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The relationship between self-efficacy and locus of control and employment duration of women on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Dawn Samuel Dublin
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to explore whether self-efficacy and locus of control were related to employment duration of women on TANF. Bandura's self-efficacy theory and Rotter's locus of control theory were used to examine if these women on TANF remained employed for a period of 12 months. Data from a sample of 92 women on TANF were collected and a hypothesis as to whether self-efficacy and an internal locus of control contributed to employment duration was tested. The findings of the study were as follows: There was a significant positive correlation between self-efficacy and employment duration; significant negative correlation between locus of control and employment duration and a significant negative relationship between self-efficacy and locus of control. It suggested that longer employment is correlated with high self-efficacy and an internal locus of control. These findings suggest that specific programs and policies may help women on TANF maintain job stability.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements i Abstract ii List of Tables iii Chapter 1. Focus of Inquiry 1 Barriers to Employment 2 2. Conceptual and Theoretical Frame Work 10 Self-efficacy 11 Locus of Control 15 3. Literature Review 18 Self-efficacy Research 18 Locus of Control Research 22 Self-efficacy and Locus of Control Research 26 Research Question 28 Hypotheses 29 4. Methodology 30 Definitions of Variables 30 Sample 31 Measures 34 Data Analysis 38 Ethical Considerations 39 IV

5. Findings 40 Demographic Characteristics 41 Frequency Distribution 43 Univariate Analysis 44 Bivariate Analysis 44 Means of self-efficacy, locus of control and employment (t-test) 46 Summary of Findings 47 6. Discussion 49 Implication for Theory 55 Implication for Practice 56 Implication for Social Work Education 57 Implication for Policy 58 Implication for Future Research 59 Study Limitation 60 Conclusion 61 References 63 Appendices 84 v

APPENDICES Appendix A: Letter of Introduction 84 Appendix B: Informed Consent Form 85 Appendix C: Self-Efficacy Scale 87 Appendix D: Locus of Control Scale 90 Appendix E: Demographic Questionnaire 93 Appendix F. Flyer 96 VI

Chapter One FOCUS OF INQUIRY This study examined the relationship between self-efficacy and locus of control and employment duration of women on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Current changes in social welfare policy, such as strictly forcing welfare recipients to engage in some type of work or training program have created an interest in the factors that might affect a recipient's ability to leave welfare (Kunz & Kalil, 1999). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 (P.L.I04-193) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) entitlement program with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). TANF provided states with block grants and considerable flexibility in designing their welfare programs and an incentive for states to reduce their welfare case loads. Many states replaced voluntary welfare-to-work programs that emphasized education and training with mandatory programs that stressed quick employment (Danziger, Sandefur & Weinberg, 1999). Under these new rules, TANF required 25% of mothers on each state's caseload to be working by 1997, and by 2002 this number must double to 50% (Edin & Lein 1996). The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act mandated work, which meant that within two years of entrance into the program, welfare recipients are required to work, and it placed a five-year lifetime limit on receipt of benefits. TANF was viewed as the avenue to self-sufficiency, and therefore recipients were encouraged to move as quickly as possible from welfare into employment (Boushey, 2000; Zuckerman & Kalil, 2000). Upon receipt of welfare, most recipients must find employment 1

within a short period of time or engage in some type of community service. Recipients, who do not obtain employment, must participate in community service or risk being sanctioned. Individuals and families who are non-compliant with welfare regulations could risk losing their benefits or having their case closed (Kalil, Seefeldt & Wang, 2002). Maintaining employment has real implications for welfare recipients, especially single women with children. This means that they must balance all of their familial responsibility with their job responsibility (Boushey, 2002). Employment duration depends on whether recipients have access to safe and affordable child care, transportation and health care insurance which are just a few of the barriers that may impede successful employment duration. Barriers to Employment Duration The existing welfare policies as well as the job programs focus on socio-economic or external factors that interfere with employment of the welfare recipient and her becoming self- sufficient which means being off the welfare rolls. Accordingly, factors such as childcare, transportation, health care insurance, wage levels and availability of jobs are some of the barriers to a recipient's ability to hold on to her job that are of concern (Repetto, 2002; Sanchez, Peng & Shen, 2002; Flecher, Garasky & Jensen, 2000). In order to function successfully at their jobs, and remain employed a working parent needs access to safe and affordable childcare. Child care is frequently cited as the primary barrier to employment duration (Flecher, Garasky & Jensen, 2002; Sanchez, Peng & Shen 2002). Indeed, having access to safe and affordable childcare is critical, especially for low-income mothers who desire to stay employed. Child care costs range from 13% to 29% of a basic family budget for a single parent family with one child (Boushey, 2002), and because these families have limited income they are unable to 2

