Children, Youth, Families and 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, Fragile Families,  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 (McLanahan).  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).


Adsera, A., & Ferrer, A. (forthcoming 2021). The effect of linguistic proximity and the labour market performance of immigrant men in Canada. Labour, doi:

Adsera, A., Pozza, D., Sergei, G., Kleine-Rueschkamp, L., & Nikolova, E. (forthcoming 2020). Height and well-being during the transition to market economy Economic Policy, doi:

Adsera, A. (2020). What is the most important factor likely to influence future fertility trends and why? international political economy and future fertility trends. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 18, 1. doi:

Adsera, A., & Ferrer, A. M. (2020). Speeding up for a son: Sex ration imbalances by birth interval among south Asian migrants to Canada. Canadian Studies in Population, 47, 133.

de Jong, P., Adsera, A., & de Valk, H. (2019). The role of welfare in locational choices: Modelling intra-european migration decisions across the life-course. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 111(2) doi:10.1111/tesg.12390.

Conley, D. (2020). Toward a two-dimensional conception of socioeconomic status for health policy. Milbank Quarterly Opinion, December 17 doi:

Conley, D. (2020). Who you gonna call? COVID-19 and the future of telemedicine. Milbank Quarterly Opinion, July 15 doi:

Conley, D., & Schanzenbach, D. W. (2020). Invest in school-based health centers to improve child health. Milbank Quarterly Opinion, December 23 doi:

Johnson, T., Dawes, C. T., & Conley, D. (2020). How does a statistician raise an army? the time when john W. tukey, a team of luminaries, and a statistics graduate student repaired the vietnam selective service lotteries. The American Statistician, 74(2), 190. doi:DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2019.1677267

McMartin, A., & Conley, D. (2020). Commentary: Mendelian randomization and education-challenges remain. International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(1), 1193. doi:doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa160
PMID: 33029641

McMartin, A., & Conley, D. (2020). Commentary: Mendelian randomization and education–Challenges remain  . International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(4), 1193. doi:

Mostafavi, H., Harpak, A., Agarwal, I., Conley, D., Pritchard, J. K., & Przeworski, M. (2020). Variable prediction accuracy of polygenic scores within an ancestry group. Elife, 9, e48376. doi:

Ginther, D. K., Currie, J. M., Blau, F. D., & Croson, R. T. A. (2020). Can Mentoring Help Female Assistant Professors in Economics? An Evaluation by Randomized Trial
    AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110, 205. 10.1257/pandp.20201121

Currie, J. (2020). Child Health as Human Capital. Health Economics, 29(4), 452. 10.1002/hec.3995
PMID: 31965679

Currie, J., Kleven, H., & Zwiers, E. (2020). Data and Code for Technology and Big Data Are Changing Economics: Mining Text to Track Methods. Openicpsr,;jsessionid=C3D4770D4FE44EAC0B7010081B1F943F

Chorniy, A., Currie, J., & Sonchak, L. (2020). Does Prenatal WIC Participation Improve Child Outcomes? American Journal of Public Health, 6(2), 169. 10.1086/707832

Currie, J., & Rossin-Slater, M. (2020). Does the WIC Program Promote Equality of Opportunity in Early Life? In L. Tach, R. Dunifon & D. Miller (Eds.), Confronting Inequality: How Policies and Practices Shape Children's Opportunities (pp. 49). American Psychological Association.

Currie, J. M., Rafferty, J. A., Bassett, M. T., & Groves, R. (2020). Evaluating Data Types: A Guide for Decision Makers Using Data to Understand the Extent and Spread of Covid-19. National Academy of Sciences Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (). The National Academies Press.

Currie, J. M. (2020). Inequality Before Birth Contributes to Health Inequality In Adults: Improving Newborn Health Is More Essential Now Than Ever. Scientific American, 343(4)

Currie, J., & Schnell, M. (2020). Letter to the Editor: Medical School Ranking and Physician Opioid Prescribing. Journal General Internal Medicine, 35(8), 2477. 10.1007/s11606-020-05797-z

Ginther, D. K., Currie, J. M., Blau, F. D., & Croson, R. T. A. (2020). Mentoring Matters for Women in Economics. In S. Lundberg (Ed.), Women in Economics: Challenges and Opportunities along the Pipeline (). CEPR Press.

Currie, J., Schwandt, H., & Thuilliez, J. (2020). Pauvreté, Egalité, Mortalité: Mortality (In)Equality in France and the United States. Journal of Population Economics, 33, 197.

