Single mother families and employment, race, and poverty in changing economic times

Sarah Damaske, Jenifer L. Bratter, Adrianne Frech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Using American Community Survey data from 2001, 2005, and 2010, this paper assesses the relationships between employment, race, and poverty for households headed by single women across different economic periods. While poverty rates rose dramatically among single-mother families between 2001 and 2010, surprisingly many racial disparities in poverty narrowed by the end of the decade. This was due to a greater increase in poverty among whites, although gaps between whites and Blacks, whites and Hispanics, and whites and American Indians remained quite large in 2010. All employment statuses were at higher risk of poverty in 2010 than 2001 and the risk increased most sharply for those employed part-time, the unemployed, and those not in the labor force. Given the concurrent increase in part-time employment and unemployment between 2000 and 2010, findings paint a bleak picture of the toll the last decade has had on the well being of single-mother families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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