Welfare to work? Impact of maternal health on employment

Diana Romero, Wendy Chavkin, Paul H. Wise, Lauren A. Smith, Pamela R. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study investigated whether health problems among poor mothers of chronically ill children affect their ability to obtain and maintain employment. Methods. Mothers of children with chronic illnesses were surveyed at clinical and welfare agency sites in San Antonio, Tex. Results. There were distinct health differences according to mothers' TANF and employment status. Mothers without TANF experience reported better physical and mental health and less domestic violence and substance use than did those who had TANF experience. Those not currently working had higher rates of physical and mental health problems. Conclusions. Poor maternal health is associated with need for cash assistance and health insurance. Policymakers must recognize that social policies promoting employment will fail if they do not address the health needs of poor women and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1462-1468
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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