Effects of a two-generation human capital program on low-income parents’ education, employment, and psychological wellbeing.

Two-generation human capital programs for families provide education and workforce training for parents simultaneously with education for children. This study uses a quasi-experimental design to examine the effects of a model two-generation program, CareerAdvance, which recruits parents of children enrolled in Head Start into a health care workforce training program. After 1 year, CareerAdvance parents demonstrated higher rates of certification and employment in the health care sector than did matched-comparison parents whose children were also in Head Start. More important, there was no effect on parents’ short-term levels of income or employment across all sectors. CareerAdvance parents also experienced psychological benefits, reporting higher levels of self-efficacy and optimism, in addition to stronger career identity compared with the matched-comparison group. Notably, even as CareerAdvance parents juggled the demands of school, family, and employment, they did not report higher levels of material hardship or stress compared with the matched-comparison group. These findings are discussed in terms of the implications of a family perspective for human capital programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)