Circumstances Dictate Public Views of Government Assistance

Lennon, Mary Clare; Appelbaum, Lauren D.; Aber, John Lawrence; McCaskie, Katherine

Women who experience significant barriers to employment may be unable to either obtain or retain jobs and may require intensive services to help them overcome their problems and achieve economic self-sufficiency. The National Center for Children in Poverty's innovative Vignette Study tested the opinions of the general public toward governmental assistance by creating a female subject, Lisa, whose description randomly varied 11 characteristics, including her obstacles to employment (physical disability, mental illness, living in an area with high unemployment, and trouble with reliable child care among them) and whether she works or receives welfare. In all cases, she was described as the mother of two children who faces difficulties providing basic necessities for her family.


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National Center for Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University
Published Here
July 8, 2010