Using data from the 2004 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this study examined relationships between employment problems and four types of material hardship among single-mother families. Although a bill-paying hardship was the most common hardship reported by the mothers (41%), 38% of the families experienced a health hardship, 33% suffered a food hardship, and 25% had a housing hardship. The multivariate results indicate that compared with families whose mothers were adequately employed, families whose mothers were unemployed/had involuntary job gaps and were underemployed had heightened risks of experiencing bill-paying, health, and housing hardships. Only unemployment/involuntary job gaps was related to having a food hardship. A number of other factors associated with experiencing material hardship also were identified. Finally, implications for social work practice and social policy are discussed.
- Material hardship
- Single-mother families
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science