Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political and Justice Studies

First Advisor

Chelsea Haring, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Larry Levinson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Donald Culverson, Ph.D.


My analysis will focus on whether the goals of Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reauthorization Act (PRWORA) of 1996 was self-sufficiency or was it designed to eliminate redistributive public policies and the implementation of morality policies. The purpose of this research was to analyze the barriers or impediments that the single mothers living in poverty encounter in society and whether PRWORA adequately addressed the barriers facing single mothers living in poverty. Specifically, my research analyzed the barriers of the family structure, culture of poverty, residential mobility, inadequate education, and the lack of social capital that may or may not have been a factor in hindering women from leaving the welfare system. My interest in this topic came from Dr. Kostarelos seminar in the Capstone Course which was entitled “Poverty in our Midst in Cook County, Illinois.”