Hope, Stigma, and Single Mothers Enrolled in Iowa's Childcare Assistance Program: A Phenomenological Study

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Authors
Horak, Shelley
Issue Date
2021-06-23
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Dissertation
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en_US
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Abstract
Single mothers are subject to economic insecurity, stigma, stereotypes, and emotional distress while working toward the goals they have for themselves and their children. The purpose of this phenomenological dissertation in practice study was to discover how single mothers in Central Iowa who participate in Iowa’s childcare assistance program describe hope in the context of coping with their experiences as single parents. The aim was to provide descriptive information to researchers and as well as government and advocacy agencies that desire to understand how single mothers in Central Iowa describe hope and its influence as a coping mechanism in the context of single parenthood. Several theories were employed in this exploration. The just world theory, hope theory, and social capital theory were relevant to describing the orientation of single mothers to societal biases, the consistent way they look toward the future, and the importance of relationships in their lives. Interviews with 8 single mothers revealed hope as a coping mechanism for single mothers and highlighted social capital as a component of their success. The study reinforced positive depictions of single mothers, also present in the literature, and their goal-driven, future-focused nature. Suggestions from the study participants were used to develop an initiative to increase social capital, elevate participant voices, and build the foundation for designing person-centered programs through the expression of servant leadership by public sector leaders. Keywords: hope, single mothers, social capital, welfare, stereotypes
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Creighton University
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Copyright is retained by the Author. A non-exclusive distribution right is granted to Creighton University and to ProQuest following the publishing model selected above.
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