The role of resiliency in the journey from welfare to self-sufficiency for former welfare recipients : a quantitative study :
Jackson-Smith, Pamela D.
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Welfare reform has been praised for moving recipients into jobs and forcing millions off public assistance. It has also drawn criticism for putting a greater emphasis on obtaining work than on obtaining economic security. This study focuses on factors used by women to obtain economic self-sufficiency. This study was based on a quantitative, correlational design. There were one independent variable, resiliency, and one dependent variable, economic self-sufficiency. Participants for the study were drawn from the largest child-care provider agency in the state of Florida, and included African American, Caucasian, Latina, and Haitian Creole mothers. Each participant had a child under the age of six enrolled in a Project Head Start program for children in low-income families. Data was gathered from 198 participants with the Resiliency Attitude Scale (RAS) and Self-sufficiency Survey. Logistical regression was performed with resiliency as the predictor of economic self-sufficiency. The relationship between resiliency and self-sufficiency was not significant. Subsequently, a stepwise regression was performed to explore relationships between the remaining data to predict Selfsufficiency. This stepwise regression analysis indicated that the co-variates language, marital status, and welfare history had a statistically significant effect on selfsufficiency. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the statistical significance of the effect of ethnicity on the Resiliency Attitude Scale (RAS subscales. The ANOVA confirmed statistical significance for different ethnicities on the following subscales: Insight (p = 0.0156); Initiative (p = 0.0086); and Creativity (p = 0.0151). A Bonferroni comparison between the levels of ethnicity was run on the three significant subscales, Initiative, Independence, and Creativity, to further describe the significant differences. The conclusion is that White participants have a higher level of resiliency than Black and Hispanic participants on the subscale of Insight; White participants have a higher level of resiliency than Hispanics on the subscale Initiative; and White participants have a higher level of resiliency than others on the subscale Creativity and Humor. Implications for professional counselors and future research are discussed in the conclusion.