TANF and the Status of Teen Mothers under Age 18

Brief

TANF and the Status of Teen Mothers under Age 18

The authors find that, in the short term, there is no evidence that minor teen mothers were harmed or helped much by residency and activity requirements in TANF or even by welfare reform policies in general. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1997 cohort, they find few significant differences in minor teen birth rates, living arrangements, and school enrollment between 1997 and 2000. While not significant, the trends are consistent with the goal of welfare reform to reduce teen childbearing. Although their receipt of cash assistance has dropped significantly, about 80 percent of minor teen moms receive some form of public assistance.

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