This study assessed the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on labor force participation of welfare recipients and examined whether change in economic status affects violence levels.
This study, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, is one of the first to provide evidence that recent and chronic intimate partner violence differentially impacts women and that health mediates the relationship between abuse and employment stability over time. Using 3 years of annual survey findings with the same families, the study examined the relationship of domestic violence and employment in the context of welfare reform. Embedded in the Illinois Families Study (IFS), a 6-year longitudinal study of welfare recipients, 1,311 women were selected to participate who had received welfare in Illinois in 1998. Interviews were conducted in waves, first between November 1999 and September 2000 and again in 2001 and in 2002. The response rate increased each time, from 72.4 percent for the first wave to 91 percent for the last wave of interviews. Measures used in the study included: (1) intimate partner violence; (2) income and number of months employed; and (3) health and human capital variables. Findings from the study include: (1) recent violence was linked to unstable employment over a 3-year period; (2) in the first wave of interviews, women who reported that they had been abuse rated their health a year later as poorer and reported a greater need for mental health treatment; and (3) over time, chronic intimate partner violence is associated with poor health, and recent intimate partner violence is associated with unstable employment. The findings suggest that ongoing abuse interferes with women’s ability to sustain employment over time. The effects of abuse on employment are mediated by health problems that women experience. Exhibits
Date Published: January 1, 2004
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