afford the high cost; therefore responsibilities related to child care become a critical barrier to moving into the labor force. However, there is subsidized child care for low-income parent that is meant to further their work efforts. According to Boushey (2002) receiving a subsidy for child care promotes longer employment duration regardless of marital status or educational attainment. In the end, access to child care matters. Transportation is another frequently cited barrier that may put an end to welfare recipients' employment (Johnson & Meckstroth, 1998). Low-income households have low rates of automobile ownership. Not having access to a car, most welfare recipients have to depend upon public transportation, which limits their ability to get jobs that are not accessible by public transportation. Transitional Medicaid assistance plays an important role in helping individuals, who are often in low-wage jobs, move from cash assistance to employment. It offers welfare recipients moving from cash assistance to employment the opportunity to maintain Medicaid coverage up to 1 year. However, those recipients who are non-compliant with the program work requirements are sanctioned and as a result are unable to maintain Medicaid coverage. Mental and Physical Health Problems are other factors that affect the extent to which recipients find and keep employment (Lee & Vinokur, 2007). Prior studies suggest that women receiving welfare may manifest more symptoms of distress and lower self-efficacy and self- esteem than woman who are not on welfare (Berlin & Jones, 1983; Garfinkel & McClanahan, 1986). Women who reported physical, mental and child health problems worked fewer months, and have more difficulty remaining employed (Corcoran, Danziger & Tolman, 2003; Loprest & Zedlewski, 2006). For single parents whose earning capacities are already weak, the prospect 3

of providing stable income for their families is further limited by health and other barriers to employment duration (Loprest, 2002; Holzer & Martinson, 2005). TANF Women and Work. Access to the kinds of jobs that allow women on TANF to balance their familial work responsibilities can make the difference between keeping a job and not (Boushey, 2000; Lee & Vinokur, 2008). Given that the goal of welfare policy is to facilitate economic self- sufficiency by maintaining job stability, there is surprisingly little analysis of the ability of women and children to move out of poverty and become economically self-sufficient through long term employment (Meyer & Cancian, 1996). Many of the women on welfare influenced by this policy have low education, little or no job skill, earn relatively low wages and have limited prospects for advancement. Kneipp (2000) found that the majority of women cycling out of TANF find jobs that do not increase income or provide fringe benefits and do not foster a sense of personal satisfaction or job satisfaction. Losing a job is the most common reason for returning to welfare, and for many women, the path from welfare to work amounts to unstable employment, low wages that contribute to persistent poverty and high rates of going back on the welfare rolls (Kneipp, 2000). The majority of women on TANF are single mothers so that any job that they find must allow them to balance their familial responsibilities along with their jobs (Boushey, 2002). Most of the jobs available to these women are in the service sector (Brown, Gonzglass, & Golonka, 1998). Gender segregation and general biases have created what Piven & Cloward (1993) called a "vast new service proletariat" and "an army of low-wage workers who cook, serve and clean for others, but who often don't make enough to feed their own families" (p.362). Wage and Retention. As a group, welfare recipients tend to have low wages and low retention rates, and often are unable to maintain long-term employment (Anderson, & Gryzlak, 4

