Self-efficacy and work-readiness of disadvantaged females
Anthony, Linette Deloatch
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The Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act (PRWORA, HR 3734), passed by the 104th U.S. Congress in 1996, replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF requires all welfare recipients, except the elderly and disabled, to enroll in a workforce welfare program after receiving government assistance for 24 months. The passage of PRWORA shifted the emphasis of federal policy away from cash assistance toward a Work First or employment approach. The Work First approach to welfare raises important training considerations that need to be addressed to better position TANF recipients for employment. Specifically, counselors responsible for training TANF recipients need to know what key factors are most important in identifying training participants’ job-readiness. Job-readiness as indicated by an individual’s ability to demonstrate the technical skills and interpersonal behavior necessary for employment (Overtoom, 2000). Using a correlational research design, the relationship of perceived employment self-efficacy and other selected factors to job-readiness for TANF recipients was examined. Based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory, a significant relationship between perceived employment self-efficacy and job-readiness was expected. Participants in this study were 94 female students enrolled in the New Connections to Work (NCTW) program. Results indicate a statistically significant relationship between perceived employment self-efficacy, education and job-readiness. Thus, training and counseling activities with disadvantaged females would be enhanced by including a measure of perceived employment self-efficacy to assess job-readiness.