Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Depression and Quality of Life for Women in Single-Parent and Nuclear Families

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Depression and Quality of Life for Women in Single-Parent and Nuclear Families

Article excerpt

This is a cross-sectional study which objectives are 1) to determine the predictors for perceived quality of life and 2) to analyze the differences between women from singleparent families and bi-parent families, about their quality of life, depression and familiar income. We worked with a non-probabilistic sample of 140 women from Monterrey, N.L, Mexico, 107 are from bi-parent families and 33 from single parent families. Some of the results show that women from single-parent families have lower quality of life (Z = -2.224, p = .026), lower income (Z = -2.727, p = .006) and greater depression (Z = -6.143, p = .001) than women from bi-parental families. The perceived quality of life's predictors, using a multiple regression model (n = 140) were depression, income and number of children, those variables explaining 25.4% of variance.

Keywords: depression, quality of life, income, women, single-parent, bi-parental

El presente estudio es transversal y sus objetivos son determinar las variables predictoras de la calidad de vida percibida y analizar las diferencias entre las mujeres de familias monoparentales y las de familias nucleares, respecto a su calidad de vida percibida, depresión e ingreso familiar. La muestra no probabilística fue de 140 mujeres del área metropolitana de Monterrey, N. L., México, de ellas 107 pertenecen a familias biparentales (nucleares) y 33 a monoparentales. Algunos de los resultados encontrados fueron que las mujeres de familias monoparentales tienen un menor puntaje en calidad de vida que las mujeres de familias nucleares (Z = -2.224, p = .026), un menor ingreso (Z = -2.727, p = .006) y mayor depresión (Z = -6.143, p =.001). Las variables predictoras de la calidad de vida en el modelo de regresión múltiple con la muestra general (n = 140) fueron la depresión, el ingreso y el número de hijos, explicando el 25.4% de la varianza.

Palabras clave: depresión, calidad de vida, ingreso, mujeres, monoparentales, nucleares

The 20th century was a time of profound transformation in society. The political, economic, social and cultural changes that have been produced, are reflected in the changing face of family, one aspect of which is the growing number of terminated marriages. The high rate of separation and divorce, indicated by both national and international statistics, as well as the prevalence of widows and widowers, are enough to suggest the importance of studying the impact that these phenomena have on family organization, and on living conditions.

Along those lines, Bumpass (1990) stated that marriage is an institution that reflects changes in society. In Mexico, between 1950 and 2002, rates of divorce grew to 7.7 times the former rates, while rates of marriage only grew to 3.5 times the former rate; meanwhile, the total population of the country grew to 3.8 times its former size (INEGI, 1992, 1994, 2003, 2005). On the other hand, while the percentage of the population that are widows and widowers continues to be greater than the percentage that is either separated or divorced, that prevalence, has faded over the last decade. According to INEGI (2002) data from 2000, the number of people who have been separated or divorced in the last decade, between the years of 1990 and 2000, soared from 3.8% to 7%.

All of the aforementioned situations demonstrate emerging cultural patterns, and have contributed to increasing the diversity of family arrangements, and their associated living conditions. The dissolution or termination of a marriage has, among its most obvious results, the onset of "new" ways in which members of a family, or families, live together (Arriagada, 1998; Landero, 2002; Valdés, 2004). This includes the formation of single-parent families that are diverse in configuration, conditions, structure and composition, as well as everyday progress.

Thus, the root and proximal causes of becoming a single parent, according to Barrón (2002) & Landero (2001), would be as follows:

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