This study sought to explore legislators perspectives about causes of poverty. Members of the Georgia General Assembly rated the importance of 10 behavioral and structural explanations of poverty, and indicated whether they thought poor women and children would be better served under AFDC or TANF. Whereas all groups of legislators found behavioral explanations moderately important, there was significant variation by race, gender, and political party about the importance of structural explanations of poverty. Support for several structural explanations of poverty correlated with a preference for AFDC, but no correlations were found with behavioral explanations. This study holds implications for affecting future debates about TANF.

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