form of reduced monthly AFDC grants. Program components included (a) program-based workshops on topics such as personal skills, parenting, education, and employment, (b) case management, (c) education, training, and employment-related services on the community and program level, and (d) various support services, such as child care and transportation assistance.
Approximately 3,500 teenage parents were served in three demonstration program cities.
|Case management||Case managers||Throughout the program||Worked with participant to develop a service plan to achieve self-sufficiency. Also provided ongoing support and counseling.|
|Workshops||In-house by program staff||Intervention varied from site to site, ranging from 9 hours to 97 hours||Workshops were designed to enhance personal skills, convey information, help teens adjust to roles as parents, and prepare teens for later education, training, and employment activities.|
|Education, training, and employment-related services||Existing community education, job training, and employment services; in-house staff||Throughout the program||GED courses offered for participants who did not complete high school. Work study program also offered at one site. Remedial classes and help for those having difficulty in school. Assistance finding job openings, and on-the-job training slots. A JTPA-funded job-training course.|
|Support services||The program||Throughout the program||Child care in licensed day care centers and approved family day care centers; transportation assistance.|
In 1989, the yearly cost per participant ranged from $3,000 to $5,400, but most costs were subsidized by outside agencies and in-kind donations.
EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
STUDY 1: Maynard, R., Nicholson, W., & Rangarajan, A. (1993). Breaking the cycle of poverty: The effectiveness of mandatory services for welfare-dependent teenage parents. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Evaluated population: 5,297 teens completed the intake (out of 6,000 who were eligible); half were randomly assigned to an experimental group and the other half were randomly assigned to a control group. Most of the participants’ children were under a year old.
To determine whether the program would motivate young mothers to engage in program activities, whether the program helped reduce young mothers’ dependence on public assistance and improved economic well-being, and whether the program resulted in changes in social and demographic outcomes that promote self-sufficiency.
Administrative records, interviews, group-administered survey, Test of Adult Basic Education
Statistical techniques: Means comparison (t-test), regression analysis, multivariate models
Significance level: p = .10
At the 2-year follow-up:
Training, employment, and income:
Participation rates in school, job training, or employment were 12 percentage points higher for program participants than those in the control group (79 percent vs. 66 percent). Similar findings were found for participants under age 17, age 18, and age 19 and older and for Hispanics, whites, and blacks. Program participants also stayed in school, job training, or employment longer than control group members (35.2 percent of the time during the 24-month follow-up compared with 27.5 percent of the time). In addition, math scores, as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Skills, were significantly higher among participants age 19 than their counterparts in the control group.Participants earned more per month from employment than teens in the control group ($23.00 more per month on average); however, this difference was only significant at the Chicago site. Participants age 18 and older were more likely to be employed and had higher earnings than control counterparts. Similar findings were found for Hispanics. For whites, the employment finding, but not the earnings finding, was significant. The majority of both groups were still in poverty at the 2-year follow-up. Seventy-five to 80 percent of all participants were receiving AFDC or food stamps at the follow-up, and 80 to 90 percent were living in poverty. Participants who were age 18 and older, Hispanic, or black were on AFDC and received food stamps for a longer period of time than their control counterparts. Participants who were age 17 or older, Hispanic, or black received less in AFDC than control counterparts.
Overall, participants were more likely than control group members to establish paternity (4 percentage point increase overall). For participants age 17-18 and for blacks, this difference is significant. Only one site (Camden) showed positive effects for paternal financial support. In Camden, fathers of participants’ children were 30 percent more likely to provide financial support than fathers of control group members’ children. In addition, Hispanic participants were more likely than their counterparts in the control group to have contact with their child’s father.Participants were less likely than control group members to cite lack of child care as a reason for termination from longest employment (13.1 percent vs. 16.7 percent in one site, and 6.6 percent vs. 13.3 percent in another, differences not significant).
The study found no significant impacts on pregnancy rates. However, black participants had higher birth rates than their counterparts in the control group.
STUDY 2: Kisker, E.E., Rangarajan, A., & Boller, K. (1998). Moving into adulthood: Were the impacts of mandatory programs for welfare-dependent teenage parents sustained after the programs ended? Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Evaluated population: Data were collected 5 years after program intake via phone or in-person interviews from 85 percent of the target sample. Data were collected from 3,499 persons: 1,769 in the experimental group and 1,730 in the control group.
To examine the long-term effects of the program 5 years after enrollment.
The following instruments were used at the 5-year follow-up: Phone and in-person interviews, self-administered questionnaires, tests, and interviews with children.
Statistical techniques: Multivariate models, regression analysis, t-test, F-test
Significance level: p = .10
At the 5-year follow-up there were few differences between program and control groups:
Approximately 70 percent of mothers in both the program and control groups were still receiving welfare at the 5-year follow-up. In addition, approximately 33 percent had incomes of less than 75 percent of the federal poverty level.
After the Teenage Parent Demonstration program ended and the participants returned to regular AFDC programs, the effects of the program faded. Gains in employment, training, or education faded, and there were no significant differences between the two groups.
Participants in both groups had, on average, become pregnant twice and given birth to one or two children at the follow-up. The study found that the program failed to reduce subsequent pregnancies and births. Only the Camden site had significant differences between the experimental and control groups. In Camden, participants had 1.7 pregnancies and 1.5 births, while control group members had 1.9 pregnancies and 1.6 births.
Children of participants were faring poorly at the follow-up:
Children of participants had poorer scores on measures of development and well-being than children nationally. Using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, revised edition (PPVT-R), the researchers found that children of black and white participants scored one deviation (15 points)
lower than black and white children nationally (difference not significant). Children of program participants also received slightly higher scores on measures of problem behaviors than children in the national sample.
The researchers concluded that the program had neither harmful nor beneficial effects for children’s development. For example, there were no significant differences with child reports of effort in school and parental encouragement with regard to school. There were also no significant differences in the parents’ reports of children’s academic behavior.
Most differences between the experimental group and control group in this study were not significant.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Kisker, E.E., Rangarajan, A., & Boller, K. (1998). Moving into adulthood: Were the impacts of mandatory programs for welfare-dependent teenage parents sustained after the programs ended? Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Maynard, R., Nicholson, W., & Rangarajan, A. (1993). Breaking the cycle of poverty: The effectiveness of mandatory services for welfare-dependent teenage parents. Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Teenage Parent Demonstration home page: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/isp/tpd/index.htm
Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):
Zaslow, M.J., Brooks, J. L., Moore, K. A., Morris, P., Tout, K., & Redd, Z. (2001). Impacts on children in experimental studies of welfare-to-work programs. Washington, DC: Child Trends.
KEYWORDS: Children, Child Care, Young Adults, Youth, Adolescents, Teen Mothers, Births, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Case Management, Counseling/Therapy, Parent Training/Education, Teen Pregnancy, Job Readiness/Training, Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills, Other Social/Emotional Health
Program information last updated 8/7/03.