Many countries give Single mothers welfare to help them raise their children. The welfare can be in form of financial support or physical support. Physical support includes food stamps, transportation, or housing. Most single mothers on welfare are young mothers who do not have any form of job training that would help them secure a job (Little, 2005). They also lack emotional development that would help them care for themselves and their children.
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For example in United States, CPS data showed an increase in the number of cash welfare receipt among single mothers in the late 80s and 90s (Gabe, 2003). However a decrease was witnessed In the mid-to-late 1990s and more single women joining workforce. This can be attributed to change in welfare policies from aid to families with dependent children to temporary assistance for needy families in the mid-1990s (Duncan et al, 2002). As result of this change and other changes on the welfare policy not mentioned in this paper, people realized that welfare was too little to afford the single mothers and their kids a decent living. More single mothers have joined workforce in such of better lifestyle and economic independence. Some people on the other hand feel that welfare encourages increase in single-motherhood.
Attitude surveys can be used to assess the opinions, perceptions, attitudes and feelings of people about a particular issue. The concept of attitude actually covers the cognitive, affectional, and behavioral ideas, feelings, and actions that a person displays in response to or as a result of an object. They can be customized to answer specific concerns that would help concerned parties such as government, organizations’ management or policy makers or can just be general attitude evaluation. A survey should include the topics or content that a researcher is interested in. this may prove to be a difficult task because a survey can have very many ideas. Despite this being a difficult task, the researcher should decide on the survey content which means setting boundaries that will help in writing questions for the final instrument.
The purpose of the survey
The purpose of the survey is to ascertain the perceptions and expectations of single parents on welfare in United States. Many single parents on welfare are thought to be dependent on state. However the trends of number of people receiving welfare from the federal government have changed. The number has decreased since mid-1990s and more single women have joined workforce ever since. This may be an indication of change in perceptions and expectations of the single mothers on welfare.
Preliminary issues of design experienced
In a survey a researcher is tasked with a responsibility of ascertaining the respondents’ prospects, perceptions and the spread between them. The researcher is therefore required to design items to measure the perception and expectations of single mothers on welfare.it is also important for the researcher to encompass affective, cognitive and behavioral measurements when deliberating on the items to be administered. It is important that the items gauge assessed observable behavior, past feelings and current thoughts concerning the construct being.
Another preliminary issue a researcher might experience in creating an attitude survey is formulation of questions. The researcher should be careful when writing questions otherwise the questions may not yield the required information. Every question should be meaningful to the respondent. It should be within the scope of the respondent. For example, questions on accounts concern accountants and not nurses. The questions should be written in simple English and avoid using jargon to make them simple to understand. If respondents do not understand the questions, they are unlikely to answer them. This results to uncompleted questionnaires and cannot be analyzed. It is important to make the questions concrete and not imaginary. The questions should be starred accurately so as to avoid bias. When questions are biased the respondents may not give the correct information but rather give the information they feel the researcher is interested in. the researchers should be careful of their own biases.
Caution should be exercised when asking personal questions that respondents may have reservations about. They should be framed politely taking into consideration the feeling of the respondents about the issue being captured. The respondents may pull out of the survey if caution is not exercised and this will be a disadvantage to the researcher.
Questions should not be crowded with many ideas. Instead every question should carry only one idea as it eases analysis of the information. It is much easier to analyze the data if each question assesses one objective of the survey. It in turn helps the researcher to know whether the objectives of the survey have been met.
Instructions for administering, scoring, and interpreting an attitude survey
The survey should be administered to individuals through face to face interview. Face to face interview was selected as tool for collecting data because most single mothers on welfare are relatively poor and may lack basic education on use of computers and hence computer based tools could not be used. The interviewers will have to be trained in order to achieve standardized administration of the survey. However, it is important that the survey items be tried out on different races such as African American, Hispanic, Mexican American, Native Indians, and white Americans scores tabulated in advance. The survey will use “Likert scale” in scaling responses given by interviewees (Author, 2004 p.160). This means that the items of every construct were pre-determined and scores for both positive and negative responses determined. These scores will act as a way to change the raw scores that will be gathered when the test is truly distributed on a large scale to normed scores, which are more practicable for interpretation. For example, in case of a general tendency to score a single item extremely negative, then the crude scores of the actual test can be intermediated to take into account this tendency. For the purposes of a general attitude survey negative scores will be interpreted as negative perceptions and thoughts about single mothers on welfare and positive scores the verse versa.
In sum, the survey was administered to individuals through face to face interviews whereby the interviewers were trained in order to standardize the administration procedure. Likert scale was used to score respondents responses and hence helping in interpreting their perceptions and expectations. The purpose of the survey was to ascertain the perceptions and expectations of single mothers on welfare.
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