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Mental Health Problems Among Single Mothers: Implications for Work and Welfare Reform
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Welfare reform's emphasis on work and self-sufficiency assumes that poor single mothers are similar in their status and functioning to the rest of the population. However, the authors find that the mothers' status is quite distinct. Logistic regression results reveal that the likelihood of working is 25% lower for those with a psychiatric disorder. Mental health problems may prevent women from undertaking the tasks necessary to find employment, or women with these problems may lack the self-confidence needed to take on new challenges. The authors findings suggest that mental health problems among single mothers deserve greater attention as a barrier to self-sufficiency and highlight the need for more effective intervention and treatment efforts to improve economic and social outcomes. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services