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Depression, Substance Abuse, and Domestic Violence
Little is Known About Co-Occurrence and Combined Effects on Low-Income Families

Authors: Sharmila Lawrence, Michelle Chau, and Mary Clare Lennon
Publication Date: June 2004

This is an excerpt from the full brief.

Increasingly, research confirms the prevalence of depression, domestic violence, and substance abuse among low-income women, particularly those on welfare. These problems, which may occur either singly or in combination, can pose serious barriers to employment and threats to child well-being.

However, little is known about the extent to which these problems co-occur among low-income families and about their combined effect on children. Moreover, different treatment systems that address these problems are often not integrated. And, while these problems can be detrimental for child development, services for children are generally not linked with services for adults. This report summarizes recent research on these issues and offers recommendations for future research and policy initiatives.