Well Being Research


There are many research studies, papers and books that address the growing opportunity gap experienced by children in poverty. This page lists the most salient and informative of these works as they speak to the need for the support of the communities and schools that serve children in poverty as we hope to do through Friends of Adams.


And why it matters to everyone.

For the Sake of All is a multi-disciplinary project on the health and well-being of African Americans in St. Louis. The first phase of the project culminated in May, 2014 with the release of a final report at a community conference. The second phase will focus on engagement of the community, business leaders, and policy makers in order to mobilize support for implementation of recommendations made in the initial phase of the work. The recommendations are 1) investing in quality early childhood development, 2) creating economic opportunities for low-to-moderate income families, 3) investing in coordinated school health, 4) investing in mental health awareness, access, and surveillance, 5) investing in health-promoting neighborhoods, 6) enhance chronic and infectious disease prevention and management.


For the Sake of All publications:

Investing in quality early childhood development for all children

Discussion Guide

Action Tool Kit

Creating Economic Opportunity for Low-to-Moderate Income Families in St. Louis

Youth Discussion Guide

Youth Action Tool Kit

Community Discussion Guide

Community Action Tool Kit

Complete For the Sake of All Report

The Two Lives of Jasmine – Produced by For the Sake of All


“Our Kids: The Death of the American Dream” by Robert Putnam


Click on book to go to Amazon.

It’s the American dream: get a good education, work hard, buy a house, and achieve prosperity and success. This is the America we believe in—a nation of opportunity, constrained only by ability and effort. But during the last twenty-five years we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. Americans have always believed in equality of opportunity, the idea that all kids, regardless of their family background, should have a decent chance to improve their lot in life. Now, this central tenet of the American dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

Robert Putnam—about whom The Economist said, “his scholarship is wide-ranging, his intelligence luminous, his tone modest, his prose unpretentious and frequently funny”—offers a personal but also authoritative look at this new American crisis. Putnam begins with his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. By and large the vast majority of those students—“our kids”—went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have had harder lives amid diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, drawing on a formidable body of research done especially for this book.

Our Kids is a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence. Putnam provides a disturbing account of the American dream that should initiate a deep examination of the future of our country.

Click Here for the CBS interview and article with Robert Putnam –“America’s Next Economic Crisis Is Already Here”  (April 9, 2015)

What It's WorthWhat It’s Worth – Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation

Americans everywhere struggle to build strong financial futures for themselves and their families. The new book, What It’s Worth, provides a roadmap for what families, communities and our nation can do to move forward on the path to financial well-being.

“Economic insecurity and financial instability plague a growing number of Americans. For more and more of us, working toward the American Dream has been replaced by a daily struggle to make ends meet. This book clarifies the critical link between individual Americans’ financial health and the economic well-being of our nation, and illuminates the path for how to enable all Americans to become financially healthy. The all-star roster of contributors have spent decades working with and thinking about how to make social and financial services better; collectively, their contributions add up to a must read for policymakers, practitioners, and concerned citizens.”

Lisa Servon, Professor, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, The New School

Click Here to download a free copy (PDF) of this book.


Germane Articles and Videos Pertaining to Child and Family Well-Being

The Growing Class Gap Among American Young People
National Association of Evangelicals  | Leith Anderson NAE President Robert Putnam Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University  |  September 15, 2015

Following the Success Sequence? Success is More Likely If You’re White.
Brookings Institution – Alex Gold, Edward Rodrigue and Richard V. Reeves | August 6, 2015

Is America Dreaming?: Understanding Social Mobility
Bookings Institution – Richard V. Reeves | August 19, 2014

Boys to Men: Fathers, Family, and Opportunity
Brookings – Richard V. Reeves | June 19, 2015

Student Poverty, Lack of Parental Involvement Cited as Teacher Concerns
Washington Post – Education | Lyndsey Layton | June 9, 2015

For the Poor, the Graduation Gap Is Even Wider Than the Enrollment Gap
New York Times -By Susan Dynarski | June 2, 2015

Inequality and Social Mobility: Be Afraid
Brookings Education Series: The Great Gatsby Curve | Number 5 of 5 | Isabel V. Sawhill | May 27, 2015

Poverty, family stress are thwarting student success, top teachers say
Washington Post Education – Lyndsey Layton | May 19, 2015

Getting Attached: Parental Attachment and Child Development
Brookings Institute – Edward Rodrigue and Richard V. Reeves | April 21, 2015 

Social and Emotional Development: The Next School Reform
Brookings Institute – Hugh Price, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies |May 2015

5 Reasons to Invest in the Social and Emotional Development of Students
Brookings Institute – Alison Burke | May 6, 2015

In a Land of Dollars: Deep Poverty and its Consequences
Brookings Institute – Emily Cuddy, Joanna Venator and Richard V. Reeves | May 7, 2015

American Meritocracy Isn’t What It Used To Be, In Five Charts
Wall Street Journal  –  Real Time Economics | Nick Timiraos | May 12, 2015

A Different Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Two-generation programs focus on improving education for children and job opportunities for parents at the same time.
The Atlantic |Alana Semuels | December 24, 2014

Colin Powell: Kids Need Structure | TED Talks
Filmed October 2012 at TEDxMidAtlantic