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J Interpers Violence. 2007 Jul;22(7):812-28.

Longitudinal effects of domestic violence on employment and welfare outcomes.

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  • 1University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle,WA 98115, USA.


This study uses longitudinal data spanning 13 years from a study of 234 adolescent mothers to evaluate the effects of cumulative domestic violence on employment and welfare use before and after welfare reform. Domestic violence increased the odds of unemployment after welfare reform, but not before; domestic violence had no effect on welfare use during any time period. Psychological distress after welfare reform was associated with unemployment, but not with welfare outcomes. Thus, the authors found that the direct effect of domestic violence on unemployment is not mediated by concurrent level of psychological distress. The relationship of psychological distress to unemployment exists only for those with a history of domestic violence. Cumulative domestic violence can have negative effects on economic capacity many years after the violence occurs, suggesting that policymakers recognize the long-term nature of the impact of domestic violence on women's capacity to be economically self-reliant.

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