Publication Date



Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 05-118

**Published Version**

In Journal of Family Issues 28(1)(January 2007): 34-60.




The purpose of this paper is to examine work-family conflict among low-income, unmarried mothers. I examine how social capital affects work-family conflict and how both social capital and work-family conflict affect employment. I analyze the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national sample of non-marital births collected in 1998-2000 and 1999-2002. Results show that social capital reduces unmarried mothers' reports of work-family conflict, especially for low-income women. In addition, mothers who report high levels of work-family conflict are less likely to be employed; this pattern holds for women who are not looking for work as well as those who are. However, even at high levels of conflict, low-income women are more likely to be employed. The results suggest that work-family conflict has two consequences for unmarried women: it keeps them out of the labor force and makes it more difficult for women who want to work to maintain employment stability.

Issue Date



W.E. Upjohn Mini-Grant 03-83-02

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Work and family balance; UNEMPLOYMENT, DISABILITY, and INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAMS; Poverty and income support; Low wage labor markets


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Ciabattari, Teresa. 2005. "Single Mothers, Social Capital, and Work-Family Conflict." Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 05-118. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.