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Intimate Partner Violence as an Obstacle to Employment Among Mothers Affected by Welfare Reform

NCJ Number
Journal of Social Issues Volume: 60 Issue: 4 Dated: 2004 Pages: 801-818
Date Published
18 pages

This longitudinal study examined the role that intimate partner violence has on woman's ability to obtain gainful employment as required by welfare reform laws.


Findings from this study on the role that intimate partner violence (IPV) plays in a woman's ability to obtain stable employment include the following: while a lifetime history of IPV did not predict work stability, recent violence appeared to be linked to unstable employment; women who were younger when their first child was born, whose family of origin received welfare, and who had more children were more likely to work fewer months and have less stable employment; and women with lower levels of education, training, and work experience had lower levels of stable employment. The primary objective of the study was to determine the extent that past and recent episodes of IPV have on work stability over time, considering the presence of other work-related variables. Data for the study were obtained from the first three waves of a panel study of welfare reform established in Illinois. The sample included 1,899 women who were receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services. Several factors were analyzed to determine their relationship to employment stability. These included sociodemographic, human capital, health, victimization, and mothering variables. The study's findings suggest that while several variables play a role in a woman's ability to obtain stable employment, the presence of IPV may seriously affect this ability. Suggestions for future research are discussed. Tables and references

Date Published: January 1, 2004