|Current Research Activities:|
Rachel studies child and family policy, with a focus on factors influencing the development of less-advantaged children. Specific research topics include examining the relationship between maternal employment conditions and children's health and development; considering the well-being of children in various family living arrangements, such as single-parenthood and cohabitation; and the role of grandparents in the lives of youth.
Her work has been supported by a wide range of sources. Rachel 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.
Rachel was also awarded an R01 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Schriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study the influence on children of maternal employment patterns. 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 health and development, parents and family routines.
Rachel's research has been published in Demography, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Journal of Marriage and Family. She is a consulting editor for Developmental Psychology.
Dunifon, Rachel, Ariel Kalil, Danielle Crosby, Jessica Houston Su, and Thomas DeLeire (forthcoming). “Measuring Nonstandard Work in Survey Data”. Journal of Marriage and Family.
Dunifon, Rachel, Ariel Kalil, Danielle Crosby and Jessica Su (2013). “Mothers’ Night Work and Children’s Behavior Problems”. Developmental Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0031241.
Dunifon, Rachel (2012). “The Influence of Grandparents in the Lives of Children and Adolescents”, Child Development Perspectives. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12016
Ziol-Guest, Kathleen, Rachel Dunifon and Ariel Kalil (2012). “Parental Employment and Children’s Body Weight: Mothers, Others, and Mechanisms”, Social Science and Medicine, doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.004.
Dunifon, Rachel and Ashish Bajracharya. (2012) “The Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Youth”. Journal of Family Issues, 33(9): 1168-1194.
Johnson, Rucker, Ariel Kalil and Rachel Dunifon (2012). “Employment Patterns of Less-Skilled Workers: Links to Children’s Behavior and Academic Progress”. Demography, 49(2): 747-772.
Morrissey, Taryn, Rachel Dunifon and Ariel Kalil (2011). “Maternal Employment, Work Schedules, and Children’s Body Mass Index”. Child Development, 82(1): 66-81.
Dunifon, Rachel, Kathryn Hynes and H. Elizabeth Peters. (2009) “State Welfare Policies and Children’s Living Arrangements”. 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.
Kalil, Ariel and Rachel Dunifon (2007). “Maternal Work and Welfare Use and Child Well-Being: Evidence from Six Years of Data from the Women’s Employment Study”. Children and Youth Services Review, 29(6): 742-761.
Dunifon, Rachel and Lori Kowaleski-Jones. (2007) “The Influence of Grandparents in Single-Mother Families”. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69: 465-481.
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.
Dunifon, Rachel, Kathryn Hynes, and H. Elizabeth Peters (2006). “Welfare Reform and Child Well-Being”. Children and Youth Services Review, 28(11): 1273-1292.
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.