Type of Document Dissertation Author Challenger, Carol Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-11142005-163616 Title The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Demographic Characteristics of Black Women on Welfare Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Deborah J. Ebener Committee Chair Barbara Mann Committee Member Gary Peterson Committee Member Jane E. Burkhead Committee Member Keywords
- Impediments to Self-Sufficency
- Black Women on Welfare
- Poverty In the U.S.
Date of Defense 2005-10-25 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
Extant literature suggests that the psychological construct referred to as self-esteem is, by virtue of its illusiveness, ambiguity, and multidimensional nature, a variable that remains difficult to conceptualize, operationalize and measure, thus the absence of a consensus among researchers regarding its true meaning and causal effects on aspects of daily living. More importantly, the debate continues about the differences between self-esteem of Blacks and that of Whites, and the impact of welfare dependency on the self-esteem of Black women. Self-esteem is generally viewed as how an individual feels about himself or herself. Data on the link between self-esteem and welfare characteristics seem to be limited and fragmented, hence the need for further research.
This study explored the relationship between self-esteem and demographic characteristics of Black women on welfare. The researcher tested for a correlation between self-esteem and (a) Time spent on welfare, (b) The age of first motherhood, (c) Number of children, (d) Parents and/or grandparents on welfare, (e) Perceived barriers to employment, and (f) Completion and non-completion of the Career Quest program held at Florida State University during 1992-1996, sponsored in part by the Florida State Department of Employment and Labor. Data were extracted from information available in files previously compiled by African American women who participated in the Career Quest program. Data analysis was conducted through Analysis of Variance and regression. Three control variables (Education, Participant's Age, and Marital status) were factored in as covariates. The goals of this study were: (a) To expand the pool of available research in this field, (b) to stimulate further interest in self-esteem by students and researchers, and (c) to increase the awareness of professionals and others in the healthcare, education and social work systems who are in a position to influence intervention programs and policies of the need for greater attention to be given to the psychological impact of welfare dependency in relation to Black women.
The findings of this study concluded, in general, that self-esteem was not significantly related to characteristics of welfare participation by the population of Black women. This appears to call into question (and possibly debunk) the stereotype of Black women on welfare as having low self-esteem. The results suggested a strong link between some predictor variables and a positive relationship between self-esteem and marital status. Single participants were found to have a higher self-esteem than their married, divorced or separated peers. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that the relationship between self-esteem and welfare characteristics of Black women is inconclusive. It is recommended that the implications for practice and research be noted and further research be conducted in this area.
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