Substance use is only one of many barriers to well-being and social performance among low-income mothers and often co-occurs with other significant barriers such as psychiatric disorders.
Substance use disorders are more common among mothers who receive TANF aid than among non-recipient mothers. However, these disorders are less prevalent than are other barriers such as low educational attainment, transportation difficulties, physical and other mental health disorders (Pollack et al., 2002), (Danziger et al., 2000), (Danziger and Seefeldt, 2002), (Montoya et al., 2001).
Gutman and colleagues assessed the prevalence of potential employment barriers and their relationship to later employment for 366 substance using TANF-recipients who were enrolled in the CASAWORKS for Families demonstration program. At program entry, these recipients averaged six out of 14 potential barriers assessed (2003).
Psychiatric disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) commonly co-occur with substance use and use disorders (Pollack et al., 2002). Several researchers also note that substance users report sharply elevated incidence of domestic violence (Lown et al., 2006).