Social Support, Drug Use, and Employment Among Low-Income Women

Victoria L. Brown and Micah A. Riley

January 2005

This study examined social support and its association with employment, income, and drug use in a sample of 534 low-income women. Functional support was defined as the perceived quality of one's interactions with others. Structural support was defined as the number of individuals within five particular types of networks: social, employment, drug, close, and emergency. Over the two-year study period, significant increases were observed in hours worked, income from work, income from other sources, and total income. There was also a significant decrease in welfare income. Results suggest that the perceived quality of support received is an important factor in achieving positive employment outcomes.

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