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Generational links in the poverty cycle : an analysis of the significance of selected variables, education, occupation and receipt of public assistance, seen as generational links in the low-income life style McCargar, Donamae A.

Abstract

This study is one of four research projects which examined the National Urban Low-Income Family Evaluation Study (NULIFE). Under the auspices of the Canada Welfare Council, NULIFE examined poverty in three urban areas of Canada. The purpose of this particular study was to examine the many factors which contribute to generational links in the poverty cycle in metropolitan areas across Canada. There is a vast range of literature and research reports available from the United States on the poverty cycle and its etiology but examination of the factors which followed a familiar pattern seem to occupy a secondary position. It is to be hoped, therefore, that this study will stimulate further enquiries in this area, as well as contribute to knowledge of poverty in Canada. Examination of the NULIFE data for generational links did not produce any radical conclusions. The research indicated that the selected variables education, occupation and welfare were pertinent to the inexorable process of poverty. They were examined in separate sections of the report from the point of view that low education, lack of job skills, and dependence on welfare are self-generating, and present the poor with barriers to economic betterment. This study theorized that these critical variables were closely interrelated. For example, education was related to lack of occupational skills, et cetera. Although it was found that the selected variables were contributors to generational links in the cycle of poverty, such conclusions could only be made tentatively, as the analysis lacked strength. It was therefore not possible to indicate causality as many other cultural determinants of poverty, such as attitudes, values, expectations et cetera, were not available to be tested.

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