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A Critical Analysis Of A Journal Article: Effects Of Welfare Reform On Illicit Drug Use Of Adult

1617 words - 7 pages

Considerable research has previously been conducted to analyze the effects welfare reform has had on its intended purposes such as employment, caseloads, or familial cohesion. And while there have been a few studies that examined the correlation between women receiving welfare and drug use, the effects of reform in regards to illicit drug use, specifically women, had not been previously evaluated. As legislation passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996, the intended objective was to place restrictions on welfare recipients by applying a 5 year life-time limit, felony drug conviction disqualifications, and move people off the welfare rolls and into the workforce. States were given more latitude in administering benefits to applicants and were allowed the flexibility to place additional and more stringent requirements than those of the federal government, so long as the requirements adhered to federal guidelines. The purpose of the research conducted by Corman, Dave, Das, & Reichman, 2013 was to establish whether or not the PRWORA of 1996 reduced or prevented drug use among adult women by means of exploratory research. Additionally, they sought to corroborate the theory of Katz (2001), included in this research study, who said “…proponents of welfare reform claimed that the “work first” regime would increase self-sufficiency and connect previously marginalized poor women to the mainstream, leading them to engage in more responsible, and less socially undesirable, behavior.” With partial funding for the study provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Corman et al (2013) initiated this study and hypothesized there would be a reduction in drug use among adult women by way of implementing sanctions in reform measures.
Methods
Corman et al (2013) stated “…welfare has the potential to increase, decrease, or not affect the use of illicit drugs by women potentially eligible for welfare”, and they set out to conduct an exploratory study to verify or discredit their hypothesis by utilizing multiple data sets, such as, public statistics and self-reported surveys to generate data on this previously untapped topic. The data used for this study was compiled by two self-reporting agencies, the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse and the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, who supplied socio-demographic information for the time periods of 1992 to 2002. This information was fundamental in identifying variables in the target groups; specifically, low educated unmarried women without children. Additionally, drug related data collected by government bureaus and emergency providers from 1992 to 2002 was instrumental in facilitating the researchers in gathering, interpreting, and summarizing the number of adult women who were arrested, incarcerated, or treated medically, as a direct result of drug-related incidents. The National Corrections Reporting Programs, the...

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