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Women Health. 2001;32(1-2):47-78.

Post-Welfare employment and psychological well-being.

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  • 1University of Michigan, Michigan Program on Poverty and Social Welfare Policy, USA. sandrakd@umich.edu


Current public assistance policies are removing many recipients from the welfare rolls, regardless of their income level. This article examines the post-assistance well-being of a stratified probability sample of 426 "able-bodied" women and men who lost cash benefits when Michigan terminated its General Assistance program in 1991. The relationship of demographic, human capital, and psychological resource variables to employment status, depressive symptomatology and life satisfaction is examined utilizing two panels of survey data, collected approximately one and two years after the program ended. Findings demonstrate that personal mastery is related to employment status and risk of depression, and sense of burden is linked to both psychological outcomes, controlling for relevant demographic and human capital variables. Gender is related to risk of depression; however, its relation to employment is dependent on the presence of children in the household. Steady employment is positively associated with psychological well-being. Overall, the findings suggest that the majority of former recipients faced employment difficulties and psychological hardship, and that services should be targeted to subgroups of former recipients with particular risk factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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