A Study on Perceived Support and Coping of Single Mothers in a Matrilineal Society
Author(s): Mona Marbaniang
*, Saha A
, Pereira Deur S
and Sobhana H
Objective: This study aims to assess the perceived social support and to determine the coping of single mothers and compare the findings with that of married mothers. Methods: The study was conducted using the descriptive cross-sectional study design with a quantitative approach. Single mothers and married mothers in the age group of 18-45 years, residing in Shillong, Meghalaya-India and who have dependent children were considered as the universe in this study. Through purposive sampling technique a total of 60 participants were chosen out of which 30 were single mothers (study group) and 30 were married mothers (comparative group). Socio-demographic sheet was constructed for the purpose of this study, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and Brief COPE were administered for this study. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 25. Results: Mean of the total scores in perceived social support was found to be lesser in single mothers (59.60 ± 11.97) than that of married mothers (66.81 ± 7.013). This difference was statistically significant (t=2.847, p=0.006** ). In coping, it was seen that the difference was statistically significant in substance use (t=-2.10, p=0.040), emotional support (t= 2.489, p=0.016), behavioural disengagement (t=-3.400, p=0.001), venting (t=2.676, p=0.010), positive refram (t= 2.036, p=0.046) , humor (t= 2.31, p=0.024) and self- blame (t=-3.16, p=0.002). Conclusions: Th is study is an attempt to better understanding of perceived social support and coping of single mothers as compared to married mothers. Therefore, this study would act as a guidance for policy makers to emphasize on these vulnerable family units and ensure that basic right to live dignity is fulfilled.