Sample Research Paper on Importance of Students’ Awareness

Congress has spelt out clearly its position on the present welfare reform, and it has enacted the TANF program in order to address various marriage issues. In this short survey, four college students were in order to gauge their awareness on welfare reform and TANF, as well as how their level of understanding will accept the cohesiveness of their families. According to Wertheimer, Long, and Vandivare (2001), argue that it is essential to document public attitudes on a given matter because it helps in the formulation of successful policies. A short survey was conducted using open-ended and closed-ended questionnaire. Fifty percent have a clue on welfare reform and TANF. On the other hand, 90 percent of them contended that their level of understanding of the welfare reform/TANF would accept the cohesiveness of their familw knowledgeable are college students about welfare reform: How does this affect their future marriages (family cohesiveness)?

Introduction on Welfare Reform and TANF

Congress has stated boldly its position on the current welfare system, work, as well as non-marital child bearing. This is what Congress has stated with respect to welfare reform;

  • Marriage is a fundamental institution upon which interests for childrearing is anchored.
  • In order to have successful childrearing, there is a need to promote responsible motherhood and fatherhood.
  • The government is focusing on how to minimize out of wed-lock pregnancies and births.

Following these developments, Congress enacted a program called Temporal Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This program aims to encourage and support the growth of the family institution (families with two parents). It also seeks to minimize out-of-wedlock births, as well as minimize need families’ dependence on government aid. This program seeks to attain this goal by championing job and work preparation, and marriage (Hayes & Palmer, 1990).

The number of families depending on welfare has reduced by 50% between the legislation of welfare reform in 1996. Most women who were the breadwinners in these families have reported to work, which contracts the expectations of numerous critics about the welfare reforms. Since welfare reforms, single mothers who are in the workforce has drastically increased proportionately matching the number of families departing from welfare.


Research Question: How knowledgeable are college students about welfare reform and how does this affect their future marriages (family cohesiveness)?

Literature Review

Wertheimer, Long, and Vandivare (2001), argue that it is essential to document public attitudes on a given matter because it helps in the formulation of successful policies. These authors give an example of a young mother who believes that mothers place is in the house can have a tough time in embracing a policy that encourages women to join the corporate world. Likewise, a mother who does not share that belief is likely to embrace a policy that encourages women to go to work outside their homesteads. Additionally, the authors asked respondents if they strongly supported the following statements based on welfare; that welfare subjects people to more work than they would without the commencement of the system, that welfare encourages the conception of babies outside wedlock and that welfare assists individuals when faced with difficult challenges.

The interviewed respondents were mainly mothers whereby most mothers who had not received welfare in the previous year strongly agreed that welfare leads to increased conception before wedlock. However, mothers who had previously received welfare did not support this statement. The attitude pertaining to the statements were also analyzed based on demographic characteristics and the socioeconomic status of mothers. Results showed that women with less than 12 years of education, the single mothers and the African-American mothers were prone to positive attitude on the welfare system compared to other women. Recipients of welfare agreed less concerning the negative influence of the welfare system and perceived it as a helpful mechanism for individuals with needs (Wertheimer, Long & Vandivere, 2001).

Additionally, two statements were also incorporated by these authors to examine the attitude of mothers toward no marital child bearing. Mothers were asked how strongly they favor the idea that individuals who want children must first get married and if a single mother can raise a child in a similar way married couple would. Findings on these statements indicated that mothers who had not received welfare in the previous year strongly favored the idea that people who are ready to be parents ought to marry. In contrast to this, mothers who had received welfare were in favor of this statement, and were less likely to favor that a single mother can raise a child as much as a married couple would, whereas mothers who received welfare strongly supported the notion that single mother can raise a child.

Moreover, the authors indicate that there is a relation between a mother’s marital status, education, poverty status, age race/ethnicity and her attitude on child marital bearing. Mothers who had better education were most likely to have a negative attitude towards child bearing outside wedlock than those mothers with limited education (Wertheimer, Long & Vandivere, 2001). Mothers from Hispanic and White origins less favored the statement on non marital child bearing than their counterpart African-Americans.



In this short survey, four students in university were interviewed in order to understand how knowledgeable they are with respect to TANF and the welfare reform. This short survey was gender sensitive. Two female and two male students were chosen randomly at the library. Again, care was taken so that two students were from the lower levels (1 and 2) while others were from the senior level (years 3 and 4). Not all the participants were married; two are in a relationship, while the others are single. A questionnaire with both open-ended and closed-ended questions was used to gather data during the research process. Participants were made to understand the significance of this study, and they were promised that their responses and personal information would be kept confidential. The subjects voluntarily participated in this questionnaire. Although some turned out the request, four participants agreed to take part in the survey. First, the participants were expected to give their demographic information. The first section detailed the participants’ name, sex, level and ethnicity. The second section explored their awareness of the subject matter.


