The purpose of this project was to explore how emerging insights from psychology can strengthen programs aimed at helping families achieve self-sufficiency. In particular, the project reviewed the implications of existing research on psychological processes associated with goal-directed behaviors, including socio-emotional and cognitive development, executive functioning, soft skills and related areas. The project then synthesized current research on these topics, addressing how insights gained from research can be used to promote economic advancement among low-income populations; identified promising strategies for strengthening underlying skills in these areas; and identified tools to measure changes and other developments in skill acquisition. The project also developed logic models mapping how programs could incorporate psychology informed frameworks into interventions to support family self-sufficiency, employment training, career and technical education and positive parenting practices for low-income adults, and how evaluators may measure outcomes of interest. This project conducted fieldwork to learn about existing programs that are currently integrating these frameworks into employment and training and parenting programs. The results of this project informed future programmatic and evaluation efforts in the areas of strengthening and supporting goal-directed behavior for families.
The research design includes a literature review, surveys and site visits. Mathematica Policy Research conducted the study.
The points of contact are Girley Wright.