Examination of the Extent to which Employment Factors are Associated with Reduced Child Maltreatment Potential and Drug Use
Job assistance programs are commonly recommended for parents of children who have been victimized by child maltreatment, particularly when illicit drugs are indicated. However, the relationship between employment factors, substance abuse, and risk of child maltreatment has received limited empirical attention. Therefore, the current study examines employment factors in a sample of 72 mothers, who were referred by child protective services for treatment of substance abuse and child neglect. Child maltreatment potential was found to be negatively associated with number of hours employed and self-reported happiness with employment. The association between child abuse potential and personal income of participants approached significance (p = .057), and the results were not influenced by social desirability. Employment satisfaction significantly contributed to the prediction of child maltreatment potential over and above other employment factors and control variables. These findings suggest that when mothers are involved in child protective services their risk of perpetrating child maltreatment may be reduced when they are assisted in gainful employment that is personally satisfying. Happiness with employment was the only employment factor correlated (inversely) with substance use (biological testing, self-report of participants). Future directions are discussed in light of the results, including the importance of considering employment satisfaction when conducting vocational assistance programs in this population.
KeywordsEmployment Child maltreatment Substance abuse Mothers
This research was supported by a grant awarded to Brad Donohue from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1R01DA20548-01A1).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Abidin, R. R. (1995). Parenting stress index. 3rd ed. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Christmas, A., Wodarski, J., & Smokowski, P. (1996). Risk factors for physical child abuse: a practice theoretical paradigm. Family Therapy, 23, 233–248.Google Scholar
- Donohue, B., Azrin, N. H., Bradshaw, K., Van Hasselt, V. B., Cross, C. L., Urgelles, J., & Allen, D. N. (2014). A controlled evaluation of family behavior therapy in concurrent child neglect and drug abuse. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82, 706–720.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Donohue, B., Azrin, N. H., Strada, M. J., Silver, N., Teichner, G., & Murphy, H. (2004). Psychometric evaluation of self- and collateral timeline follow-back reports of drug and alcohol use in a sample of drug-abusing and conduct-disordered adolescents and their parents. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18, 184–189.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Donohue, B., Conway, D., Beisecker, B., Murphy, H., Farley, A., Waite, M., Gugino, K., Knatz, D., Lopez-Frank, C., Burns, J., Madison, S., & Shorty, C. (2005). Financial management and job social skills training components in a summer business institute: a controlled evaluation in high achieving predominately ethnic minority youth. Behavior Modification, 29, 653–676.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- First, M. B. & Gibbon, M. (2004). The structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) and the structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders (SCID-II). In M. J. Hilsenroth, D. L. Segal (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychological assessment, Vol. 2: Personality assessment (pp. 134–143). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.Google Scholar
- Hawthorne, B. J. (1977). Job dissatisfaction: a drug related issue. Drug Forum, 6, 187–195.Google Scholar
- Jones, L. (2008). The prevalence and characteristics of substance abusers in a child protective service sample. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 42, 33–50.Google Scholar
- Kissin, W. B., Tang, T., Arieira, C. R., Claus, R. E., & Orwin, R. G. (2014). Women’s employment outcomes following gender-sensitive substance abuse treatment. Journal of Drug Issues, 45, 1–14.Google Scholar
- Liu, M. (2011). Factors influencing low-income working mother’s child care arrangements underdifferent neighborhood and state policy contexts. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 72, 2157.Google Scholar
- Milner, J. (1986). The child abuse potential inventory manual. Dekalb, IL: Psytec Inc.Google Scholar
- Milner, J. (1990). An interpretive manual for the child abuse potential inventory. Dekalb, IL: Psytec Inc.Google Scholar
- Milner, J. S. (2007). Child physical abuse assessment: Perpetrator evaluation. In J. Campbell (Ed.), Assessing dangerousness, Violence by batterers and child abusers (2nd ed., 45–70). New York: Springer Publications.Google Scholar
- Peng, Y., & Mao, C. (2014). The impact of person-job fit on job satisfaction: the mediator role of self-efficacy. Social Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s11205-014-0659-x.
- Slemp, G. R., & Vella-Brodrick, D. A. (2013). The job crafting questionnaire: a new scale to measure the extent to which employees engage in job crafting. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3, 126–146.Google Scholar
- Sobell, L. C., & Sobell, M. B. (1992). Timeline follow-back: A technique for assessing self-reported alcohol consumption. In R. Z. Litten, J. P. Allen (Eds.), Measuring alcohol consumption: Psychosocial and biochemical methods (pp. 41–72). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.Google Scholar
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2010). Child maltreatment 2009. http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/research-data-technology/statistics-research/child-maltreatment.
- Vartanian, T. P., & McNamara, J. M. (2004). The welfare myth: disentangling the long-term effects of poverty and welfare receipt for young single mothers. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 31, 105–140.Google Scholar
- West, S. L. (2008). The utilization of vocational rehabilitation services in substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 29, 71–75.Google Scholar