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- Programs and policies affecting low-income families and disadvantaged youth
- Family Support
- Strengthening Families and Responsible Fatherhood
- TANF and Employment Issues
- Youth Development
- Human Services
Robert Wood’s research focuses on policies affecting low-income families and disadvantaged youth.
Wood has directed or served as principal investigator for many of Mathematica’s flagship projects in the family support area. Wood is co-project director for the Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) evaluation, examining the effects of a mix of relationship education programs targeting a range of low-income populations. He also serves as principal investigator for an evaluation of innovative programs in eight states that provide employment, parenting, and child support-related services to noncustodial parents (mainly fathers) with substantial child support arrearages. In addition, Wood serves as project director for the evaluation of the Personal Responsibility Education Program, a large-scale initiative to replicate evidenced-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programs nationwide, and directed Mathematica’s 11-year evaluation of Building Strong Families, a multisite random assignment evaluation of a relationship skills education program for unmarried parents. His other research has focused on dropout prevention initiatives, the economic progress of welfare recipients, and strategies for improving the outcomes of teenage parents.
Wood joined Mathematica in 1994 and serves as director of youth and family research for the organization. The author of several book chapters on methods and policy issues, he has published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Children and Youth Services Review, Contemporary Economic Policy, and Social Services Review. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.
Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration (CSPED)
The National Child Support Noncustodial Parent Employment Demonstration is testing the effectiveness of programs that aim to increase employment among noncustodial parents, with the ultimate goal of increasing the likelihood that they meet their child support obligations.
Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services (STREAMS) Evaluation
To encourage the formation of healthy relationships—and ultimately stable, two-parent families—since 2005, Congress has authorized federal funding for healthy marriage and relationship education programs. STREAMS will examine a mix of programs serving adults and youth.
Building Strong Families: Strengthening Unmarried Parents' Relationships
The Building Strong Families project tested whether well-designed interventions help interested couples have stable, healthy relationships, enhance child well-being, increase fathers’ involvement with their children, and lead to more healthy and sustained relationships among unmarried parents.
Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
To help reduce the risks of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and associated risk behaviors among teenagers, Congress authorized PREP as part of the 2010 ACA. Mathematica's evaluation is documenting how PREP-funded programs are operationalized and assessing selected programs’ effectiveness....
Robert G. Wood Discusses Building Strong Families on GovInnovator Blog
GovInnovator blog features senior fellow Robert G. Wood discussing findings and insights from Mathematica's evaluation of the Building Strong Families program. BSF was the first large-scale evaluation of a relationship skills education program for unmarried low-income parents. Listen now. http://govinnovator.com/robert_wood/