Welfare Reform, Work-Family Tradeoffs, and Child Well-Being

Andrew S. London, Ellen K. Scott, Kathryn Edin, Vicki Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Welfare reform and related policy changes have altered the context in which welfare-reliant women make choices about employment and family care. Using data from longitudinal qualitative interviews, we examined women's experiences of work-family tradeoffs and how they think their employment affected their children. Women identified multiple co-occurring costs and benefits of work for themselves and their children. Benefits included: increased income; increased self-esteem, feelings of independence, and social integration; and the ability to model work and self-sufficiency values for children. Costs included: working without increased income; overload, exhaustion, and stress; and less time and energy to be with, supervise, and support children. The relevance of these findings for family policy specialists and practitioners who work with low-income families is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-158
Number of pages11
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Child well-being
  • Family
  • Low-wage work
  • Maternal employment
  • Welfare reform
  • Work-family


Dive into the research topics of 'Welfare Reform, Work-Family Tradeoffs, and Child Well-Being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this