Date of Conferral







Rhonda Bohs


With the imposition of lifetime limitations on an individual's ability to receive cash assistance, there is a group of long-term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients that have approached the lifetime limitation without becoming gainfully employed. Many long term TANF recipients report low levels of self-efficacy which inhibits their ability to successfully transition off welfare and into the workforce. However, most welfare-to-work programs do not address the emotional or psychological well-being of their clients, instead they focus on job placement and job readiness skills. The purpose of this sequential–exploratory mixed methods study is to identify the primary barriers to employment that have a negative effect on long term TANF recipient's self-efficacy. Albert Bandura's self-efficacy theory was the theoretical foundation for this study. Semi structured interviews with 20 long term TANF recipients helped answer the central research questions regarding barrier identification. The participants agreed that support for completing GED, as well as a more holistic approach to addressing their barriers is most effective in helping them transition off welfare and into the workforce. Hong's Employment Hope Scale (EHS-14) was used to collect the quantitative data for this study. The quantitative data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis and found that level of education has a statistically significant moderating effect on length of time on welfare and level of self-efficacy. This study may inform welfare-to-work providers and programmers on the importance of addressing TANF recipients' psychological needs, such as low self-efficacy before attempting to transition them into the workforce.