State Investments in Successful Transitions to Adulthood

Kevin Leicht, University of Iowa
Dennis Hogan, Brown University
Elisabeta Minca, Brown University

In this analysis we examine the relationship between state-level political and educational contexts as these alter the process of transitions to adulthood for youth in the NLSY 79 and 97 cohorts. Our hypotheses suggest that state and local economic and educational policies alter the prospects for successful transitions to adulthood and affect the ways that race and immigration status affect those transitions. Our analysis examines, specifically, the ability of young people to find a full-time, full-year job with wages at twice the poverty line for their state with health insurance benefits. The analysis uses discrete hazard modeling and hierarchical generalized linear modeling to build a general model of transitions to adulthood, examining the role of state educational and economic development contexts in promoting or hindering transitions to economic independence. Our results are relevant for researchers interested in the role of growing spatial inequalities in affecting young adults’ life chances.

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Presented in Session 116: Poverty, Hardship and Mobility Amongst Women and Children in the USA