Jane Waldfogel

Institute for Clinical Social Work, Georgia, United States

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Publications (131)135.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Despite a growing literature associating physical discipline with later child aggression, spanking remains a typical experience for American children. The directionality of the associations between aggression and spanking and their continuity over time has received less attention. This study examined the transactional associations between spanking and externalizing behavior across the first decade of life, examining not only how spanking relates to externalizing behavior leading up to the important transition to adolescence, but whether higher levels of externalizing lead to more spanking over time as well. We use data from the Fragile families and child well-being (FFCW) study to examine maternal spanking and children's behavior at ages 1, 3, 5, and 9 (N = 1,874; 48 % girls). The FFCW is a longitudinal birth cohort study of children born between 1998 and 2000 in 20 medium to large US cities. A little over a quarter of this sample was spanked at age 1, and about half at age 3, 5, and 9. Estimates from a cross-lagged path model provided evidence of developmental continuity in both spanking and externalizing behavior, but results also highlighted important reciprocal processes taking hold early, with spanking influencing later externalizing behavior, which, in turn, predicted subsequent spanking. These bidirectional effects held across race/ethnicity and child's gender. The findings highlight the lasting effects of early spanking, both in influencing early child's behavior, and in affecting subsequent child's externalizing and parental spanking in a reciprocal manner. These amplifying transactional processes underscore the importance of early intervention before patterns may cascade across domains in the transition to adolescence.
    Journal of Youth and Adolescence 03/2014; · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:To examine the prevalence of maternal and paternal spanking of children at 3 and 5 years of age and the associations between spanking and children's externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary through age 9.METHODS:The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study, a longitudinal birth cohort study of children in 20 medium to large US cities, was used. Parental reports of spanking were assessed at age 3 and 5, along with child externalizing behavior and receptive vocabulary at age 9 (N = 1933). The data set also included an extensive set of child and family controls (including earlier measures of the child outcomes).RESULTS:Overall, 57% of mothers and 40% of fathers engaged in spanking when children were age 3, and 52% of mothers and 33% of fathers engaged in spanking at age 5. Maternal spanking at age 5, even at low levels, was associated with higher levels of child externalizing behavior at age 9, even after an array of risks and earlier child behavior were controlled for. Father's high-frequency spanking at age 5 was associated with lower child receptive vocabulary scores at age 9.CONCLUSIONS:Spanking remains a typical rearing experience for American children. These results demonstrate negative effects of spanking on child behavioral and cognitive development in a longitudinal sample from birth through 9 years of age.
    PEDIATRICS 10/2013; · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using a sample of low-income children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (N ≈ 4,350) and propensity-score weighted regressions, we analyzed children's nutrition, weight, and health care receipt at kindergarten entry, comparing 1) Head Start participants and all non-participants, and 2) Head Start participants and children in prekindergarten, other center-based care, other non-parental care, or only parental care. Overall, we found that compared to all non-participants, Head Start participants were more likely to receive dental checkups but showed no differences in getting medical checkups; they were also more likely to have healthy eating patterns but showed no differences in Body Mass Index (BMI), overweight, or obesity. However, these results varied depending on the comparison group-Head Start participants showed lower BMI scores and lower probability of overweight compared to those in other non-parental care, and the effects on healthy eating and dental checkups differed by comparison group.
    Early Childhood Research Quarterly 10/2013; 28(4). · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study draws on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N=2,032), a birth cohort study of families with children from 20 U.S. cities. Interviews occurred between August 2007, and February 2010, when the children were approximately 9 years old. Macro-economic indicators of the Great Recession such as the Consumer Sentiment Index and unemployment and home foreclosure rates were matched to the data to estimate the links between different measures of the Great Recession and high frequency maternal spanking. We find that the large decline in consumer confidence during the Great Recession, as measured by the Consumer Sentiment Index, was associated with worse parenting behavior. In particular, lower levels of consumer confidence were associated with increased levels of high frequency spanking, a parenting behavior that is associated with greater likelihood of being contacted by child protective services.
    Child abuse & neglect 09/2013; · 2.34 Impact Factor
  • Fuhua Zhai, Jane Waldfogel, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
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    ABSTRACT: We examine the effects of Head Start participation on parenting and child maltreatment in a large and diverse sample of low-income families in large U.S. cities (N = 2,807), using rich data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS). To address the issue of selection bias, we employ several analytic approaches, including logistic regressions with a rich set of pretreatment controls as well as propensity score matching models, comparing the effects of Head Start to any other arrangements as well as specific types of other arrangements. We find that compared to children who did not attend Head Start, children who did attend Head Start are less likely to have low access to learning materials and less likely to experience spanking by their parents at age five. Moreover, we find that the effects of Head Start vary depending on the specific type of other child care arrangements to which they are compared, with the most consistently beneficial protective effects seen when Head Start is compared to being home in exclusively parental care.
