African-American mothers with serious and persistent mental illness: Social support, parenting satisfaction, and parenting style
Research is limited regarding mothers with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). This exploratory study used quantitative and qualitative measures to explore the social support, parenting satisfaction, and parenting style of African-American women with SPMI. This research explored perceptions of social support, parenting satisfaction, and parenting styles for mothers with SPMI. Surveys were conducted with 33 African-American mothers with SPMI enrolled in Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) in the District of Columbia. These mothers completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) to evaluate social support, the Kansas Parenting Satisfaction Scale (KPS) to evaluate parenting satisfaction, and the Parenting Practices Questionnaire (PPQ) to evaluate parenting style. Additionally, 10 mothers participated in case studies to collect qualitative data.
The quantitative and qualitative portions of the study revealed similar findings. In the quantitative portion of the study, the mothers completed surveys. The mothers were found to have high scores in perceived social support, parenting satisfaction, and authoritative parenting style characteristics, the most positive parenting style. The relationship between social support from a special person was found to be statistically significant to both parenting satisfaction as well as the authoritative parenting style. The mothers participating in the case studies, the qualitative portion of the study, were also found to have high levels of perceived social support, parenting satisfaction and authoritative parenting characteristics. The qualitative research gave insight as to why mothers perceived social support, parenting satisfaction, and authoritative parenting style despite the fact that the majority of the mothers did not provide primary care for their children.
Future research needs to synthesize qualitative and quantitative research encompassing both mental health and child welfare systems, and cultural knowledge. This will begin to build the dialogue that enhances services that supports mothers with SPMI as well as the caregivers of their children.
0347: Mental health
0452: Social work