Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 341–355 | Cite as

Path Analysis of Welfare Use: Depression as a Mediating Factor

Original Paper


Path analysis was conducted to determine causal effects of life circumstances on depression and effects of these measures on employment and welfare use. Data were from the Welfare and Self-Sufficiency Survey conducted in a metropolitan county of Kentucky. Direct effects indicate that economic hardships and adverse life events increase depression scores and depression reduces earnings and increases welfare use. Indirect effects of economic hardships and adverse life events, through the mediating effects of depression, reinforce depression’s effects on employment and welfare use. The data include measures of life circumstances and depression scores of low-income women; thereby, permitting a path model that uniquely contributes to knowledge regarding the effects of life circumstances and depression on TANF-eligible women’s employment and welfare use.


Depression Economic hardships Employment Life circumstances Welfare use 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Social Work, and Leadership Business, Education, Psychology CenterNorthern Kentucky UniversityHighland HeightsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family StudiesUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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