Raissian's research focuses on the role of policy in promoting healthy children and families. Overarching themes in Raissian's writings include the effect of policy on family violence and child well-being, evaluating the role of health insurance and select interventions, and understanding the role of policy in family composition and fertility decisions.
In addition to research design, Raissian uses quantitative techniques to address her research questions. Raissian has also relied heavily on her professional experience as a family violence advocate to formulate research questions and interpret results.
Contributes to a growing body of research that examines whether the purported benefits of breastfeeding are causal. Finds evidence that rather than breastfeeding, it is maternal advantage—and not breastfeeding— that may be responsible for observed health differences between breast and formula fed infants. Underscores the need for new policy interventions aimed at improving infant health.
Reviews the policies that affect the fertility of American women, both policies designed to alter fertility intentionally as well as those that change childbearing unintentionally. Suggests that the United States has many public policies that have affected and continue to influence the fertility choices made by families in the United States and that this is a topical area that deserves more attention in policy debates.
Evaluates the impact of increased minimum wages on a state's child maltreatment rate and finds that increases in the minimum wage lead to a decline in overall child maltreatment reports, particularly neglect reports. Suggests that policies that increase incomes of the working poor can improve children's welfare, especially younger children, quite substantially.
Uses child maltreatment reports from New York State from 2000 to 2010 and finds that a one percentage point increase in unemployment rates actually reduced the child report rate by approximately 4.25 percent.
Finds evidence that the Gun Control Act expansion led to 17 percent fewer gun-related homicides among female intimate partner victims and 31 percent fewer gun homicides among male domestic child victims. Finds no evidence that reductions in gun homicides were offset by an increase in nongun homicides.
Concludes that the most noteworthy finding is that the majority of studies show no relationship between social policies and family complexity in the United States.