Advertisement

Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 445–460 | Cite as

The Influence of Social Supports on Employment for Hispanic, Black, and White Unmarried Mothers

  • Melissa RadeyEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This study considers the relationship between social supports and employment and how this relationship may differ for Hispanic, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic White unmarried mothers with young children. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this article examines how various perceived and received social supports influence later employment outcomes. Multinomial regression analyses indicate that family, individual, and family background supports promoted employment while community supports were associated with lower employment levels. Race-specific analyses indicate that supports were related to employment to a much greater extent for Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks than for non-Hispanic Whites. Results suggest that unmarried mothers’ unique needs and supports must be taken into account to accommodate employment.

Keywords

Employment Race/ethnicity Social support Unmarried mothers 

References

  1. Abroms, L., & Goldscheider, F. (2002). More work for mother: How spouses, cohabiting partners and relatives affect the hours mothers work. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 23, 147–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acs, G., & Loprest, P. (2001). Final synthesis report of findings from ASPE’s ‘leavers’ grants. Washington, D.C: The Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  3. Alfred, M. (2005). Does Wisconsin Works work? Perspectives of participating women and their employers. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 26, 345–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baydar, N., Joesch, J. M., Kieckhefer, G., Kim, H., & Greek, A. (2007). Employment behaviors of mothers who have a child with asthma. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 337–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. (1993). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, A. A., Katras, M. J., Sano, Y., Lee, J., & Bauer, J. W. (2008). Job volatility of rural, low-income mothers: A mixed methods approach. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29, 6–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bok, M., & Simmons, L. (2002). Post-welfare reform, low-income families and the dissolution of the safety net. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 23, 217–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brewster, K. L., & Padavic, I. (2002). No more kin care? Change in Black mothers’ reliance on relatives for child care, 1977–94. Gender & Society, 16, 546–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brownell, A., & Shumaker, S. (1984). Social support: An introduction to a complex phenomenon. Journal of Social Issues, 40(4), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cancian, M., & Reed, D. (2001). Changes in family structure: Implications for poverty and related policy. In S. Danziger & R. Haveman (Eds.), Understanding poverty (pp. 69–96). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  11. Carlson, B. (2006). Memorandum: Fragile families and child wellbeing study: Methodology for constructing weights for mother surveys, draft (FF2–112). Princeton, NJ: Mathematica(s?) Policy Research, Inc.Google Scholar
  12. Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. (n.d.). The fragile families and child wellbeing study. http://www.fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/index.asp. Retrieved 6 January 2008
  13. Ciabattari, T. (2007). Single mothers, social capital, and work–family conflict. Journal of Family Issues, 28, 34–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coleman, J. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American Journal of Sociology, 94(Supplement), S95–S120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Corcoran, M., Danziger, S., & Tolman, R. (2004). Long-term employment of African-American and White welfare recipients and the role of persistent health and mental health problems. Women and Health, 39(4), 21–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cutrona, C. (1986). Behavioral manifestations of social support: A microanalytic investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 201–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Danziger, S., Cocoran, M., Danziger, S., & Heflin, C. (2000). Work, income, and material hardship after welfare reform. The Journal of Consumer Affairs, 34, 6–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. DeBord, K., Canu, R., & Kerpelman, J. (2000). Understanding a work-family fit for single parents moving from welfare to work. Social Work, 45, 313–324.Google Scholar
  19. Downs, B. (2003). Fertility of American women: June 2002. Current Population Reports, P20–548, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  20. Edin, K., & Harris, K. (1999). Getting off and staying off: Racial differences in the work route off welfare. In I. Browne (Ed.), Latinas and African American women at work: Race, gender, and economic inequality (pp. 270–301). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  21. Edin, K., & Lein, L. (1997). Making ends meet: How single mothers survive welfare and low-wage work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  22. Gault, B., Hartmann, H., & Yi, H. (1998). Prospects for low-income mothers’ economic survival under welfare reform. Publius, 28, 175–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gooden, S. (1998). All things not being equal: Differences in caseworker support toward Black and White welfare clients. Harvard Journal of African American Policy, 4, 23–33.Google Scholar