Currie, J., Henrik, K., & Esmée, Z. (2020). Technology and Big Data Are Changing Economics: Mining Text to Track Methods
. AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110(42) 10.1257/pandp.20201058

Cuddy, E., & Currie, J. (2020). Treatment of Mental Ilness in American Adolescents Varies Wdely within and Across Areas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(1), 24039.

Currie, J. M., & Macleod, W. B. (2020). Understanding Doctor Decision Making: The Case of Depression Treatment. Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, 88(3), 847.

Currie, J. (2020). What We Say And What We Do: Why US Investments In Children's Health Are Falling Short. Health Affairs, 39(10), 1684. 10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00633
PMID: 33017250

Alexander, D., Currie, J., & Schnell, M. (2019). Check Up before You Check Out: Retail Clinics and Emergency Room Use. Journal of Public Economics, 178

Simeonova, E., Currie, J., Nilsson, P., & Walker, R. (2019). Congestion Pricing, Air Pollution, and Children's Health

. Journal of Human Resources, Oct 10.3368/jhr.56.4.0218-9363R2

Pesko, M. F., & Currie, J. M. (2019). The Effect of E-Cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age Laws on Cigarette Use and Birth Outcomes among Pregnant Teenagers. Journal of Health Economics, 66, 71.

Currie, J., & Duque, V. (2019). Medicaid: What Does it Do and Can We Do it Better? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 686(1), 148.

Baker, M., Currie, J., & Schwandt, H. (2019). Mortality Inequality in Canada and the U.S.: Convergent or Divergent Trends. Journal of Labor Economics, 37(S2), S325. 10.1086/703259

Currie, J., & Walker, R. (2019). What Do Economists Have to Say About the Clean Air Act 50 Years After the Establishment of the EPA? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 433(4), 3.

Currie, J., Ho., B., Kelly, R., & Kuziemko, I. (2019). Who Will Be Our Moral Conscience Now? A Tribute To Uwe Reinhardt. Health Affairs Blog,

Edin, Kathryn, Timothy J. Nelson, Andrew Cherlin, and Robert Francis. “The Tenuous Attachments of Working-Class Men.” Journal of Economic Perspectives. 33(2): 211-228. 2019

Shaefer, H. Luke, Kathryn Edin, Pinghui Wu, and Vincent Fusaro. The Decline of Cash Assistance and the Well-being of Households with Children.” Social Forces: Soz020, 2019

“Taking Care of Mine” or “Just another Bill to Pay: Can the US Child Support System be a Family Building Institution?” Journal of Family Theory. 11(1): 79-91.

Nick, M., & Jennings, J. L. (Forthcoming). Collaboration and competition in New Orleans charter management organizations.

van de Werfhorst, H., & Jennings, J. L. (Forthcoming). School inspectorates, standardized tests, and socioeconomic inequality in educational attainment.

Weixler, L.,B., Barrett, N., Harris, D., & Jennings, J. L. (Forthcoming). Examining the distribution of students when choice is the primary means of enrollment: The case of New Orleans. American Education Research Journal,

Sattin, B., & Jennings, J. L. School counselors’ assessment of the legitimacy of high school choice policy. Educational Policy.2020,34(1), 21.

Kim, M., King, M. D., & Jennings, J. (2019). ADHD remission, inclusive special education, and socioeconomic disparities. SSM - Population Health, 8, 100420. doi:

Sean P. Corcoran, Jennifer L. Jennings. (2019). Information and school choice. In Mark Berends, Ann Primus, Matthew G. Springer (Ed.), Handbook of research on school choice (2nd ed., pp. Ch. 26) Routledge.
Book Chapter

Mojola, S. A., Angotti, N., Denardo, D., Schatz, E., & Xavier Gómez Olivé, F. (2020). The end of AIDS? HIV and the new landscape of illness in rural South Africa. Global Public Health, Epub ahead of print, 111-13. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2020.1851743
PMID: 33290168

Gómez-Olivé, F. X., Houle, B., Rosenberg, M., Kabudula, C., Mojola, S., Rohr, J. K., . . . Menken, J. (2020). Brief report: HIV incidence among older adults in a rural south African setting: 2010-2015. . Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 85(1), 18.

