Does Generation Affect Attitudes and Perceptions about Welfare?

Jonathan Holmes


This study measured twenty individuals (five participants from four different generations) to see if generational location had an effect on their attitudes and perceptions about the welfare state. The generations that were represented in the study were the Silent Generation (1925-1942), the Baby Boomers (1943-1960), Generation X (1961-1981), and the Millennial Generation (1982-2003). The questions were open-ended and set up as a semi- structured interview. The results showed that there were generational differences when naming particular welfare programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996; however, older adults still referred to the original as an example of a welfare program. In contrast, younger adults referred to the current as a program. A larger sample will strengthen the likelihood of finding more generational trends.


Generations; Welfare; Assistance; Government

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