Effective Systems

Helping Parents, Helping Children: Two-Generation Mechanisms


This issue of Future of Children (Volume 24, Number 1 Spring 2014) assesses past and current two-generation programs. But it goes much further than that. The editors identified six widely acknowledged mechanisms or pathways through which parents, and the home environment they create, are thought to influence children’s development: stress, education, health, income, employment, and assets. Understanding how these mechanisms of development work — and when, where, and how they harm or help — should aid us in designing interventions that boost children’s intellectual and socioemotional development, strengthen families, and help close academic gaps between students from poor and more affluent families.

Executive Summary

Full Journal


Introduction: Two-Generation Mechanisms of Child Development - Ron Haskins, Irwin Garfinkel and Sara McLanahan

Two-Generation Programs in the Twenty-First Century - P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Stress and Child Development - Ross A. Thompson

Intergenerational Payoffs of Education - Neeraj Kaushal

Two-Generation Programs and Health - Sherry Glied and Don Oellerich

Boosting Family Income to Promote Child Development - Greg J. Duncan, Katherine A. Magnuson and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal

Parents’ Employment and Children’s Wellbeing - Carolyn J. Heinrich

Family Assets and Child Outcomes: Evidence and Directions - Michal Grinstein-Weiss, Trina R. Williams Shanks and Sondra Beverly