Social support needs of single mothers in low-income urban communities

Makhumalo, Onneetse Kym (2015-12)

Thesis (M Social Work)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Poverty in Botswana is a challenge for female headed households who have been identified as one of the groups that has been highly affected. Whereas poverty is dominant in the rural areas there has been an increasing record of urban poverty which has been attributed to urbanisation and the subsequent rural to urban migration. The poor in urban areas tend to stay in low income urban areas due to their limited choices brought about by lack of resources. The quality of the environment one stays in has been linked to varying outcomes for different people. Those who stay in disadvantaged environments may find themselves socially isolated from other neighbourhoods, lacking social services and besieged with a number of challenges common with poor neighbourhoods such as high crime rates and lack of job opportunities. Single mothers living in low income urban communities are also confronted with these challenges as well as those associated with parenting in poor communities. Social support has been identified as a stress buffer which can intervene and prevent situations from being appraised as stressful or lessen the impact of stress on individuals.The aim of this study was therefore, to gain a deeper understanding of the social support needs of single mothers living in low income urban communities. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches were used in this study. Exploratory and descriptive research designs were further utilised in this study in order to explore the subject in an in-depth manner and to provide a detailed description of the phenomena being studied. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data from single mothers staying in Old Naledi, a low income urban community in Gaborone, Botswana. The development of the interview guide was informed by the literature review. Individual interviews were conducted with the single mothers. The main findings of the study indicate that single mothers in Old Naledi are faced with stressors such as neighbourhood, parenthood, poverty, crime and criminal activities, illness and death. These stressors had negative emotional and material effects on the single mothers. The findings further reveal that single mothers had emotional, instrumental and informational and appraisal needs. At the microsystem level these social support needs were provided for by their families who were the biggest providers of social support to single mothers; their neighbours, friends and their social groups. At the macrosystem level the single mothers got most of the social support from government while non-governmental organisation provided the least social support to single mothers in Old Naledi. The conclusions of the study indicate that there is need to support families in their efforts to provide social support to their needy family members. There is also a need to assess the social support needs of single mothers in Botswana against the social support provided at the macrosystems level. Given the socio-economic profile of these mothers there is a need to make bold investments in these mothers and their families in order to help them break out of the circle of poverty they and their children could be facing.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Armoede in Botswana is ʼn uitdaging vir huishoudings met vroue aan die hoof, wat as een van die groepe geïdentifiseer is wat tot ʼn groot mate daardeur geraak word. Alhoewel armoede oorwegend in die landelike gebiede is, is daar ʼn toenemende voorkoms van stedelike armoede, wat toegeskryf word aan verstedeliking en die gevolglike landelike na stedelike migrasie. Die armes in stedelike gebiede bly hoofsaaklik in laeinkomste- stedelike gebiede weens hul beperkte keuses as gevolg van ʼn gebrek aan hulpbronne. Die gehalte van die omgewing waarin ʼn mens woon, word aan wisselende uitkomste vir verskillende mense gekoppel. Diegene wat in benadeelde omgewings woon, bevind hulself moontlik sosiaal afgesonderd van ander buurte, ervaar ʼn gebrek aan maatskaplike dienste en gaan gebuk onder etlike uitdagings wat algemeen in arm buurte is, soos hoë misdaadsyfers en ʼn gebrek aan werksgeleenthede. Enkelmoeders wat in laeinkomste- stedelike gemeenskappe woon, ervaar ook hierdie uitdagings, asook dié wat met ouerskap in arm gemeenskappe gepaard gaan. Sosiale ondersteuning is geïdentifiseer as ʼn stresbuffer wat kan ingryp en kan voorkom dat situasies as stresvol beskou word, of die impak van stres op individue kan verminder. Die doel van hierdie studie was dus om beter begrip te verkry van enkelmoeders se behoeftes aan sosiale ondersteuning in laeinkomste- stedelike gemeenskappe. ʼn Kombinasie van kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenaderings is in die studie gebruik. Verkennende en beskrywende navorsingsontwerpe is voorts in hierdie studie gebruik om die onderwerp in diepte te bestudeer en ʼn gedetailleerde beskrywing te bied van die verskynsel wat bestudeer is. ʼn Semigestruktureerde onderhoudgids is gebruik om data in te samel van enkelmoeders woonagtig in Old Naledi, ʼn laeinkomste- stedelike gemeenskap in Gaborone, Botswana. Die ontwikkeling van die onderhoudgids is deur die literatuuroorsig gerig. Individuele onderhoude is met die enkelmoeders gevoer. Die vernaamste bevindinge van die studie toon dat enkelmoeders in Old Naledi voor stressors soos die buurt, ouerskap, armoede, misdaad en kriminele aktiwiteite, siekte en dood te staan kom. Hierdie stressors hou negatiewe emosionele en wesenlike gevolge vir die enkelmoeders in. Die bevindinge toon voorts dat enkelmoeders emosionele, bemiddelings-, inligtings- en beoordelingsbehoeftes het. Op die mikrostelselvlak voorsien hul families, as die grootste verskaffers van sosiale ondersteuning aan enkelmoeders, in hierdie behoeftes aan sosiale ondersteuning, asook hul buurte, vriende en sosiale groepe. Op die makrostelselvlak ontvang die enkelmoeders die meeste van hul sosiale ondersteuning van die regering, terwyl nieregeringsorganisasies die minste sosiale ondersteuning aan enkelmoeders in Old Naledi bied. Die gevolgtrekkings van die studie is dat daar ʼn behoefte is aan ondersteuning aan families in hul pogings om sosiale ondersteuning aan hul behoeftige familielede te verskaf. Dit is ook nodig om enkelmoeders in Botswana se behoeftes aan sosiale ondersteuning te assesseer teenoor die sosiale ondersteuning wat op die makrostelselvlak verskaf word. Gegewe die sosio-ekonomiese profiel van hierdie moeders is dit nodig om groot beleggings in hierdie moeders en hul families te maak om hulle te help om uit die kringloop van armoede waarvoor hulle en hul kinders te staan kan kom, te ontsnap.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98061
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