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 Institute for Employment Research 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.