ERIC Number: ED121910
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Is Welfare Bad for Children?
A major fear of many who are concerned with the welfare system is that the system itself tends to create pathology among recipients, and in the case of children, to cause mal-socialization. There are a number of problems with these assertions. The chief problem is that there is not much good evidence, one way or another, concerning the effects of the welfare system - as a system - on children in this country. Such assertions do not recognize the limits of existing data and the questionable validity of existing interpretations. Because the consequences of this blindness include the perpetuation of degrading myths concerning people in poverty and the consequent shaping of policy possibly detrimental to their interests, this paper is concerned with not only the question of adverse effects of the welfare system on children but also the poverty of relevant research. Six general problems that are often seen in the area of research on the welfare poor are discussed: sample limitations, non-significance and misreporting of observed differences, failure to attend to no-difference results, construction of summary statistics with arti-factual elements, failure to consider other relevant factors than welfare, and biased evaluations. It is concluded that welfare status should be regarded as, at worst, only one of the unwelcome aspects of poverty, not as a curse of disability. (Author/JM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.