Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Occupational training -- Oregon -- Clackamas County, Occupational trainin -- Oregon -- Marion County, Families -- Oregon -- Clackamas County, Families -- Oregon -- Marion County



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, vi, 87 leaves)


This was an exploratory study of some of the relationships between a Community Work and Training Program and the family functioning of certain participants in that program. The CWT projects studied were those operated by the Public Welfare Departments of Clackamas and Marion Counties, Oregon during the three –year span between January 1, 1965 and December 31, 1967. Participants' names were randomly selected from the records of the two welfare offices and the respondents interviewed during the summer of 1968. A questionnaire was developed which consisted of twenty primarily open-ended questions and this was administered to a total of sixty couples. The questions focused on changes in parental, child, financial, marital and social functioning which occurred during the time the husband participated in the work training project. To identify these changes a list was drawn up of fourteen indices of family functioning and these indices were later categorized under two general headings, external and internal to the family. The basic hypothesis was that the CWT Program contributed to positive family functioning. This was expanded into a guiding hypothesis which stated that family functioning is improved through participation in the CWT Program and that this improvement is associated with the program, work itself and the social work services provided by the welfare departments. To determine the validity of these hypotheses a number of null hypotheses were then advanced and tested. The findings of the study were as follows. Internal family functioning was improved during participation on CWT and this improvement affected the total family unit. External functioning, however, deteriorated and this was attributed to the reduced income resulting from the families’ dependence for support upon Public Welfare. The improved internal functioning was associated with the social work services provided and with the work itself. This improvement was evident despite the reported failure of the program to meet the two most important expectations of the participants, namely material benefits and vocational training. The most important limitations noted in the research were two. The first was the lapse of time which occurred between the interviews and the period when many of the participants actually worked on the program. Inevitably, such lapse of time had some effect on respondents’ recall. Second in importance in considering the possible application of the findings was the fact that some 15.58% of the respondents from Marion County were Spanish-Americans. This minority group would conceivably not be representative of another area. Among the program’s negative features mentioned by participants was the lack of choice available in job assignment and the inadequate compensation for performance on the job. Despite these, however, the overall conclusion reached by the research group was that participants in the CWT projects saw the program as beneficial in helping to maintain family life.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

Persistent Identifier