Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The main purpose of the study was to describe the attitudes and aspirations of low-income families in North Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Personal interviews were conducted to collect data from 100 heads of households. The sample was comprised of 98 women and 2 men who were living in low-income housing projects and areas surrounding housing projects. One-way analysis of variance was used to examine the relationships between mean attitude scores and selected variables. Frequencies and percentages were also utilized to show the distributions of responses. Analysis of the data indicated that marital status, level of education, and extent of employment were associated with the subjects' attitude toward life. Other major findings of the study revealed that a majority of the subjects did not perceive themselves as being poor. Fifty-five percent had a positive outlook on life. Their greatest aspirations were for material things (house, things for their children, automobile), health, happiness, staying alive, a high paying job and a college education, respectively. Money, job, education, not trying harder and babysitting problems were identified as the major barriers to the fulfillment of their aspirations. Their children and self (being healthy and happy) were the main things they were satisfied with in life. Other significant findings indicated that the subjects were not poor by choice, nor were they content with their economic deprivation. Forty-six percent depended on governmental assistance. The majority were not fully satisfied with their income and preferred to work. They recognized the role of the government in providing professional jobs/job training, a college education and willingness of some poor to try harder, as escape routes from poverty. The poor may differ from others with regard to their priorities and decisions they make, but they are very similar in terms of their needs and wants. They have a strong sense of individuality, desire for love and have the readiness and desire to carry on despite their economic deprivation.