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Female Intimate Partner Violence Victims and Labor Force Participation

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Although a non-gender-specific problem, intimate partner violence (IPV) disproportionately affects women on welfare, with an estimated prevalence two to three times larger than the national prevalence rates of IPV for all women. This article examines the effects of IPV on women leaving welfare for employment in a purposive sample of 411 women in Florida who participated or were actively participating in the 2000–2002 Work and Gain Economic Self-Sufficiency (WAGES) program. Data on sociodemographic characteristics, their IPV experiences, and mediating factors (i.e., social support, employer support, physical and mental health, parenting stress, and employment success) were collected via quantitative telephone interviews. Logistic regression analyses found that employment success among welfare-recipient women who are currently in a relationship is best predicted by a short-term impact of having experienced IPV before the past 12 months (OR = 2.17). Linear regression analyses found that having suitable housing predicted lower parenting stress (F = 3.20, p ≤ .05) and better physical health (F = 4.30, p ≤ .05) and social support (F = 1.90, p ≤ .001) outcomes. In addition, suffering from IPV within the past 12 months predicted worse mental health (F = -7.74, p ≤ .001) and lower parenting stress outcomes (F = -3.99, p ≤ .001). This study contributes to understanding the complexity of mediating factors affecting IPV's impact on employment success of women leaving welfare.
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Keywords: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; PHYSICAL HEALTH; RELATIONAL VIOLENCE; SUPPORT; WAGES; WELFARE-TO-WORK

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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