Although some research suggests that welfare caseworker support may improve the mental health of clients, the evidence is largely cross-sectional. Building on previous research, this study uses survey data from the Welfare, Children, and Families Project, a sample of 380 low-income women with children living in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio, to predict psychological distress over 2 years (1999 and 2001) with a multi-item measure of perceived welfare caseworker support and a host of relevant background variables. The longitudinal change score analysis indicates that women who report improvements in caseworker support tend to exhibit fewer symptoms of psychological distress from baseline to follow-up. These results persist with controls for initial levels of psychological distress, and they confirm previous cross-sectional work, emphasizing the importance of the nature of the case-worker-client relationship.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science