Depression and Low-Income Women: Challenges for TANF and Welfare-to-Work Policies and Programs

Lennon, Mary Clare; Blome, Juliana; English, Kevin

This report reviews the literature on the prevalence, treatment, and consequences of depression in low-income women, highlighting the relationship of depression to welfare and employment. Depression is a debilitating illness characterized by profound feelings of sadness, low mood, and loss of interest in usual activities that can have severe adverse effects, not only on the individual woman but also on her job and family life. Recent changes in welfare policy in the United States, including the five-year lifetime limit on assistance and the requirement that recipients obtain jobs after two years of continuous support, have increased concern about depression and other problems facing many women on welfare. The research findings reviewed here have a range of implications for research and for TANF and welfare-to-work policies and programs that are outlined in this report.


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Academic Units
National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University
Published Here
July 9, 2010