New Focus Group Findings Highlight Mothers’ and Teens’ Views on Economic Security
Optimism and Independence: Voices for Two-Generation Success
On November 5, Ascend at the Aspen Institute released powerful findings on low-income mothers’ and teens’ perspectives on student debt, jobs, social networks, and economic security today. These findings, Voices for Two-Generation Success: Seeking Stable Futures, are based on focus groups with low- and moderate-income mothers, and teen boys and girls. As part of a longstanding partnership, Ascend at the Aspen Institute commissioned the bipartisan team of Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting to conduct the research this summer in Denver, Chicago, and Richmond.
The focus groups capture the economic trade-offs moms and teens alike consider as they chart their path to a more stable future. Both view college as an important step in achieving success in life but are aware and anxious about the high costs and debt associated with college.
- Stability remains the watchword for these mothers in today’s economy. Teens, too, seek financial stability and express strong economic anxieties though remain optimistic for their futures.
- Teens know how expensive a college education is, and already fear the debt they could accumulate. They understand how important getting a degree is toward future success, but the expense of college makes them consider alternatives.
- Mothers indicate that access to childcare is a barrier that, if removed, would free up time and money. They find the logistics of getting their child to and from child care, as well as its costs, stressful.
Download the Voices for Two-Generation Success: Seeking Stable Futures Powerpoint here:
And check out our previous installments in Voices for Two-Generation Success:
National Poll Finds Strong Support for Two-Generation Approaches
In mid-September, 2012, Ascend at the Aspen Institute commissioned from Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting a national survey to explore values and solutions as the country continued its economic recovery. The national survey specifically highlighted the public appetite for two-generation approaches, which provide opportunities for and meet the needs of parents and children together. It built on Ascend-commissioned, bipartisan focus groups conducted in late 2011, among low-income single and married parents across race and ethnicity. Like the focus groups, the national survey of American adults revealed a strong yearning for economic stability and doubts about the future. Click here to learn about how Americans feel about two-generation approaches and more.
Toward a Two-Generation Strategy
In the fall of 2011, Ascend at the Aspen Institute kicked off Voices for Two-Generation Success and a bipartisan partnership with Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting with a series of ten focus groups with diverse parents in five cities: New York, Detroit, Denver, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles. The powerful findings highlighted in Toward a Two-Generation Strategy: Voices of American Families included the experiences, perspectives, and needs of low-income mothers and fathers who were struggling to rebuild their lives – with remarkable resilience – following the Great Recession. Read the report here.