Employment of Unwed Mothers: The Role of Government and Social Support

  • Michelle M. LivermoreEmail author
  • Rebecca S. Powers


This paper assesses which types of government and social support predict employment among unwed mothers the year after childbirth. We performed logistic regression analysis on a nationally-representative, mother-only subset of the Fragile Families public-use baseline and 1-year follow-up data. Unwed mothers were more likely to be employed if they received WIC, employment agency assistance, or instrumental social support. They were less likely to be employed if they received TANF, food stamps, housing subsidies, SSI, public housing, or cohabited with a partner. Targeted nutrition programs, employment agencies, and instrumental social support seemed to facilitate employment. Other social programs and cohabiting either served as disincentives to work or gave unwed mothers the option to remain home, depending on the perspective taken.


Employment Government support Social support Unwed mothers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Louisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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