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Dimensions of Family Functioning: Perspectives of Low-Income African American Single-Parent Families.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
McCreary, Linda L.
Dancy, Barbara L.
Journal Article
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Family functioning is influenced by socioeconomic status, culture, family structure, and developmental stage, and is assessed primarily using instruments developed for middle-income European American two-parent families. These instruments may not validly assess low-income African American single-parent families. This qualitative study was conducted to provide rich descriptions of families and family functioning in order to inform research on this underrepresented group. Interviews were conducted with 20 low-income African American single mothers and 20 adult family members recruited from a large Midwestern city. Content analysis revealed the essential dimensions of family functioning: Effective families provide emotional nurturing, communicate, do things together, help each other, and parent children appropriately. (Author abstract)

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