    Children and Youth Services Review 07/2013; 35(7):1119-1129. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n ≈ 6,950), a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001, we examined school readiness (academic skills and socioemotional well-being) at kindergarten entry for children who attended Head Start compared with those who experienced other types of child care (prekindergarten, other center-based care, other nonparental care, or parental care). Using propensity score matching methods and ordinary least squares regressions with rich controls, we found that Head Start participants had higher early reading and math scores than children in other nonparental care or parental care but also higher levels of conduct problems than those in parental care. Head Start participants had lower early reading scores compared with children in prekindergarten and had no differences in any outcomes compared with children in other center-based care. Head Start benefits were more pronounced for children who had low initial cognitive ability or parents with low levels of education or who attended Head Start for more than 20 hr per week. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Developmental Psychology 03/2013; · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the 1967–2009 years of the March Current Population Surveys (CPS), we examine two important resources for children’s well-being: time and money. We document trends in parental employment, from the perspective of children, and show what underlies these trends. We find that increases in family work hours mainly reflect movements into jobs by parents—particularly mothers, who in prior decades would have remained at home. This increase in market work has raised incomes for children in the typical two-parent family but not for those in lone-parent households. Time use data from 1975 and 2003–2008 reveal that working parents spend less time engaged in primary childcare than their counterparts without jobs but more than employed peers in previous cohorts. Analysis of 2004 work schedule data suggests that non-daytime work provides an alternative method of coordinating employment schedules for some dual-earner families.
    Demography 02/2013; 50(1):25-49. · 1.93 Impact Factor
  • Fuhua Zhai, Jane Waldfogel, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
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    ABSTRACT: Child care programs (including Head Start, pre-Kindergarten [pre-K], and other center-based care) can differ, with patterns of use based on their location. Yet little research has examined how Head Start and pre-K programs affect children's academic school readiness, including vocabulary and reading skills at school entry, in the South as compared to other regions. To examine this further, secondary data (n = 2,803) collected in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study were examined. Overall findings suggest, regardless of region, that Head Start and pre-K participants had higher academic skills at school entry than their counterparts. In addition, when Head Start was compared to other center-based care and pre-K was compared to other care arrangements, both had larger effects on improving academic skills in the South than in other regions. These findings imply that Head Start and pre-K programs should target children who otherwise would receive non-parental non-center-based care. Future research should focus on why the effects of Head Start and pre-K vary between the South and other regions.
    Journal of Social Service Research 01/2013; 39(3):345-364. · 0.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This analysis uses March Current Population Survey data from 1999 to 2010 and a differences-in-differences approach to examine how California's first in the nation paid family leave (PFL) program affected leave-taking by mothers following childbirth, as well as subsequent labor market outcomes. We obtain robust evidence that the California program doubled the overall use of maternity leave, increasing it from an average of three to six weeks for new mothers--with some evidence of particularly large growth for less advantaged groups. We also provide evidence that PFL increased the usual weekly work hours of employed mothers of 1- to 3-year-old children by 10 to 17 percent and that their wage incomes may have risen by a similar amount.
    Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 01/2013; 32(2):224-45. · 0.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In spite of important differences in some of the resources immigrant parents have to invest in their children, and in immigrant selection rules and settlement policies, there are significant similarities in the relative positions of 4- and 5-year-old children of immigrants in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Children of immigrants underperform their counterparts with native-born parents in vocabulary tests, particularly if a language other than the official language is spoken at home, but are not generally disadvantaged in nonverbal cognitive domains, nor are there notable behavioral differences. These findings suggest that the cross-country differences in cognitive outcomes during the teen years documented in the existing literature are much less evident during the early years.
    Child Development 09/2012; 83(5):1591-607. · 4.92 Impact Factor
  • Daniel P Miller, Jane Waldfogel, Wen-Jui Han
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the link between the frequency of family breakfasts and dinners and child academic and behavioral outcomes in a panel sample of 21,400 children aged 5-15. It complements previous work by examining younger and older children separately and by using information on a large number of controls and rigorous analytic methods to discern whether there is causal relation between family meal frequency (FMF) and child outcomes. In child fixed-effects models, which controlled for unchanging aspects of children and their families, there were no significant (p < .05) relations between FMF and either academic or behavioral outcomes, a novel finding. These results were robust to various specifications of the FMF variables and did not differ by child age.