Two out of the four students (50%) had no clue about the welfare reform. The other half had a clue, but their understanding was not sufficient enough. With respect on whether young people through education minimize dependency on the government, all the participants (100%) agreed with this notion. However, the notion that young people’s comprehension of the welfare reform and TANF would help in the promotion of families and the reduction of out-of-wed-lock births/pregnancies revealed gender differences. One of the male participants, from the senior level noted that such a comprehension has no relationship with out of wedlock pregnancies. He contended that out of wedlock pregnancies are present in every society and social class. The female participants on the other hand were in support of this notion. They noted that educating the women empowers them, and reduces their dependency on males (their husbands), and consequently cements a stable family.

In addition, when the participants were asked whether people’s beliefs play a role in the formation and success of a public policy, all of them were in agreement. Furthermore, all the participants rated highly the family as an essential initiation in the society. Fifty percent of the participants noted that they would get married while the other half was unsure. When asked if they think their current knowledge on welfare reform and TANF will help boost their future families, 90 percent were in agreement. Those in support of this notion argued that education plays a crucial role in shaping future marriages, and it is vital for students to be educated on this phenomenon. The other party who was in disagreement contended that people must be responsible in their marriages irrespective of their educational backgrounds.

Table 1 showing participants’ knowledge on welfare reform/TANF

  Those with a clue Those with no clue
Levels 1 and 2 0 2
Levels 3 and 4 2 0


Implications of the Research Findings

Wertheimer, Long, and Vandivare (2001) have noted that a person’s attitude or belief plays a crucial role in their acceptance of a given public policy. This study has seconded this notion because the majority of the participants were in agreement with this statement. In line with, policy makers must focus on shaping people’s attitudes if they need to register success with their policies. This endeavor can only be championed through education. College students must be educated on public policies and reforms that may affect their future marriages. They must be given essential information that encourages marriage, and how to help their marriages work. If Congress wants to register success with the TANF program, it is important that they roll out an education program in institutions of higher learning in order to boost public awareness.

Secondly, young people must be given tips on how to sustain their future families, and this can be attained through education. College curricular should she corroborate so that all students from different faculties are equipped with the necessary tips for beginning and sustaining marriages. In addition, the findings of this study have shown that young people understand their value of the family as an institution, but some lack basic information that might be vital; in their future marriages. There were no racial/ethnic differences in the comprehension of the subject matter. This finding shows that marriage is vital in any given racial-ethnic community.

Subsequently, authors Wertheimer, Long, and Vandivare (2001) further illustrated that child bearing outside wedlock is a gender based attitude, whereby only the mothers who did not received welfare in the previous year found it favorable. This statement has been reflected in the above study by the male respondent who stated that wedlock pregnancies are present in every society and social class and therefore welfare has no control on how or when individuals should bear children. It all counts down to education, since by educating a female citizen on welfare reform systems, she is in a better position to comprehend things and take appropriate decisions when bringing up a family. The results of this research therefore encourages the young women to equip themselves with wisdom, not with the coursework but also other important applicable fields such as the welfare reform system to assist them make the right choices when they wish to start a family of their own.


In conclusion, this research explored students’ awareness on welfare reform and TANF, as well as how their level of understanding will accept the cohesiveness of their families. Fifty percent have a clue on welfare reform and TANF. On the other hand, 90 percent of them contended that their level of understanding of the welfare reform/TANF would accept the cohesiveness of their families. Every country should amend an education forum based on welfare reforms/TANF, so that people, especially the young students in colleges and universities can have better glimpse of starting a family. The best way of preventing non marital child bearing is by empowering the girl child through quality education. This will reduce the rate at which citizens depend on the government, but instead support themselves and their children. It is therefore essential for each country to educate its citizens since education is the backbone of all knowledge.






Hayes, C.D., Palmer, J.L. (1990). Who Cares for America’s Children? Child

Care Policy for the 1990’s. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.                                          Retrieved September 20, 2014.

Wertheimer, R., Long, M., and Vandivere, S. (2001). Welfare recipients’ attitudes toward                         welfare, non marital childbearing, and work. Retrieved September 20, 2014.