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Poverty | Social Work Policy Institute

The culture of poverty is a concept in social theory that expands on the idea of a cycle of poverty

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The "Poverty" of Sexual Orientation - Crisis Magazine

Work after welfare: Women’s work effort, occupation, and economic well-being.
Cancian, M. & Meyer, D. R. (2000, June). Social Work Research, 24(2), 69-86.
Current welfare reforms attempt to move low-income women with children from reliance on welfare to work. The logic of some current efforts relies on the thesis that employment, even in low-paying jobs, leads eventually to self-sufficiency. With data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the authors analyzed the relationship between work history and economic success during the first five years after women leave welfare. They found that over time median wages and hours worked increased and that earnings generally improved. Nonetheless, even in the fifth year, only one in four consistently worked full-time. Although current welfare reforms are focused on moving women into jobs quickly, results cited in this article suggest that employment itself is not a guarantee of economic success.

Phd Thesis On Poverty Alleviation - …

Difficulties after leaving TANF: Inner-city women talk about reasons for returning to welfare.
Anderson , S.G., Halter, A.P.,& Gryzlak, B.M. (2004,April). Social-Work , 49(2), 185-194.
People who leave welfare commonly return, and this phenomenon has become more pressing in the time-limited Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Fostering stable TANF exits may be particularly difficult in poor inner-city areas because of job shortages and neighborhood deterioration. TANF leavers from five focus groups in Chicago give their perspectives about problems leading to welfare return. Participants indicated that low wages and unstable jobs were most often responsible for TANF returns. Obtaining health care and child care and inconsistent performance of TANF caseworkers were stressed as contributing factors. Participants also focused on strengths helpful in sustaining exits from TANF, particularly psychological benefits associated with working and informal supports received from family members and friends. The implications of recipient-identified problems and strengths are discussed, including balancing “work first” employment policies with substantive educational and job development policies. Strategies for improving the performance of TANF case planning are discussed.

Social Work and Poverty: A Critical Approach, Parrott

Long-term poverty among older women: The effects of work in midlife.
McNamara,J.M. (2004, May). Dissertation Abstracts : Bryn Mawr College , PhD.
Existing research on links between lifecourse events and later life economic well-being does not tend to emphasize the continuity of poverty and disadvantage among older adults. This study focuses on long-term economic hardship among older women, examining the effects of work history and other factors on the later life economic well-being of women who had low income in midlife. Data for this study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women (NLSMW), and spanned the years 1967 to1999. A sample of 2,915 women was drawn from the NLSMW, with just over one third of this sample having had income below 200 percent of the poverty line in midlife. When controlling for other factors which affect later life income, it was found that the amount of work low-income women did in midlife had little effect on their later life economic outcomes, although job characteristics, such as unionization and the availability of fringe benefits, did have a positive effect on later life economic well-being. For women who had higher income at midlife, however, hours worked in midlife, irrespective of job characteristics, often had a positive impact on later life economic well-being.

Depression and poverty among African American women at risk for type 2 diabetes.
de Groot, M., Auslander, W., Williams, J. H., Sherraden, M. & Haire-Joshu, D.. (2003,Summer). Annals of Behavioral Medicine , 25(3), 172-181.
Poverty is associated with negative health outcomes, including depression. Little is known about the specific elements of poverty that contribute to depression, particularly among African American women at risk for type 2 diabetes. This study examines the relationships of economic and social resources to depression among African American women at high risk for the development of type 2 diabetes (N=181) using the Conservation of Resources theory as a conceptual framework. Women were assessed at three time points in conjunction with a dietary change intervention. Depressed women reported fewer economic assets and greater economic distress than non-depressed peers. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicated that non-work status, lack of home ownership, low appraisal of one’s economic situation, low self-esteem, and increased stressful life events were significantly associated with depression at baseline. Longitudinal multivariate logistic regression models indicated that income, home ownership, future economic appraisal, life events, and self-esteem predicted depression trajectories at Time 3. Results highlight the multifaceted sources of stress in the lives of poor African American women.