2002). The annual earnings and income among welfare recipients remain quite low. For example, Acs & Loprest (2004) found that among those leaving welfare, average earnings remain below $3,000 per quarter and below $10,000 per year. Employment duration is also referred to in the literature as job retention or sustained employment (MorBarak, Nissly, & Levin, 2001). Job turnover (Blau, 1987; Hershey & Pavetti, 1997) has been noted as a particular problem for specific groups of less skilled workers and for those who lack a high school diploma (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003). For example, a five-year National Evaluation of Welfare to Work Strategies (NEWWS) conducted by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services indicated that a large majority of former and current welfare recipients experience some time without work. Researchers such as Gottschalk (2003), Hamilton (2002) and Hershey & Pavetiti (1997) found that among welfare recipients who entered the job market in the 1980s and 1990s, job loss occurred within nine months or less. Other research has similarly shown that welfare recipients' employment is sometimes short lived. In Oregon, 35% of welfare recipients who left the welfare rolls returned after 18 months. In Maryland, 19% returned to welfare within three months and 23% within 12 months (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003). In a national survey of those who left welfare between 2000 and 2002, 25% were back on welfare in 2002 (Loprest, 2002). What has been seen throughout various studies is that most of the women on TANF are not prepared sufficiently to go out and get a job and/or remain employed (Boushey, 2002). The future success of welfare reform also depends on the availability of jobs (Bartik, 2000). Even when the economy was booming, not everyone who was potentially employable would get jobs. To reach all welfare recipients who are potentially employable requires a variety of approaches. This should include sectoral strategies as well as efforts to build career ladders 5

and improve employer human resource policies including recruitment, training and compensations of employees in low wage labor markets. Effective intermediaries, informed by strong labor market data may be critical to these efforts as well. A range of supportive public policies including higher minimum wages, greater support for collective bargaining, tax credit for companies that provide more training or advancement opportunities to low earners that improve employment retention (Bartik, 2000). These could be part of a comprehensive effort to broadly encourage the formation of more jobs at firms that offer higher wages and advancement opportunity for less educated workers. Availability of jobs is crucial to helping welfare recipients get employed in order for them to balance their familial and work responsibilities. In summary, a diverse set of socio-economic factors have been identified as potential barriers to employment for welfare recipients, as listed above. However, there are other potential barriers, such as psychological factors that may impede a welfare recipient gaining and maintaining employment. Personality Variables. With many reasons given for the decline in welfare caseloads and leaving welfare, Herr & Wagner (2003) suggest that most do not capture the psychological, motivational or situational characteristics of these women on welfare. The literature reveals that self-efficacy and locus of control are two variables that assist persons with gaining and maintaining employment (Holzer & Lalonde, 2000; Martinson, 2000; Jayaratne, Chess, Norlin & Bryan, 1980; Eden & Aviran, 1992). Self-efficacy theory is a person's belief and confidence in his or her capability to perform a given task (Bandura, 1997). It is formed by an individual's assessment of the availability of resources and constraints, both personal and situational, which may affect future performances (Bandura, 1997). Beliefs in personal efficacy affect life choices, level of motivation, quality of 6

functioning, resilience to adversity and vulnerability to stress and depression (Bandura, 1994). Research has shown that self-efficacy is linked to employment and that it is acquired through the development of complex, cognitive, social and or physical skills that are obtained through experience (Bandura, 1986). For instance, when a person is unemployed his or her self-efficacy and self-esteem declines (Eden & Aviram, 1992; Jahoda, 1982; Kelvin & Jarret, 1985; Shamir, 1986), and finding a job serves a restorative function, enabling self-efficacy to rebound (Eden & Aviram, 1992; Ellis & Taylor, 1983). Rotter's (1966) locus of control theory focuses on beliefs that individuals hold regarding relationships between actions and outcomes. This theory explains the extent to which individuals believe that their life is controlled by either external factors such as fate or luck or internal factors which are the choices that an individual make resulting from their own action (Taylor & Brown, 1998). For example, if someone feels that she is in control of what happens, then she has an internal locus of control. Generally stated, persons with a strong belief in internal control are more confident and assertive, are active searchers for information that will help them to achieve their own objectives, and are attracted to situations that offer opportunities of achievement (Bush, 1988). In contrast, if someone feels that fate, luck, or chance affects what happens to him or her then he or she has an external locus of control. Externally controlled persons see that reinforcement does not come from their own behaviors but from events that are beyond their reach. They see themselves as possible victims of circumstances beyond their control, and feel that success and failure in a job depends on outside forces (Bush, 1988). According to Taylor & Brown (1998), the way individuals interpret events has an effect on their psychological well being. Individuals who believe that they have control over future events will attempt to exert that control in order to achieve a positive outcome. For example, 7