    Child Development 08/2012; · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    Wen-Jui Han, Raehyuck Lee, Jane Waldfogel
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    ABSTRACT: Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (n ≈ 6,800), we examined the factors explaining variation in school readiness in a large and nationally representative sample of children in immigrant and non-immigrant families. In OLS regression models with rich controls to account for selection, we found that language background was a key factor in explaining children of immigrants' expressive language and early reading at kindergarten, whereas both socioeconomic status and language background helped explain their performance in math.
    Children and Youth Services Review 04/2012; 34(4):771-782. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: By adversely affecting family functioning and stability, poverty constitutes an important risk factor for children's poor mental health functioning. This study examines the impact of a comprehensive microfinance intervention, designed to reduce the risk of poverty, on depression among AIDS-orphaned youth. Children from 15 comparable primary schools in Rakai District of Uganda, one of those hardest hit by HIV/AIDS in the country, were randomly assigned to control (n = 148) or treatment (n = 138) conditions. Children in the treatment condition received a comprehensive microfinance intervention comprising matched savings accounts, financial management workshops, and mentorship. This was in addition to traditional services provided for all school-going orphaned adolescents (counseling and school supplies). Data were collected at wave 1 (baseline), wave 2 (10 months after intervention), and wave 3 (20 months after intervention). We used multilevel growth models to examine the trajectory of depression in treatment and control conditions, measured using Children's Depression Inventory (Kovacs). Children in the treatment group exhibited a significant decrease in depression, whereas their control group counterparts showed no change in depression. The findings indicate that over and above traditional psychosocial approaches used to address mental health functioning among orphaned children in sub-Saharan Africa, incorporating poverty alleviation-focused approaches, such as this comprehensive microfinance intervention, has the potential to improve psychosocial functioning of these children.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 04/2012; 50(4):346-52. · 2.97 Impact Factor
  • Irv Garfinkel, Jane Waldfogel
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    ABSTRACT: This special issue contains a set of papers prepared for a conference on “Comparative Child and Family Policy” held in honor of Sheila B. Kamerman on the occasion of her retirement from Columbia University School of Social Work. The papers collected in this issue provide a contemporary perspective on comparative child and family policy, highlighting new developments and current challenges for research and policy. In this Introduction, we briefly summarize the papers and then conclude with a discussion of some implications for future research and policy.
    Children and Youth Services Review - CHILD YOUTH SERV REV. 03/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: This study exploits data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a birth cohort study of a diverse sample of children from twenty U.S. cities (N = 3,676), to examine how cognitive, behavioural, and health outcomes of five-year old children differ according to their family structure and family stability. We define three models: one that measures family structure at birth only, a second that measures current family structure at year five conditional on family structure at birth, and a third that measures changes in family structure from birth to age five. We find that while family structure has persistent links to child outcomes, the effects are significantly altered by stability of the family structure over time. These findings remain robust even after addressing selection.
    Families, relationships and societies : in international journal of research and debate. 03/2012; 1(1):43-61.
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    ABSTRACT: Child care and early education policies may not only raise average achievement but may also be of special benefit for less advantaged children, in particular if programs are high quality. We test whether high quality child care is equalizing using rich longitudinal data from two comparison countries, Denmark and the United States. In Denmark, we find that enrollment in high-quality formal care at age 3 is associated with higher cognitive scores at age 11. Moreover, the findings suggest stronger effects for the lowest-income children and for children at the bottom of the test score distribution. In the US case, results are different. We find that enrollment in school or center based care is associated with higher cognitive scores at school entry, but the beneficial effects erode by age 11, particularly for disadvantaged children. Thus, the US results do not point to larger and more lasting effects for disadvantaged children. This may be because low income children attend poorer quality care and subsequently attend lower quality schools.
    Children and Youth Services Review 03/2012; 34(3):576-589. · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are ‘more involved’ perform better during the early years than their peers with less involved fathers. This paper analyses data of four OECD countries — Australia; Denmark; United Kingdom; United States — to describe how leave policies may influence father’s behaviours when children are young and whether their involvement translates into positive child cognitive and behavioural outcomes. This analysis shows that fathers’ leave, father’s involvement and child development are related. Fathers who take leave, especially those taking two weeks or more, are more likely to carry out childcare related activities when children are young. This study finds some evidence that children with highly involved fathers tend to perform better in terms of cognitive test scores. Evidence on the association between fathers’ involvement and behavioural outcomes was however weak. When data on different types of childcare activities was available, results suggest that the kind of involvement matters. These results suggest that what matters is the quality and not the quantity of father-child interactions.
    OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers. 01/2012;
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    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that fathers taking some time off work around childbirth, especially periods of leave of 2 or more weeks, are more likely to be involved in childcare related activities than fathers who do not do so. Furthermore, evidence suggests that children with fathers who are ‘more involved’ perform better during the early years than their peers with less involved fathers. This paper analyses data of four OECD countries — Australia; Denmark; United Kingdom; United States — to describe how leave policies may influence father’s behaviours when children are young and whether their involvement translates into positive child cognitive and behavioural outcomes. This analysis shows that fathers’ leave, father’s involvement and child development are related. Fathers who take leave, especially those taking two weeks or more, are more likely to carry out childcare related activities when children are young. This study finds some evidence that children with highly involved fathers tend to perform better in terms of cognitive test scores. Evidence on the association between fathers’ involvement and behavioural outcomes was however weak. When data on different types of childcare activities was available, results suggest that the kind of involvement matters. These results suggest that what matters is the quality and not the quantity of father-child interactions.
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    Jane Waldfogel
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    ABSTRACT: When U.S. children enter school, their reading skills vary widely by their socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, and immigrant status. Because these literacy gaps exist before children enter school, observes Jane Waldfogel, the disparities must arise from conditions outside of schools--from the children's families and communities. And the same out-of-school factors may continue to influence reading skills as children progress through school. Waldfogel examines how specific out-of-school factors may contribute to literacy gaps at school entry and to the widening of the gaps for some groups thereafter. Some factors are important across groups. For instance, differences in parenting help explain black-white literacy gaps as well as gaps associated with socioeconomic status. Other factors differ by group. For instance, key influences on early literacy for immigrant children are the language spoken at home, parental proficiency in English, and whether a child participates in preschool. What happens to early gaps in literacy during the school years also varies by group. Reading gaps for Hispanic children tend to close or stabilize after a few years, perhaps because of such out-of-school factors as strong families, less crime, or better peer group attitudes in Hispanic communities. But black-white gaps and gaps between children from socioeconomically disadvantaged and more advantaged families tend to widen during the school years. An important challenge for future research is to understand why that is the case. Waldfogel concludes that addressing early literacy gaps, and later gaps, requires tailoring policy responses depending on which group is being targeted. But across all groups, one important conclusion holds. Although out-of-school factors contribute--sometimes in major ways--to literacy disparities, says Waldfogel, schools have a responsibility to try to close such gaps. Research on the out-of-school sources of literacy problems can support schools in this effort by helping practitioners and policy makers better understand which children are likely to encounter problems in literacy and why, as well as what schools and others can do to address those problems.
    The Future of Children 01/2012; 22(2):39-54. · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    Christopher J. Ruhm, Jane Waldfogel
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    ABSTRACT: This paper critically reviews what we know about the long-term effects of parental leave and early childhood education programs. We find only limited evidence that expansions of parental leave durations improved long-run educational or labor market outcomes of the children whose parents were affected by them, perhaps because benefits are hard to measure or confined to sub-groups, or because leave entitlements were sufficiently long, even before recent extensions, to yield most potential benefits. By contrast, expansions of early education generally yield benefits at school entry, adolescence, and for adults, particularly for disadvantaged children; however the gains may be less pronounced when high quality subsidized child care was available prior to the program expansion or when subsidies increased the use of low quality care.
    12/2011;

Publication Stats

3k Citations
667 Downloads
135.57 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Institute for Clinical Social Work
      • Department of Social Work
      Georgia, United States
  • 2011–2013
    • Stony Brook University
      • Health Sciences Center
      Stony Brook, NY, United States
  • 1998–2013
    • Columbia University
      • • College of Physicians and Surgeons
      • • School of Social Work
      • • School of International and Public Affairs
      New York City, NY, United States
  • 2012
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York City, New York, United States
    • Connecticut College
      New London, Connecticut, United States
  • 2006–2011
    • University of Bristol
      • School of Economics, Finance and Management
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
    • Urban Institute
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2009
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2000–2009
    • University of Wisconsin, Madison
      • School of Social Work
      Mississippi, United States
  • 2000–2008
    • The National Bureau of Economic Research
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States