This paper examines the utilization of mental health, alcohol, and drug treatment in a sample of low-income women. We analyze data from the Women's Employments Study, a study examining the barriers to employment for welfare recipients, and compare prevalence rates of mental health disorders and service utilization with the National Comorbidity Survey. Fewer than one in five of the respondents with a current mental health and/or substance dependence problem in the Women's Employment Study (WES) received treatment in the past 12 months. A logistic regression model of the association among demographic variables, risk factors, and service utilization in the WES found that having a co-occurring substance dependence and mental health disorder was significantly associated with receiving treatment. Those respondents with an increased number of barriers were significantly less likely to receive treatment. The authors argue that the success of welfare reform may hinge on low-income women's access to and utilization of appropriate services.


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pp. 206-219
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