Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148090
Title: THE SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES
Authors: MOHD MALIKI BIN OSMAN
Issue Date: 1994
Citation: MOHD MALIKI BIN OSMAN (1994). THE SOCIAL SUPPORT NETWORKS OF LOW INCOME FAMILIES. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This study presents a cross-cultural analysis of the role of social support networks in the lives of two groups of low income families with different coping abilities. There are two main arguments : 1) given similar economic circumstance, the ability of control families to cope better than the target families is dependent on the effectiveness of their social support networks. 2) the development and maintenance of social support networks involve continuous process of interaction between external/environmental and internal/individual factors. Chapter ONE presents a discussion of the theoretical framework and a review of the relevant literature. Based on the ecological perspective the "Paradigm of Person-Environment Interaction in Social Networking for Low Income Families" is proposed as the theoretical framework of the study. The basic premise is that to function effectively, individuals and families must find a fit between themselves and the social environment (which has social support network as a critical component). Chapter TWO describes the methodology used and some of the difficulties faced in cross cultural research. Chapter THREE provides an overview of low income families in Singapore and the profile of families in the study. Significant differences are seen in terms of the stage in the family life course and the nature of income. Chapter FOUR presents quantitative data on three components of social support networks of these families - structural characteristic, functional characteristic and profile of relationship with families. Group and ethnic differences are found in several aspects. Two variables - cultural ideologies and practices and socio-physical environment - are found to influence the three components in explaining the "environment" axis of the paradigm. The interaction of these variables and the network components lead to different levels of network responsiveness. Chapter FIVE analyses the specific relationship between families and relatives. Target families have significantly fewer relatives as network members than control families. Qualitative evidence show a continuum of level of relationship with relatives ranging from the very unsatisfactory to the very satisfactory. This level of relationship seems to be influenced by the family's sense of control over the establishment and maintenance of such relationships. Chapter SIX focuses on the "person" axis of the paradigm. Qualitative data shows that the interaction of five variables - physical environment, family disposition, past experience, self esteem and social and communication skills - may explain the different levels of initiative taken by families in network building. A distinct ethnic difference is found in terms of family disposition. Chinese range from being hostile to being friendly while Malays and Indians are characterised by different levels of familial organisation. Chapter SEVEN concludes with a conceptualisation of the interacting factors that operate in the paradigm. Four types of families emerge from the analysis - The Isolates, The Insuetude, The Rejected and The Reciprocated. The paradigm can be used as an analytical tool for understanding social support networks in relation to a particular group; and as an assessment and intervention tool in working with low income families and their social support networks.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/148090
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