Moving In and Out of Welfare and Work: The Influence of Regional Socioeconomic Circumstances on Economic Disconnection Among Low-Income Single Mothersedit
An increasing proportion of low-income single mothers are experiencing periods of economic disconnection, defined as receiving no cash income from welfare or work. Most research on disconnection has focused on personal attributes as risk factors for experiencing disconnection at a static point in time. This study adopts a dynamic perspective and broadens the existing set of determinants by adding regional socioeconomic characteristics to explain changes in status. Results from multivariate survival analyses demonstrate that residence in a disadvantaged county is associated with an increased risk of becoming disconnected. State-level policies, as opposed to county socioeconomic characteristics, have stronger influences on movements out of disconnection. The findings from the analyses provide a base for policy discussions about helping this vulnerable population.