Relations of depressive symptoms to employment and income among low-income adults
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Depression is experienced at a higher degree in poor, female, and under-employed persons, as compared to the general population. A very large number of poor mothers have entered the workforce since the welfare reform of 1996. Poor mental health can prevent these women from achieving economic self-sufficiency because it can affect their ability to find and retain jobs. This study analyses the New Hope data of working and non-working poor in a Midwestern city to find if predictive relations exist between depressive symptoms and employment and income outcomes across a three-year span. A bi-directional predictive relation is found between depressive symptoms and household income. Also, a higher number of hours worked predicts declines in depressive symptoms, and a lower level of depressive symptoms predicts less AFDC receipt three years later.