Houle, B., Yu, S. T., Angotti, N., Schatz, E., Kabudula, C. W., Gómez-Olivé, F. X., . . . Mojola, S. A. (2020). Clusters of HIV risk and protective sexual behaviors in Agincourt, rural South Africa: Findings from the Ha Nakekela population-based study of ages 15 and older. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 6, 2057-2068. doi:doi: 10.1007/s10508-020-01663-5

Schatz, E., Knight, L., Belli, R. F., & Mojola, S. A. (2020). Assessing the feasibility of a life history calendar to measure HIV risk and health in older South Africans. PLoS One, 15(1) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226024

Mojola, S. A., & Wamoyi, J. (2019). Contextual drivers of HIV risk among young African women., 22 suppl 4, e25302. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 22(4)

Mojola, S. A., & Angotti, N. (2019). 'Sometimes it is not about men': Gendered and generational discourses of caregiving HIV transmission in a rural South African setting. Global Public Health, Epub ahead of print doi:doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1606265

Schatz, E., Houle, B., Mojola, S. A., & Angotti N, W. J. (2019). How to "live a good life": Aging and HIV testing in rural South Africa. Journal of Aging and Health, 31(4), 709. doi:DOI: 10.1177/0898264317751945

Raymo, James M., Fumiya Uchikoshi, and Shohei Yoda. 2021. “Marriage Intentions, Desires, and Pathways to Later and Less Marriage in Japan.” Demographic Research 44: 67–98.

Halpern-Manners, Andrew, James M. Raymo, John R. Warren, and Kaitlin Johnson. 2020. “School Performance and Mortality: The Role of Work and Family Trajectories Across the Life Course” Advances in Life Course Research 46.

Wang, Jia and James M. Raymo. 2020.“Non-standard Employment and Life Satisfaction in Japan” forthcoming in Journal of Marriage and Family.

Fukuda, Setsuya, James M. Raymo, and Shohei Yoda. 2020. “Revisiting the Educational Gradient in Women’s Marriage in Japan” Journal of Marriage and Family 82: 1378–1396.

Wang, Jia and James M. Raymo. 2020. “Household income and child well-being in Japan: The role of grandparental coresidence and residential proximity.” Chinese Journal of Sociology 6: 286-314.

Raymo, James M. and Hyunjoon Park. 2019. “Marriage Trends in Korea: Changing Composition of the Domestic Marriage Market and Growth in International Marriage” Demography 57: 171–194.

Raymo, James M., Isabel Pike, and Jersey Liang. 2019.“A New Look at the Living Arrangements of Older Americans using Multistate Life Tables.” Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences 74: e84–e96.

Hendi, Arun S., Irma T. Elo, and Pekka Martikainen. 2021. “The Implications of Changing Education Distributions for Life Expectancy Gradients.” Forthcoming at Social Science & Medicine.

Vierboom, Yana C., Samuel H. Preston, and Arun S. Hendi. 2019. “Rising Geographic Inequality in Mortality in the United States.” Social Science & Medicine – Population Health 9: 100478. (PMCID: PMC6804490).

Hendi, Arun S. 2019. “Proximate Sources of Change in Trajectories of American First Marriage, 1960-2010.” Demography 56(3): 835-862. (PMCID: PMC6827978)


Dalton Conley - Connected Learning Research Network

Dalton Conley - 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

Dalton Conley - GxE and Health Inequality Over the Life Course

Dalton Conley - 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

Kathryn Edin - Computational examination of threat and reward constructs in a predominantly low-income, longitudinal sample at increased risk for internalizing disorders

Kathryn Edin - Deepening Our Understanding of America's Most Vulnerable Communities

Kathryn Edin - Fragile Families & the Transition to Adulthood (BMGF)

Kathryn Edin - Fragile Families and the Transition to Adulthood (NIH)

Kathryn Edin - The National Poverty Study

Kathryn Edin - Support the Fragile Families, Systems-Involved Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood follow-up survey activities

Kathryn Edin - Support for the Fragile Families panel study

Jennifer Jennings - Visiting Scholar program Russell Sage Foundation: Urban School Choice and Equality of Educational Opportunity

Sara McLanahan - Beyond Abuse and Neglect: Universal Approaches to Promoting Healthy Development in the First Years of Life

Sara McLanahan - Effects of Poverty on Affective Development: A Multi-Level, Longitudinal Study

Sara McLanahan - Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing in Adolescence

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: "Reducing Justice System Inequality"

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: "University-Agency Partnerships to Strengthen Preschool: Improving Preschool at Scale"

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: Culture and Social Mobility

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: Prenatal to Age Three

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: Social-Emotional Learning

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: University - Agency Partnerships to Strengthen Preschool: Improving Preschool at Scale

Sara McLanahan - Future of Children: University-Agency Partnerships to Strengthen Preschool: Improving Preschool at Scale

Sara McLanahan - Improving Opportunities for Urban Youth: What Can We Learn from City Comparisons?

Sara McLanahan - Reducing Justice System Inequality

Sara McLanahan - The Future of Children Conference and Volume on Universal Approaches to Child Maltreatment Prevention

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