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Impact of Domestic Violence on the Employment of Women on Welfare

NCJ Number
Date Published
69 pages
This study examined the relationship between being a victim of domestic violence and employment patterns, with attention to the impact on employment patterns of mediating variables and the degree to which domestic violence influences this relationship.
The study involved 411 women who were, at the time of the study, on welfare or had been at a previous time. The women were ages 18-66, and 34 percent were White, 58 percent African-American, and 7 percent other. The study consisted of 2 quantitative telephone interviews (411 at time 1 and 109 at time 2). Two in-person qualitative interviews were also conducted (44 at time 1 and 21 at time 2. The quantitative analysis of the information received used three regression models: a logistic regression that predicted domestic violence experiences with demographic measures; a series of linear regression models that used basic demographic measures and domestic violence indicators to predict scores on the mediating variables; and a logistic regression that predicted employment success from the demographics, domestic violence indicators, and mediating variables. The qualitative interviews were analyzed for content themes, recurrent ideas and patterns, and main points. The study found that the variables of social support, mental health, and parenting stress were negatively related to domestic violence in both the past year and prior to that time. Being African-American had a protective effect for women not currently in a relationship regarding the impact of the mediating variables. Employment success was more likely if the respondent was in good physical health and had good caseworker support, social support, employer support, physical health, and a provision of participant supports, including health and mental health care, caseworker support, social support, employer support, technical training, and housing support, as well as the identification of domestic violence experiences in both the past 12 months and before then. Recommendations are offered for future research. 13 tables and 23 references

Date Published: January 1, 2003