The influence of patterns of welfare receipt during the child-rearing years on later physical and psychological health

M. E. Ensminger, H. S. Juon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined interrelations among welfare receipt, social integration, and later physical and mental health in a cohort of African American mothers from the Woodlawn neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. These women (N = 681) have been followed prospectively from 1966-67 to 1997-98. Findings indicate that receiving welfare during the child-rearing stage of life is related to both social integration and later health, with those who had received welfare in young to middle adulthood being more socially isolated and having more health problems twenty to thirty years later. Findings provided no support for the hypothesis that social integration mediated the relationship between welfare receipt and later physical and psychological health problems. Welfare receipt had a direct detrimental effect on later health outcomes. Attending church regularly was protective for later physical and psychological health. The relationship between early welfare and later health remained even when the women's current poverty was added to the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-46
Number of pages22
JournalWomen and Health
Volume32
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 11 2001

Keywords

  • African American women
  • Longitudinal design
  • Physical and mental health
  • Social integration
  • Welfare receipt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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