Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Sharyn DeZelar


Social Work


This qualitative study explored the interviews and stories of 4 single mothers, ages 25-41, with unique situations. Each mom was different with how their support systems and father-child relationships varied. These moms provided a fair representation of how some of these complex factors can vary and play out in single mother households. Single mothers and their varying levels of struggles are the phenomena that this project studied while considering family systems. The review of existing research guided the framework of the interview questions using grounded theory; this approach was also used to further explore the data found in this project. Through this semi-structured interview, some of their support systems were identified as various financial assistance programs, as well as the many support mechanisms that both fathers and extended family can provide. These factors in connection to their real-life experiences emphasized how such support systems have affected these mothers and their children which then, also assisted with the process of bringing forth a greater understanding of these phenomena. The purpose of this study was to highlight the experiences of single mothers by sharing their stories through their own personal voices; while using a comparative data analysis to determine why some single mothers reported having experienced more struggles than others. Results found that each mother had multiple dimensions of struggle that fluctuated throughout various transitional periods throughout their experiences as parents which were based on what we have identified as compounded factors, impacting the lives of these single mothers and their children.

Included in

Social Work Commons