Funding: NIAAA R01 AA10015
This research examined the epidemiology of alcohol problems in relation to protracted unemployment, poverty and reliance on welfare in a two-wave panel study of welfare recipients. Time 1 data were collected in 1989 under the auspices of the Alcohol Research Group’s Community Epidemiology Laboratory project. Subjects were interviewed in-person at the time that they applied for public assistance through the General Assistance and Aid to Families with Dependent Children programs. This project involved face-to-face interviews with these same subjects after a five-year time interval. We examined the nature of change in substance use patterns and problems, as well as their influences on change in recipients’ employment status, poverty level and welfare dependency. Moreover, the project emphasized the analysis of substance use among women, single mothers and ethnic minorities, all of whom are significantly over-represented in the welfare population.