persons make decisions and initiate actions for accomplishing their goals based on strong beliefs of becoming employed (self-efficacy) and expectations regarding outcomes such a staying employed (locus of control). Bandura (1997) posited that the key factor of human agency was one's belief of personal efficacy and Eden & Aviran (1993) suggests that individual's who felt efficacious and expected to do well, would intensify their effort and persist in the face of long odds and set backs (Eden & Aviran, 1993). Several investigators (Mobley, 1982; Mobley, Griffith, Hand & Meglino, 1979; Dalton & Todor, 1979) have hinted that personality variables and/or other "soft skills" may be useful to understand employment duration. Withorn (1996) contended that policies based on quick exits from welfare to work that do not take psychosocial factors into account would not succeed in ensuring women's economic independence. Self-efficacy and locus of control are two useful concepts for exploring underlying factors of an individual's ability to obtain employment and remain employed. Leftcourt (1982) reported that an individual with an internal locus of control sees their own actions affecting the events in their lives so they look within themselves to determine a course of action, while individuals with an external locus of control focus on outside influences such as the environment or luck. While an individual with an internal locus of control would typically shift their expectations following failures or success, an individual with an external locus of control would feel that they had no control over life events. Hence, self-efficacy has a significant impact on Rotter's (1966) locus of control and how individuals' expectations shape the goals they perceive for themselves. Individuals with these characteristics accept responsibility for events in their lives, yet studies have not been done on both self-efficacy and locus of control and employment duration of women on TANF. Therefore, if self-efficacy and 8

locus of control are found to be associated with employment duration of women on TANF, then it may help to identify those at risk, provide a basis of focused intervention to promote employment duration and serve as a foundation for further research. Finally, assisting the women on TANF who continue to experience barriers such as transportation, lack of health care and job availability to maintain job stability is important because helping recipients maintain employment reduces their reliance on government support. However, the focus of this current study is to explore the potential contribution of psychological factors to the difficulties of this population. By determining whether self-efficacy and locus of control are correlated with the ability of women on TANF to sustain employment, the understanding of how these variables influence their employment outcome may be broadened. 9

Chapter Two CONCEPTUAL & THEORETICAL FRAME WORK The current study explores the relationship between self-efficacy and locus of control and employment duration of women on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Self- efficacy is a construct based on cognitive and behavioral concepts that Bandura (1977) describes as an individual's perception of his or her skills/abilities and whether the skills/abilities produce effective and competent action. Locus of control refers to one's belief in his or her abilities to control life events. While self-efficacy focuses on the perception of ability to act competently and effectively, locus of control focuses on the perception of control (Bandura, 1977). Researchers and practitioners have commented on the low sense of self-efficacy common to many welfare recipients as a characteristic that perhaps contributes to their going on welfare in the first place (Martinson, 2000; Hamilton, 2002; Hotz, Mullin & Scholz, 2002). Various studies have demonstrated that self-efficacy may have a direct effect on several aspects of an individual's lives and research supports the idea that a high level of self-efficacy leads to accepting a challenging goal and a firm commitment to achieving those goals (Bandura, 1989, Mullin & Scholz, 2002). Research surrounding welfare to work recipients suggests a number of potential factors that mediate welfare dependency ranging from a person's employment barriers to their psychological well-being (Martinson, 2000; Hamilton, 2002). For that reason, determining if self-efficacy and locus of control are associated with employment duration in a designated population may identify a mechanism for identifying those women on TANF who are at risk of unsuccessful employment and may thus point to directions for getting and keeping work. 10

Self-efficacy Belief The concept of self-efficacy, introduced and developed by Albert Bandura (1977), is based on a portion of social cognitive theory, which states that an individual acts based on multiple influences from both the internal and external world. "Perceived self-efficacy concerns people's beliefs in their capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources and courses of action needed to exercise control over events in their lives" (Woods & Bandura, 1989, p.364). Self efficacy beliefs provide the foundation for human motivation, well-being, and personal accomplishment and this is because unless people believe that their actions can produce the outcomes they desire, they have little incentive to act or to persevere in face of difficulties. Bandura states, "An efficacy expectation is the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcomes" (Bandura, 1977, p. 193). For instance, efficacy expectations have an effect on one's choice of settings, behaviors and persistence (Bandura, 1997). Those individuals with low levels of efficacy expectations will likely avoid situations in which they feel unable to cope and will tend to seek out situations which they feel that they will be able to handle. Conversely, individuals with high levels of efficacy expectations will be more likely to persist with behaviors when they become difficult and will therefore be more likely to execute the behavior successfully which in turn increases their efficacy expectations even more (Bandura, 1998). According to (Bandura, 1997) there are four main sources of self-efficacy: Mastery Experience, Vicarious Experience, Social Persuasion and Physiological and Affective states that reduce stress reaction. 11

Mastery Experience Bandura (1997) believes that the most effective way to create a strong sense of efficacy is through mastery experience. Mastery experience refers to knowledge and skill gained through experience and perseverance. In order for self-efficacy to be gained, some failures must be experienced. If persons are successful in any endeavor undertaken, they will build a strong belief in their personal efficacy. On the other hand, failures will undermine it, especially if failures occur before a sense of efficacy is fully established (Bandura, 1982; Schunk, 1984; Pajares, 1996). Progressive mastery has been shown to enhance feelings of self-efficacy, improve analytic thinking, goal setting and performance (Bandura & Jourden, 1991). However, if success comes too easily, then it is likely that the individual feels less sense of accomplishment, will come to expect quick results and may be easily discouraged by failure (Bandura, 1982). Thus, in order for a strong sense of efficacy to be gained, some failures must be experienced (Bandura, 1986; Lent & Larkin, 1989). To increase self-efficacy belief one must understand how people come to perceive themselves as being able to perform a specific desired behavior (Furstenberg & Rounds 1995). Seeing others perform successfully can persuade observers that they too can carry out a particular behavior. This concept of mastery experience can be relevant to this study. For example, a woman on TANF taking a Home Health Aid course is having difficulty learning to take a good blood pressure reading and reporting the result. Instead of believing that through observation and with practice she could eventually master the technique, and that there are other people in the class who also had not mastered the skill, she dropped out because she stopped believing in her ability to master the task at hand. When small failures are encountered, the individual has the opportunity to make adjustments to actions taken and exercise better control 12

over what is taking place (Bandura, 1997). Whether success or failure occurs is less important than how the individual perceives the significance of the events and the individual's overall competence (Bandura, 1982). Mastery experience has been found to be the most influential source of self-efficacy, leading to stronger and more generalized feelings of self-efficacy than that which relies exclusively on the other three sources of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997) which are described below. Vicarious Experience Vicarious experience or social modeling is a second way of enhancing self-beliefs of efficacy (Bandura, 1997). It refers to the experiences of others used as a model and as a level of comparison as to what skills are necessary to complete a task (Bandura, 1997). This may involve observing other people similar to themselves who is proficient at a task and gauging whether one possesses the potential and perseverance to attain the same or a higher level of skill. There are many factors associated with how important vicarious experience is as a source of self-efficacy, including the level of skill at the time that modeling is observed and similarities between the individual and the person who is serving as the model. Individuals who participate frequently in activities with similar others help them to make the connection that if someone like them can obtain a goal they can achieve the goal as well. By the same token, observing others fail lowers observers' judgment of their own efficacy and undermines their level of motivation. (Bandura, 1997) considers similarity to be the linchpin of social modeling and according to Schunk (1999) social modeling is important in creating outcome expectations, as behaviors that result in reward are more likely to be replicated by the observer than those that result in punishment. 13

