A study of self concept in women as heads of one-parent families

Newlands, Elizabeth Anne (1978) A study of self concept in women as heads of one-parent families. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to discover what effect the one-parent family situation had on the self concept of women who were one-parent family heads. -- Information for the study was obtained from a random sample of single female parents, and a comparison group of randomly sampled married women. A measure of the self concept of the subjects was obtained from an analysis of their responses to questions about the amount of satisfaction they felt with the performance of selected family roles. An assumption was made that the state of the self concept is affected by what is done and how it is done in carrying out roles. The roles used were based on the usual activities of housewives and mothers in their family lives, and included providing for the family income, housekeeping, child raising, recreational activities, the sexual role, and a role involving giving and receiving emotional support with an adult of the opposite sex. -- A review of the literature on one-parent families revealed that in general they tended to suffer from deprivation in several areas - financial, social and emotional, and that women were more affected than men. Therefore it was deduced that one-parent families, especially those headed by women, would tend to show the effects of this deprivation in their family lives, and this deduction led to the development of a central proposition on which this thesis was based, and to the generation of eighteen hypotheses testing each family role. The central proposition stated that women who were heads of single parent families would feel less satisfaction with the performance of their family roles than married women, and this proposition was confirmed by the results of the study which showed statistically significant differences between the responses of single parents and dual parents in most of the hypotheses tested. -- The general conclusion drawn from the results of the study was that single parent women felt less satisfied with their family lives than married women, and by inference had a low opinion of themselves as adequate people. -- Since these findings are relevant to a significant proportion of the population, it was recommended that a more complete program of social services should be developed for single parents - a program that would take emotional factors into account as well as providing for material needs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5941
Item ID: 5941
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 103-111.
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: August 1978
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Single parents; Single-parent families

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