CHICAGO _ Policymakers worried a lot about small children when welfare reforms pushing mothers into the workforce were passed six years ago. They did not think much about teenagers.
That turns out to have been a significant oversight, according to the most extensive study of how children fare under welfare reform, released Thursday by the Manpower Research Demonstration Corp.
The study found that adolescents have more problems when their mothers participate in welfare-to-work programs than younger children do. The difficulties show up in school, where more teens end up repeating grades and getting special education services.
By contrast, researchers …