Does belief matter? Social psychological characteristics and the likehood of welfare use and exit

Michele Lee Kozimor-King, Elizabethtown College


Numerous studies have reemerged examining social psychological variables as predictors of individual differences in the human experience. Still, current research focusing on the effects of self-beliefs on welfare use and exit is limited. This study examines the effects of social psychological variables on the likelihood of welfare use and five-year outcomes of women using data from the 1979 through 2000 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). Binary logistic regression estimates suggest that social psychological characteristics are initially related to welfare use, but do not remain once control variables are introduced. While social psychological predictors do not appear to have strong or robust direct effects in multivariate models, traditional human capital variables of public assistance outcomes past initial entry are significant.