Low-income women’s rates of employment have grown dramatically in recent years, yet the stability and quality of their employment remain low. Using panel data from the Three-City Study following 1,586 low-income African American, Latina, and European American women, this study assessed associations between women’s employment quality (wages; receipt of health insurance) and stability (work consistency; job transitions) and their financial, personal, and family well-being. Hierarchical linear models assessing within-person effects found that increases in wages were associated with improved financial well-being and physical health. Average wages over time similarly were associated with greater levels of income and financial stability as well as mental and physical health at the end of the study. In contrast, few significant associations emerged for receipt of health insurance or for the stability and consistency of women’s employment. Results have implications for programs and policies seeking to support disadvantaged women’s employment in order to improve family resources and functioning. (author abstract)
Low-income women's employment experiences and their financial, personal, and family well-being
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