Outcome Domains

The Pathways Clearinghouse reports on changes in outcomes that an intervention is expected to have. Outcome domains are groups of related outcomes.

Short-term outcomes are those measured 18 months or fewer after participants are first offered services. Long-term outcomes are those measured between 18 months and 5 years after participants are first offered services. Very long-term outcomes are those measured 5 years or more after participants are first offered services.

Increase short-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment during a period 18 months or fewer after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase long-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment between 18 months and 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase short-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment during a period 18 months or fewer after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase long-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment between 18 months and 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Decrease short-term public benefit receipt

Reduction in the percentage of people receiving public benefits (such as TANF, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and so on) or the value of their benefits during a period 18 months or fewer after the participant first received intervention services.

Decrease long-term public benefit receipt

Reduction in the percentage of people receiving public benefits or the value of their benefits between 18 months and 5 years after participants are offered intervention services.

Increase education and training

Attainment of a degree or credential.

Increase very long-term earnings

An increase in the amount earned through paid employment more than 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Increase very long-term employment

An increase in the rate of employment more than 5 years after the participant first received intervention services.

Decrease very long-term benefit receipt

Reduction in the percentage of people receiving public benefits or the value of their benefits more than 5 years after participants are offered intervention services.

The effectiveness rating indicates whether the intervention is likely to produce favorable results if faithfully replicated with a similar population.

Well-supported

We have strong and consistent evidence that the intervention produces favorable results for a specific outcome domain, such as short-term earnings. These interventions have at least two impact studies of moderate or high quality that show evidence of favorable findings within the domain. However, because implementation challenges and successes often vary, and because no two implementations of an intervention are identical, Pathways Clearinghouse users should not view this rating as a guarantee of future success.

Supported

We have some evidence that the intervention improves outcomes. These ratings are domain specific, meaning that the intervention is considered supported only for the particular domains for which we have given this rating. These interventions have at least one study of moderate or high quality and show evidence of favorable findings in the domain, but the evidence is less conclusive than that for evidence-based interventions.

Not supported

We have the strongest evidence that the intervention is unlikely to produce substantial favorable results in a given outcome domain. Studies of these interventions have found only a pattern of null and/or unfavorable findings. We only consider impact studies of at least moderate quality in determining this rating.

Mixed support

We have some evidence, from impact studies of moderate or high quality, that indicates the intervention improves outcomes in a given outcome domain, and some evidence that indicates it worsens outcomes in that domain. For instance, in the educational attainment domain, an intervention might have unfavorable effects on attainment of a high school diploma, but favorable effects on GED attainment.

Insufficient evidence to assess support

We have some research, from impact studies of moderate or high quality, on the intervention’s effect in a given outcome domain. But we do not have a sufficient body of evidence to assign one of the other ratings.

No evidence to assess support

We did not find any studies that rated moderate or high that studied the intervention’s effect on outcomes in a given outcome domain. These interventions need further study to support conclusions about their effectiveness.

The Pathways Clearinghouse reports on changes in outcomes that an intervention is expected to have. Outcome domains are groups of related outcomes. The Pathways Clearinghouse includes the following domains: 

  • Increase earnings — An increase in the amount earned through paid employment after the participant first received intervention services.
  • Increase employment — An increase in the rate of employment after the participant first received intervention services.
  • Decrease benefit receipt — Reduction in the percentage of people receiving public benefits or the value of their benefits after participants are offered intervention services.
  • Increase education and training — Attainment of a degree or credential.

Short-term outcomes are those measured 18 months or fewer after participants are first offered services. Long-term outcomes are those measured between 18 months and 5 years after participants are first offered services. Very long-term outcomes are those measured 5 years or more after participants are first offered services.

The effectiveness rating indicates whether the intervention is likely to produce favorable results if faithfully replicated with a similar population. Please see the Effectiveness rating key found below the table for more information.

Effects shown are the estimated changes in the percent of low-income adults who are employed, average annual earnings, average annual public benefits received, and percent of low-income adults with any education and training credential.

We estimate comparable effects in 2018 dollars and percentages by calculating the average impact of the intervention in standard deviation units (Hedges’ g effect sizes) across outcomes and studies and comparing that average to the distributions of outcomes for adults with low earnings potential in the 2019 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

View the glossary for more information about these and other terms used on this page.