Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
The dissertation discusses findings of a study of the causal models of explanations of unemployment and poverty that have been developed in the research literature. The data used to examine the models are from the 1985 Edmonton Area Study Survey, University of Alberta (N=415), and the 1980 Beliefs about Social Stratification Study Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (N=704). The unemployment models were examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was also used to develop additional causal models, which were also tested with CFA. Sources of variations in explanations were explored using post-hoc ANOVA analysis. The poverty models were also examined using CFA, and sources of variations in explanations were explored using post-hoc ANOVA analysis. A structural equation model (SEM) was also developed to examine causal modelling of explanations for poverty. An examination of the unemployment models revealed that they did not provide a good fit between the causal models from the literature and the data set using CFA. A number of indices were used to evaluate the fit between the models and the data, with the explanation of the rational for the selection of specific measures. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was used to develop additional causal models of explanations for unemployment that were tested and found to provide a good fit between the model and the data. However, the developed models in the study were different from the models of explanations for unemployment that have been proposed in the research literature. Analysis of the poverty models did provide a good fit between the models and the data, using CFA. A feature of the previous research in this area is that the hypothesized factors of explanations of poverty (and unemployment) have been modeled as having a direct link to the responses. A structural equation model (SEM) was developed that hypothesized that opinions of inequality and equality act as antecedent variables, and that the hypothesized factors from the research literature are intervening variables in relation to public responses in this area. There was some empirical support for the SEM model, as the results produced a fit between the model and the data based upon the results of the selected indices. Implications of this finding for social workers and social policy were then drawn. The findings support the social work practice of advocating for social income programs based upon the concept of equality of opportunity and the concept of equality of condition.
Coon, Garson George, "Examining beliefs about the causes of unemployment and poverty: An analysis of the causal models from the research literature" (1998). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 218.