It has also been shown that observing an individual who must cope with difficulties prior to experiencing success is more effective in increasing self-efficacy than observing an individual who is able to master the activity with little struggle (Bandura, 1997). How effective vicarious experience is in increasing feelings of self-efficacy is often linked to those who are similar to the observer in age, ethnicity educational and socioeconomic level (Bandura, 1997). Social Persuasion Social persuasion is the third approach that has been found to boost people's self-efficacy belief (Bandura, 1997). Social persuasion refers to efforts to convince a person that he or she is able to carry out a particular behavior. Although social persuasion is not the most crucial method in which self-efficacy is strengthened, it does make it easier for individuals to maintain perseverance and faith in themselves when experiencing feelings of self-doubt (Bandura, 1997). If social persuasion is to be effective, it should come from someone who the individual feels is a reliable source of feedback. Because an unrealistic boost in self-efficacy is disappointing, care must be taken to structure situations for people to be successful and to avoid placing them in situations that they are not ready to handle (Bandura, 1992). Bandura (1986) points out that even simple persuasion can boost a person's self- confidence sufficiently for her or him to initiate a behavior and to invest effort in it, which in turn promotes development of skills and a sense of personal efficacy. It is more difficult to instill strong beliefs of personal efficacy if people have not been persuaded that they have the capability or the potential to succeed (Bandura, 1997). People who have been persuaded that they lack capabilities tend to avoid challenging activities that can cultivate their potentialities, resulting in their giving up quickly in the face of difficulties (Bandura, 1995; Pajares, 2002). 14

Physiological and Affective States Controlling physiological and affective state is the fourth approach to strengthening a sense of self-efficacy belief. According to Bandura (1997) individuals should avoid stressful situations that will affect their emotional state, especially if their sense of personal self-efficacy is not intact. The interpretation of one's physiological symptoms, as opposed to the symptoms themselves, affects ones' self-efficacy (Bandura, 1997). For example, when past failures are remembered, the feelings associated with those events are often remembered and even re- experienced. This can have a direct effect on whether an individual is able to maintain feelings of motivation and perseverance in the face of obstacles and failure (Martinson, 2000). Therefore, the best way to enhance self-efficacy is to reduce stressful situations and negative thinking. Feelings of self-efficacy have been shown to have a significant effect on the level of motivation and amount of extended effort an individual demonstrates. High levels of self- efficacy are associated with an increased level of goal setting, which leads to a firmer commitment in achieving goals that have been set and greater resolve to persevere in the face of obstacles (Bandura, 1989). Locus of Control Locus of control, a personality construct derived from social learning theory focuses on beliefs that individuals hold regarding relationships between action and outcomes (Lefcourt, 1976, 1982; Rotter, 1966, 1990). In terms of personality types, it distinguishes between two common approaches that place the actual control either internally or externally. Individuals with 15

an internal locus of control perceive events as resulting from their own behavior, while individuals with an external locus of control perceive events as not resulting from their own behavior but from external factors such as fate, luck or societal factors that is beyond their control (Weiner, 1980). Lefcourt (1976) conceptualized perceived locus of control as "generalized expectancy for internal as opposed to external control of reinforcements" (p.27). Thus one can infer that individuals with an internal locus of control are more likely to attribute outcome to their ability (an internal cause) while individuals with an external locus of control are more likely to attribute their outcomes to environmental or societal factors. For example, a person with an internal locus of control will attribute the outcome of a failed task to poor preparation, while a person with an external locus of control will attribute the failure to circumstances beyond their control. This has obvious implications for differences between internals and externals in terms of their achievement and motivation. According to Rotter (1966) individuals with an internal locus of control are more likely to work for achievements, to tolerate delays in rewards and to plan for long-term goals, whereas externals are more likely to lower their goals. Research addressing locus of control suggests that individuals with an internal locus of control are more likely to perceive stress in daily work situations as controllable and externals are prone to perceive themselves as powerless to control their day-to-day life, attributing outcomes to poor personal relationships between them and their work colleagues (Spector & O'Connell, 1994; Srivastava & Sager, 1999). From a theoretical perspective, one would expect that individuals with an external locus of control do not believe that they control important aspects of their environment and in the case of employment would find the work environment to be more threatening and stressful than those 16

Full document contains 106 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore whether self-efficacy and locus of control were related to employment duration of women on TANF. Bandura's self-efficacy theory and Rotter's locus of control theory were used to examine if these women on TANF remained employed for a period of 12 months. Data from a sample of 92 women on TANF were collected and a hypothesis as to whether self-efficacy and an internal locus of control contributed to employment duration was tested. The findings of the study were as follows: There was a significant positive correlation between self-efficacy and employment duration; significant negative correlation between locus of control and employment duration and a significant negative relationship between self-efficacy and locus of control. It suggested that longer employment is correlated with high self-efficacy and an internal locus of control. These findings suggest that specific programs and policies may help women on TANF maintain job stability.