132 Annual Meeting Logo - Go to APHA Meeting Page  
APHA Logo - Go to APHA Home Page

Impact of domestic violence on the employment experiences of women on welfare

Martha Lee Coulter, MSW, DrPH and Victoria Harrison, MSW. Department of Community and Family Health, The James and Jennifer Harrell Center for the Study of Domestic Violence, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC 56, Tampa, FL 33612, (813)974-7829, mcoulter@hsc.usf.edu

The prevalence of domestic violence among female welfare recipients is estimated to range from 40% to 60%. The purpose of this multi-method study is to examine the relationship between the experience of domestic violence and employment patterns, to look at the impact of demographic variables and mediating variables such as health and mental health problems on employment patterns. The study utilized two telephone surveys (N=411) and two intermediary in-person qualitative interviews N=40). The key component of the interviews is the intensive tracking of the participantsí experiences of domestic violence, changes in the experience and impact of mediating variables and their work participation. Three regression models were utilized to analyze the basic theoretical model of the study 1) a logistic regression predicting domestic violence experiences using demographic measures 2) a series of linear regression models using basic demographic measures and domestic violence indicators to predict scores on mediating variables and 3) a logistic regression model predicting employment success from the demographics, domestic violence indicators, and mediating variables. Analysis showed that domestic violence is related in a complex manner to employment experiences, primarily through intermediary variables of physical and mental health, social support, and parenting stress. Qualitative data describes in vivid detail the severity of the health problems of the women, with fibromyalgia and a variety of chronic illnesses limiting the ability of the women to sustain employment. Race surfaced as a strong positive influence, with being African-American positively correlated with high social support, good mental health, and low parenting stress.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Welfare

Related Web page: harrellcenter.hsc.usf.edu

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Violence Against Women

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA