Changes in the welfare caseload and the health of low-educated mothers
Declines in the welfare caseload in the late 1990s brought significant change to the lives of many low-educated, single mothers. Many single mothers left welfare and entered the labor market and others found different ways to avoid going on public assistance. These changes may have affected the health and health behaviors of these women. To date, there has been little study of this issue. In this paper, we obtained estimates of the association between changes in the welfare caseload caused by welfare policy, and four health behaviors-smoking, drinking, diet, and exercise-and four self-reported measures of health-weight, days in poor mental health, days in poor physical health, and general health status. The results of our study reveal that recent declines in the welfare caseload were associated with less binge drinking, but otherwise welfare reform had little effect on health and health behaviors. © 2006 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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