A comparison of the relationship between parental efficacy and social support systems of single teen mothers across different family forms
Coert, Samantha Lee
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Teenage parenting is recognised as one of the greatest health and social problems in South Africa. Research in South Africa has shown that by the age of 18 years, more than 30% of teens have given birth at least once. Teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, may develop forms of resistance which in most cases may inhibit their ability to parent. Social support is therefore, an imperative intervention for successful teen parenting. Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological systems theory proposes that social support could be considered to reside within the microsystem of the model if the developing person is the teen mother. The aim of this study was to compare social support of different family forms and establish whether a relationship between single teen mothers’ parental efficacy and social support exists across the different family forms. This study used a quantitative methodology with a cross-sectional comparative correlation design. The sample consisted of N = 160 single teen mothers who reside with her family for a period of one year or is currently residing with her family or members thereof, in low socio-economic communities. The participants completed a self-report questionnaire that comprised of the Social Provisions Scale (SPS), and the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC) scale. Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation were used to investigate the data. Outcomes of the study indicated that a significant positive relationship between social support and parental efficacy existed. These findings are important for planning and applying parenting programmes amongst single teen mothers and facilitating awareness regarding the importance of social support and family forms when considering parenting practices.