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ERIC Number: ED519140
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 120
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-0534-2
Experiences of the Single Low-Income African American Mothers in Their Maternal Protective Role
Ivory, Shirley Clark
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati
This study was an IRB approved qualitative investigation of experiences of the single low-income African American mothers in their maternal protective role. In-depth interviews and a focus group were conducted with 13 single-low income women who met the criteria for participation in the study, in an effort to understand the social context in which African American single low-income mothers live when developing and implementing parenting. Data from these interviews were examined with the intent of discerning patterns and themes that might explain which factors had the greatest impact on family interactions to inform research on the dimensions of family functioning for low-income African American single mothers. The findings of this study indicate that there were clusters of patterns and themes depending upon such factors as education, financial support, community outreach programs, self- actualization, childhood experiences, and making the transition to motherhood. In addition, study findings indicated that financial support and community outreach programs were critical during the initial years of transition into motherhood, and continuing support from family members, particularly maternal grandmothers as well as the fathers of the children influenced these mothers' role in family functioning. The numerous factors disclosed by these study participants as imperative to the understanding of their experiences as mothers included feeling of isolation, poor relationships with the fathers of the children, desperate financial needs, lack of appropriate support by social service agencies, accepting the limitations involved in single parenting, understanding, and possessing a strong commitment to the role of family functioning. These findings were compared with the existing literature on single low-income African American mothers as well as social stress and the family in an effort to establish more firmly a conceptual framework regarding the factors that influence their parental effectiveness. Implications of these findings suggest that there are holes in the range of existing research concerning this population of women. This study sought to determine the parental effectiveness of low income, single, African American mothers. Although other researchers had approached the same population, they compared the skills such mothers had with the skills possessed by mothers in two parent homes. In this unfair comparison, the African American mothers appeared to be less effective parents. This study found that such a conclusion overstates the case. Nonetheless, the results do suggest that some of the single African American mothers could profit from family skill training and social services programs designed to improve their maternal protective relationships. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A