  24. Hao, L. (1994). Kin support, welfare, and out-of-wedlock mothers. New York: Garland Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  25. Harknett, K. (2006). The relationship between private safety nets and economic outcomes among single mothers. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68, 172–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Harris, K. (1993). Work and welfare among single mothers in poverty. American Journal of Sociology, 99, 317–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Henly, J., Danziger, S., & Offer, S. (2005). The contribution of social support to the material well-being of low-income families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 67, 122–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Herbst, C. M., & Barnow, B. S. (2008). Close to home: A simultaneous equations model of the relationship between child care accessibility and female labor force participation. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 29, 128–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hirshberg, D. (2002). Child care demand and supply under CALWorks. Working Paper Series 02-3. Berkeley, CA: Policy Analysis for California Education.Google Scholar
  30. Hogan, D., Hao, L., & Parish, W. (1990). Race, kin networks, and assistance to mother-headed families. Social Forces, 68, 797–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Holzer, H., & LaLonde, R. (2000). Job change and job stability among less skilled young workers. In D. Card & R. Blank (Eds.), Finding jobs: Work and welfare reform (pp. 125–159). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  32. Keefe, S. (1996). The myth of the declining family: Extended family ties among urban Mexican-Americans and Anglo-Americans. In G. Gmelch & W. Zenner (Eds.), Urban Life (3rd ed., pp. 308–322). Prospects Heights, IL: Waveland Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lichter, D., Qian, Z., & Crowley, M. (2005). Child poverty among racial minorities and immigrants: Explaining trends and differentials. Social Science Quarterly, 86, 1037–1059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Livermore, M., & Power, R. (2006). Employment among unwed mothers: The role of government and social support. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 27, 479–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Monroe, P., Blalock, L., & Vlosky, R. (1999). Work opportunities in a non-traditional setting for women exiting welfare: A case study. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 20, 35–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Oropesa, R., & Landale, N. (2004). The future of marriage and Hispanics. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 66, 901–920.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Parish, W., Hao, L., & Hogan, D. (1991). Family support networks, welfare, and work among young mothers. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 203–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Park, J. (2005). The role of living arrangements and household resources in single mothers’ employment. Journal of Social Service Research, 31(3), 49–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parks-Yancy, R., DiTomaso, M., & Post, C. (2007). The mitigating effects of social and financial capital resources on hardships. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 429–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Paternoster, R., Brame, R., Mazerolle, P., & Piquero, A. (1998). Using the correct statistical test for the equality of regression coefficients. Criminology, 36, 859–866.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Powers, D., & Xie, Y. (2000). Statistical methods for categorical data analysis. San Francisco: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  42. Reichman, N. E., Teitler, J. O., Garfinkel, I., & McLanahan, S. S. (2001). The fragile families and child wellbeing study: Sample and design. Children and Youth Services Review, 23, 303–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roschelle, A. (1997). No more kin care. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  44. Sarason, B., Pierce, G., & Sarason, I. (1990). Social support: The sense of acceptance and the role of relationships. In B. Sarason, I. Sarason, & G. Pierce (Eds.), Social support: An interactional view (pp. 97–128). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  45. Simmons, L. A., Braun, B., Wright, D. W., & Miller, S. R. (2007a). Human capital, social support, and economic well-being among rural, low-income mothers: A latent growth curve analysis. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 635–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Simmons, L. A., Dolan, E. M., & Braun, B. (2007b). Rhetoric and reality of economic self-sufficiency among rural, low-income mothers: A longitudinal study. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 28, 489–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Taniguchi, H., & Rosenfeld, R. (2002). Women’s employment exit and reentry: Differences among Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. Social Science Research, 31, 432–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Teitler, J., Reichman, N., & Nepomnyaschy, L. (2004). Sources of support, child care and hardship among unwed mothers, 1999–2001. Social Service Review, 78, 125–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Urban, J., & Olson, P. (2005). A comprehensive employment model for low-income mothers. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 26, 101–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yoon, Y., & Waite, L. (1994). Converging employment patterns of Black, White, and Hispanic women: Return to work after first birth. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 56, 209–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State University, College of Social WorkTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations