Mental health as a mediator of gender differences in employment barriers among drug abusers

J. Matthew Webster, Paul J. Rosen, Hope Smiley McDonald, Michele Staton-Tindall, Thomas F. Garrity, Carl G. Leukefeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Employment has been identified as an important drug abuse treatment outcome, but drug abusers often face a wide variety of barriers to securing stable employment. The employment barriers literature also reports that women and people with mental health problems have difficulty in obtaining employment. The current study examined gender differences in mental health and employment barriers in a sample of drug court participants. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test the hypothesis that differences in employment barriers among drug-abusing males and females are mediated by differences in mental health problems. Women were found to have more mental health problems and employment barriers, and support for the mediation hypothesis was found. Implications for drug treatment providers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant R01 DA11309 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Carl G. Leukefeld, Principal Investigator; and by the staff and resources of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the position of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


  • Drug abuse
  • Employment
  • Gender
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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