Web Bio PageCurrent Activities
Current Research Activities
Rachel Dunifon was awarded a 5-year grant from the William T. Grant Foundation's Scholar's program to study the role of grandparents in the lives of youth. Under this grant, she is examining whether and how grandparents influence youth; whether living with a grandparent benefits youth living in a single-parent family; and how children fare when they are raised by their grandparents.
Another main area of interest is the influence of maternal work conditions, especially those found in the low-wage labor market, on children. Many mothers working low-wage jobs must work evenings or weekends, have little control over their schedules, or have long commutes. Rachel's work examines how these factors influence children's development, parents and family routines.
Current Extension Activities
Rachel Dunifon leads the Parenting Education Program Work Team, providing campus leadership to Cornell Cooperative Extension parent educators throughout the state. Information about this project can be found online at www.parenting.cit.cornell.edu.
Rachel is also the Department Extension leader for PAM.
Rachel Dunifon received her PhD in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 1999 and joined the department in 2001, after spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan's Poverty Research and Training Center. Her research focuses on child and family policy. Specific research topics include: the influence of welfare reform and other policies on the well-being of children; the ways in which conditions of the low-wage labor market influence family life and children's development; how children fare in various family living arrangements, such as single-parenthood and cohabitation; and the role of grandparents in the lives of youth.
Ph.D. 1999 - Northwestern University, Human Development & Social Policy
M.A. 1998 - Northwestern University, Human Development & Social Policy
B.A. 1994 - Davidson College, Psychology
Department Extension Leader, Policy Analysis and Management
Child and Family Policy, Social Policy, Maternal Employment, Welfare Reform, Grandparents, Children's Living Arrangements
Courses, Websites, Pubs
Parenting in Context Project: http://www.parenting.cit.cornell.edu/
Johnson, R.C., Kalil, A., & Dunifon, R. (2009). Mothers’ Work and Children’s Lives: Low-Income Families After Welfare Reform. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
Dunifon, Rachel, Kathryn Hynes and H. Elizabeth Peters. (2009) “Welfare Reform and Family Structure”. Social Service Review, 83(3):351-388.
Hynes, Kathryn and Rachel Dunifon. (2007). "Children in No-Parent Households: The Continuity of Arrangements and the Composition of Households". Children and Youth Services Review, 29 (7): 912-932. [paper]
Kalil, Ariel and Rachel Dunifon (2007). "Maternal Work and Welfare Use and Child Well-Being: Evidence from Six Years of Data from the Womens Employment Study". Children and Youth Services Review, 29(6): 742-761. [paper]
Dunifon, Rachel and Lori Kowaleski-Jones. (2007) "The Influence of Grandparents in Single-Mother Families". Journal of Marriage and Family, 69: 465-481. [abstract]
Bartfeld, Judi and Rachel Dunifon (2006). "State-Level Predictors of Food Insecurity Among Households With Children". Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 25(4): 921-942. [abstract]
Dunifon, Rachel, Kathryn Hynes, and H. Elizabeth Peters (2006). "Welfare Reform and Child Well-Being". Children and Youth Services Review, 28(11): 1273-1292. [paper]
Dunifon, Rachel, Ariel Kalil and Ashish Bajracharya (2005). "Maternal Working Conditions and Child Well-Being in Welfare-leaving Families." Developmental Psychology, 41(6): 851-859. [abstract]