Publication Date

January 2005


This paper uses the Current Population Survey (CPS) data to show that changes in family policy implemented in the 1990s led to a substantial increase in the number of young women who report work limitations. These changes also affected measures of socioeconomic outcomes for young women who report limitations. The findings emphasize the importance of disability to family policy issues, and suggest that past underreporting of disability by young mothers might well have disguised its importance. They also suggest that the impacts of family policy on mothers with disabilities have been quite different than the impacts on other mothers. An important effect of family policy changes may have been to segregate low-income mothers with disabilities from other low-income mothers, continuing to relegate them, and possibly their children, to lives of poverty and dependency.


Horvath-Rose, A., Stapleton, D. & O’Day, B. (2005). The Effects of Welfare Reform on Statistics for Young Women with Disabilities. Washington, DC: Cornell University Institute for Policy Research.

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