Gary R. Smith

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Educational Leadership


This Thesis was an examination of those persons receiving that form of assistanco known as general assistance in terms of the concepts of anomie and social participation. Tho act of receiving general assistanco was presented as a behavioral response contrary to the normative expectations of tho American society. It was hypothesized that general assistanco recipients are more anomic and participate less in society than those low income person not seeking or receiving welfare assistance. It was further hypothesized that chronic general assistance recipients are more anomic and participate loss in society than those recipients relatively loss relient upon assistance.

A total sample of general assistance recipients was taken from the files of tho Walsh County Welfare Board. This group was further classified as to the chronicity of their rocipioncy. A sample of low income non-general assistanco subjects was obtained through the Walsh County tax records. A total of 38 general assistanco and 39 non-goneral assistance subjects responded to tho study.

Tho instruments used in testing tho hypotheses were an expanded version of tho Srolo Anomia Scale, tho Chapin Social Participation Scale and an original scale designed to measure informal social participation. The "t" statistic was used to determine tho significance of differences between mean scalo scores obtained by tho study populations.

General statistical support was obtained for tho hypotheses stating that general assistance recipients aro more anemic and participate loss in society than non-general assistance recipients. Statistical significance was not reached, however, relative to the hypotheses stating that chronic general assistanco recipients aro moro anomic and participate loss than non-chronic general assistanco recipients. Of tho population variables used as controls, thoso of income, age and education wore tho most significant.