Social support and family assets: the perceptions of low-income lone-mother families about support from home visitation

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Yanicki, Sharon M.
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Canadian Public Health Association
Background: Research on lone-mother families has commonly focussed on psychosocial risk factors and deficits rather than family assets (strengths and resiliency characteristics). The negative impacts of poverty and social isolation have been well documented. Home visitation programs provide formal support to overburdened families, yet little research has focussed on the meaning of support (e.g., formal and informal) from the perspective of families. Methods: This qualitative exploratory descriptive study was completed in southwestern Alberta, with a purposeful sample of 13 families (mean annual income of $15,423 and 2.1 children) using mixed measurement (clinical tools and 2 semi-structured interviews). Results: Similarities and differences in support and three lone-mother family structures were identified. A few lone-mother families described transformative experiences related to affirmative support from the home visitor. Not all families reported having ‘enough support’ to meet their needs. Sources of change in family assets included: a) support from the home visitor, b) ‘other supports’, or c) personal growth. On balance, support from home visitation was most commonly described as supporting these changes. Summary: Support and assets were explored from a broad family and environmental context. Practice implications for home visitation and areas for future research were identified.
Sherpa Romeo blue journal: delayed open access
Family characteristics , Health promotion , Poverty , Qualitative research , Single-parent family , Social support , Lone-mother , Low-income , Family assets , Home visitation
Yanicki, S. (2005). Social support and family assets: The perceptions of low-income lone-mother families about support from home visitation. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96(1), 46-48.