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Caregivers' social networks and child well-being

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
In human societies, childcare and provisioning typically rest on primary caregivers; however, support from family, friends and neighbours is critical to family well-being. The frequency and kind of support caregivers receive have been shown to enhance caregiver well-being. However, we know very little about whether caregivers' social networks are associated with child well-being. In this study, I examined whether caregiver social networks and different kinds of support (practical and emotional) are associated with child well-being. Additionally, I examined whether there is a difference in support in urban and rural regions. I examined data from 242 caregivers of children aged 8-12 years, and I conducted a follow-up interview with 35 children (M= 9.99 years). Results indicate that having more social networks and receiving more emotional support and less practical support are positively associated with child well-being. Interestingly, practical support from neighbours that caregivers received was higher in urban than rural areas. These findings help us better understand how children are impacted by caregiver social networks and can potentially impact policies regarding how we structure our neighbourhoods and family resources to better support families in both urban and rural settings.
59 pages.
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Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Broesch, Tanya
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