Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Hashim Gibrill, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William H. Boone, Ph.D.


This study examines the relationship between the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and black marriage rates at the federal level and in Mississippi and Michigan. This study was based on the premise that the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 negatively influenced black marriage rates over time. A case study analysis approach was used to analyze data gathered on welfare reform for Mississippi, Michigan and the federal level. The researcher found that overall, the goals of welfare reform were largely unmet. The conclusions drawn from the findings suggest that welfare reform failed because the policy was poorly written.