Phd Thesis On Poverty Alleviation

Exit from poverty: How “welfare mothers” achieve economic viability.
Strother, P.A. (2003). Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment , 7(3/4), 97-119.
There is a large body of research about the characteristics of people in poverty with regard to demographic structures, social stratification, and income differentials, but the processes by which poor people accomplish improvement in their economic situations is a neglected area of research. Using qualitative procedures, data analysis of interviews with 19 Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)-dependent female heads-of-households who received public assistance for at least five consecutive years between 1970 and 1990, and who exited both public assistance and poverty by means other than marriage or cohabitation, resulted in the emergence of a three-part success configuration. Paradoxically, the subjects’ concerns were not primarily about exiting welfare, but rather were focused on broader life goals more in keeping with the aspirations of those in the economic mainstream. Applications of the findings to social work direct practice focus on the challenges of understanding clients’ perceptions and supporting their goals, while dispelling the persistent myths about the poor. Applications to social welfare policy focus on the need to develop policy initiatives that would allow increased monetary assistance to the poor. (This is one of 12 articles in this special issue on women and girls in the social environment.)

Employment options for low-income women: Microenterprise versus the labor market.
Sanders, -C.K. (2004,June). Social Work Research, 28(2), 83-92.
This study builds on research that examines the effect of microenterprise on poor women in the United States . Household income, income from the XX business, and poverty status were examined over time and comparisons were drawn among three groups of women: low-income women who participated in one of seven U.S. microenterprise assistance programs; low-income, self -employed women not attached to microenterprise assistance programs; and low-income women working, but not self-employed. The findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of microenterprise assistance programs as an anti-poverty strategy in the United States . However, women in the three groups moved out of poverty at the same rate. Policy, program, and practice implications are discussed.

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Feeling poor: The felt experience of low-income lone mothers.
McIntyre, L., Officer, S. & Robinson, L. M. (2003, Fall). AFFILIA-Journal of Women and Social Work , 18(3), 316-331.
This article describes what it means to feel poor from the perspective of low-income lone mothers. The construct of feeling poor is complex and multifaceted for these mothers whose common behaviors include self -sacrifice and coping. The authors identify 10 feeling domains for these mothers: feeling deprived, feeling righteous, the need for occupational choice, relatively better positioned than others, the need to manage the appearance of poverty, and feeling judged/degraded, guilty, isolated, dependent, and despondent.

Educational Leadership:Poverty and Learning:The …

The potential of the SSI program to reduce poverty among the elderly.
Davies, P. S., Rupp, K. & Strand, A. (2004). Journal of Aging and Social Policy ,16(1), 21-41.
Is it more effective to reduce poverty among the elderly by increasing the benefits paid by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or by increasing eligibility for the program? This paper answers that question from a policy maker’s perspective. At given program cost levels, the authors compare the potential reduction in poverty from increasing benefit levels to the potential reduction associated with a variety of policy proposals that would increase eligibility for the program. This paper employs a microsimulation model containing an eligibility and benefits calculator, participation model, and an optimization algorithm. The data are from the Survey of Income and Program Participation supplemented by the administrative records of the SSI program. The results showed that increasing eligibility by relaxing the restrictions of the means tests can be more effective in reducing poverty than raising benefit levels.

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The effects of EITC and children’s allowances on the economic well-being of children.
Ozawa, -M. N. & Hong, B. E. (2003, September). Social Work Research , 27(3), 163-178.
This article introduces the concept of children’s allowances as a strategy for the redistribution of income to children. It also reports the findings of an empirical study on the distributive effects of a children’s allowance program and an improved earned income tax credit (EITC), separately and in combination. The source of data for the study was the 1999 Current Population Survey. The study found that these programs would greatly increase the income statuses and reduce the poverty rates of all children in this country, but especially of EITC-recipient children and children in large families, among whom black and Hispanic children are overrepresented. Implications for policy are discussed.

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