Childhood Maltreatment, Intimate Partner Violence, Work Interference and Women’s Employment
This study examined the long-term effects of childhood maltreatment, intimate partner violence (IPV) and work interference on women’s employment in a sample of 135 housed or homeless women. Work interference (defined as a partner’s interference with or restraint of a woman’s working) was reported by 60% of women who had experienced IPV and was more common among non-Hispanic White women. Abuse history of any type was not predictive of women’s employment or receiving job training, but child sexual abuse history and lifetime IPV were predictive of non-Hispanic White women’s not looking for a job. Receiving job training was negatively correlated with women’s current mental health. The study suggests different but overlapping pathways to the outcome of underemployment for racial/ethnic minority and majority women—namely, macro level factors and individual vulnerability factors, respectively. The need for trauma-informed services for unemployed and/or homeless women is highlighted.
KeywordsIntimate partner violence Work interference Childhood maltreatment Employment
This research was supported by the Harold Benenson Memorial Research Fund at the Wellesley Centers for Women. The author wishes to thank Janet Fender, who is the Director of the Domestic Violence Unit at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance.
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