The role of drug use in welfare to work: Evidence from Houston, Texas

Doohee Lee, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence of drug abuse among welfare recipients in Houston, TX and compare the work activities and employment barriers of drug abusers in order to better understand the potential effects of welfare reform for this population. Four hypotheses were tested comparing the work activities and employment barriers of drug abusers to others on welfare and the relative importance of drug abuse and employment barriers in predicting work activity. ^ This cross-sectional study examined the characteristics and work activities of 447 welfare recipients (81 drug abusers and 366 non-abusers) who were surveyed between October 1998 and April 1999 in Houston, TX. Subjects were introduced and recruited to participate in the study through a flyer, door to door visits, and peer driven recruitment/referral. ^ About 18% were found to be drug abusers, which is consistent with the national average (10–33%) among welfare recipients. Compared to others on welfare, drug abusers were less involved in work activities, and had more employment barriers. Employment barriers were found to be more predictive of welfare to work activities than drug abuse. The results suggest that alleviating employment barriers should be stressed in programs aimed at welfare recipients with drug abuse problems. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Public Health|Sociology, Public and Social Welfare

Recommended Citation

Lee, Doohee, "The role of drug use in welfare to work: Evidence from Houston, Texas" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981141.
https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI9981141

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