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Author: Quane, James Michael
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1. Quane, James Michael
Self-Efficacy and Welfare: an Evaluation of Causal Effects
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Akron, 1992
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Educational Attainment; Occupational Aspirations; Occupational Attainment; Racial Differences; Self-Esteem; Self-Perception; Socioeconomic Background; Welfare

Liberals and conservatives strongly disagree on the effects of welfare experiences on the lives of the poor. The experiences obtained while involved in the welfare system they argue may lead to a significant decrease in feelings of self-efficacy. Conservatives on the other hand would contend that the welfare system is in no way responsible for a decrease in feelings of self-efficacy among the group. The welfare poor they argue for the most part have no desire to work and the existence of welfare benefits simply encourages this anti-social behavior. Guided by self-efficacy theory this research seeks to determine the extent to which the welfare experience contributes to a decline in self-efficacy specifically occupational self-efficacy. The theory suggests that while people's feelings of occupational self-efficacy are affected by how society views them other factors namely vicarious experiences emotional arousal and performance attainment also play a significant role. In order to test the associations of these variables with occupational self-efficacy a sample of poor youth aged 18 years or older in 1980 was extracted from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Occupational self-efficacy measured in 1983 served as the outcome variable. No support was found for the hypothesis that welfare experience significantly affects self-efficacy. The measure of performance attainment in addition to race and educational attainment of the respondent had the only significant direct effects on the dependent variable. Indirect effects of vicarious experiences race educational attainment and performance attainment on self-efficacy were also uncovered. The dissertation concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for the liberal and conservative debate and identifies areas for further research.
Bibliography Citation
Quane, James Michael. Self-Efficacy and Welfare: an Evaluation of Causal Effects. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Akron, 1992.