Understanding the economic and psychosocial experiences of single parents in KwaDambuza.
Ndlovu, Cynthia Sanelisiwe.
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When single-parent households are consequences of intentional or unintentional reasons, they are often associated with economic and psychosocial challenges. This study aimed to understand, explore, describe and interpret the economic and psychosocial experiences of single parents in KwaDambuza. This study highlights relevant issues that may provide guidance to different stakeholders in their efforts to deal with challenges of single- parent households. Qualitative research processes were used in this study. The sample consisted of 20 single-parent households (ten male and ten female single-parent households). Data collection took place using in-depth interviews and one focus group. The use of these two techniques served to enhance the reliability of the data. The ecosystem theory was utilised as a fundamental conceptual theory to understand the economic and psychosocial plight of both male and female single-parent households. The findings show that there were four key themes and six sub-themes that emerged from the data analysis and which are discussed in relation to the microsystem, mezzosystem, exosystem and macrosystems impacting single-parent households. Theme one focuses on the structural impact of poverty, unemployment on both male and female single-parent households and discusses two sub-themes: the impact of social grants on the family household income and family expenditure and implications for education of children. Theme two provides insight into the psychosocial challenges experienced, and discusses two sub-themes: intrapersonal and interpersonal challenges of males and females single-parent households. The third theme focuses on parental responsibilities and child care as a sub-theme. The fourth theme focuses on the blatant lack of support systems that negatively impact both the male and female single-parent households and discusses one sub-theme: access to service provision. The study revealed that the main challenge is poverty which was closely connected to unavailability and inaccessibility of service providers, and lack of support structures.