Methods: This study is a cross-sectional study using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCW), we chose the fourth wave (2003-06) at 5 years data because the data enables a better understanding of employment conditions of mothers caring for young children. The sample of this study included mothers who are married or cohabitating and excluded mothers who have not worked in the last 12 months or were self-employed (N=1,845).
Latent class analysis using mixture modeling estimated subtypes of employment stability, as well as whether IPV predicted employment class membership. Five dichotomous observed employment variables were used as indicators for latent classes using the maximum likelihood estimator with robust standard errors. Upon estimating the best-fitting latent class solution, a multinomial logistic regression estimated predicted class membership based on the independent variable – experiences of IPV.
Results: Results showed that a three-class solution was the best fit to the data. The largest class, “Stable and Supported,” contained 70.3% of mothers and was characterized by largely full-time, weekday jobs. The second-largest class, “Full-Time and Unsupported”, included one in four mothers (24.4%) who worked largely full-time on weekdays, but instead reported their jobs did cause family stress and made it difficult to manage childcare problems. The smallest group, comprising only 5.3% of the sample, included “Part-Time” mothers who primarily worked part-time weekend jobs and who had mixed support levels. IPV experiences predicted increased likelihood of falling into the “Full-Time and Unsupported” over both the “Stable and Supported” (OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.25-1.65) and the “Part-Time” class (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.05-1.1.65).
Conclusions and Implications: LCA results indicate that IPV has a significant impact on the employment classes that mothers fall into. This finding builds on previous literature to say that IPV not only predicts working in lower income positions and having fewer work hours but also having an unsupportive workplace culture. In other terms, mothers who experience IPV are employed in workplaces that add stress on families and create caretaking issues. Targeting high pressure work environments (e.g. inconsistent/weekend shift work, high turnover environments, and lower-earning positions) is a major implication for this research. Specifically if high pressure workplaces provided added childcare assistance or flexibility for family emergencies, survivors may be able to maintain financial stability and leave abusive relationships.