Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The objective of this thesis was to test whether undergraduate students support individualistic, structural or mixed explanations in explaining the causes of poverty and homelessness. The study was undertaken with the assumption that undergraduates would be more likely to use individualistic explanations, rather than structural, as previous poverty perceptional studies had found. A short questionnaire was administered in March and April 1994 to students in a mid-size Southern University. The final sample consisted of 299 students. Cross-tabular analysis, bivariate correlations, and multiple regression were used to analyze the data. Surprisingly, results indicated that students were more likely to support structural explanations for the causes of poverty and homelessness. Race and political identification proved to be the best sociodemographic indicators as to whether the students would support individualistic or structural explanations.



Included in

Sociology Commons