Experiences of women on public assistance

Guerda Nicolas, Varzi Jeanbaptiste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although much has been written regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of the various antipoverty programs, very little information is available on the recipients' perceptions of and experiences with these programs. This article addresses this issue and presents qualitative results of interviews with 8 recipients of both cash assistance (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and in-kind assistance (e.g., Section 8 housing). The average age of the participants was 37.5; all were females with children from 2 to 5 years old. Overall, the major themes that emerged include lack of work programs, difficulties in forming a permanent family life with a partner, feelings of shame and disrespect, an insecure future, and a sadness regarding life's outcome. These findings suggest that antipoverty programs should focus not only on financial concerns but also on the individual's desire to be a contributing member of society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-309
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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