Social Networks among Inner-City Minority Women

By Sloan, Victoria J.; Jason, Leonard A. et al. | Education, Winter 1996 | Go to article overview

Social Networks among Inner-City Minority Women


Sloan, Victoria J., Jason, Leonard A., Addlesperger, Elisa, Education


Few researchers have empirically addressed problems faced by low socioeconomic status, minority single mothers (Tolan, Keys, Chertok, & Jason, 1990). Furthermore, the paucity of research in this area appears to parallel the poverty-stricken environments in which these women reside. However, researchers actively assessing the needs and strengths of this population consistently identify one of numerous threats to their socioeconomic, physical and mental well being - that is, the rate of pregnancy to out-of-wedlock mothers. In doing so, these researchers confront statistics depicting the epidemic rate of pregnancy among black women indicating that eighty-five percent of single black mothers, less than 25 years of age, live below the poverty line (Children's Defense Fund, 1985). Additionally, it is estimated that 75 percent of the above group will remain in poverty and subsequently impact the lives of up to three generations of offspring.

Further, minority single mothers living in low income areas are subject to stressful living conditions, which significantly heighten their vulnerability to stress-related illnesses. The disadvantaged status of minority single mothers is further evidenced by research studies revealing higher reports of life stress by minority persons (Brown & Harris, 1978). Furthermore, the high divorce rate among inner-city minorities (Murray & Harrison, 1981) suggests many may be "singularly" responsible for the emotional, physical, and socioeconomic support of their families. Consequently, pressures associated with assuming multiple roles and limited advancement opportunities increase the risk of stress-related illness among members of this population.

There are increased rates of psychological disorders among single and widowed persons (Kaplan, Cassel, & Gore, 1977), and low SES populations are more vulnerable to life stressors (Kessler, 1979; La Gory & Fitzpatrick, 1992). And while lower SES minorities are more dependent on family members for social support, higher SES non-minorities more often seek social support through friend networks, and the use of professional counseling (Stewart & Vaux, 1986; Ostrow et al., 1986). Linked with literature viewing support groups as instrumental in aiding persons through periods of disorganization (Vega et al, 1991) and related literature questioning the adequacy of support systems among low SES groups (Liem & Liem, 1978; Griffith, 1985), there is a clear need to develop more support for lower SES, inner-city, single residents (Bogat, Sullivan & Grober, 1993).

The present study attempted to evaluate the relationships between support, stress, symptoms, and health status among a group of low income minority women. This exploratory, correlational study was intended to help provide a better glimpse of the social networks among inner-city women living in low income areas.

Method

Participants

Single mothers were recruited for the present study. Twelve were black and 12 were Hispanic. Many of them resided in the Cabrini Green Housing Project, while others maintained residence in a nearby low-income community. Participants filled out the questionnaires at a community service center. Staff at the center dispensed the forms to the women and collected the completed forms. Participants were unemployed, economically dependent on government assistance programs, and single parents heading households. They ranged in age from sixteen to thirty-two years and their level of education varied, ranging from 9 to 15 years of formal or vocational schooling. Finally, the number of children comprising participants' families ranged from one to five, infants through adolescents.

System Checklist 90 - Revised (SCL-90-R)

The SCL-90-R (Derogatis, Limpman, Rickels, Unlenhuth & Covi, 1974) is a self-report inventory of psychological symptoms. Respondents are asked to rate 90 symptoms on a five-point Likert-type scale.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Networks among Inner-City Minority Women
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.