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Health promotion for single mothers: How to reach the socially disadvantaged. Toni Faltermaier University of Flensborg (Germany) Institute of Psychology, Dep. of Health Psychology and Health Education E-mail: faltermaier@uni-flensburg.de

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health promotion for single mothers how to reach the socially disadvantaged

Health promotion for single mothers: How to reach the socially disadvantaged

Toni Faltermaier

University of Flensborg (Germany)

Institute of Psychology,

Dep. of Health Psychology and Health Education

E-mail: faltermaier@uni-flensburg.de

Funded by the Landesvereinigung für Gesundheitsförderung e.V. Schleswig-Holstein and the Ministery for Social, Health and Consumer Protection des Landes Schleswig-Holstein

In collaboration with the students Anke Munz, Christa Schwegmann und Eva Winter

problem
Problem
  • Socio-economic inequalities in health, marked health differences in social status, gender, etc.
  • Interventions in prevention and health promotions do not reach the socially disadvantaged groups most in need
  • Reasons: social disadvantaged groups are more difficult to reach, they tend to have less health consciousness, and interventions do not consider the social and psychological conditions of these groups
  • Adequate concepts for health promotion should be both theoretically and empirically grounded
single mothers as target group
Single mothers as target group
  • Health promotion should concentrate on specific target groups at risk
  • Single parents are a growing group of the populations in western industrial societies: In Germany 1,4 million single parents live with at least one child in household (1,9 million children)
  • 88 % of single parents are women
  • Empirical evidence that single mothers have both more social and economicals problems and more health problems than comparable groups
  • Consequence: demand for prevention and health promotion addressing single mothers
questions
Questions
  • What are the specific health needs of socially disadvantaged single mothers?
  • What subjective and social preconditions have to be considered in planning health promotion interventions for these women?
  • What concrete approaches have to be used in health promotion for this group?
theoretical background
Theoretical background
  • Salutogenic perspective
  • Health as a multi-dimensional phenomena
  • Subject-orientation: Potentially competent persons
  • Psycho-social determinants of health: stressors, coping efforts, perceived risks, risk behaviours, personal and social resources, sense of coherence, lay concepts and theories of health, and health behaviours
  • Health promotion has to consider the social and subjective conditions of participants, has to be adapted to their life world,
methods
Methods
  • Pilot studies: qualitative interviews with experts and single mothers
  • Development of a questionnaire instrument (31 items, including open questions)
  • selection of a (non-representative) sample of socially disadvantaged women from urban and rural areas
  • Field approach: mothers attending kindergartens (in underpriviledged districts), job centers, counselling offices
  • descriptive und analytical analyses
results
Results
  • Perceived health and different indicators of health
  • stressors, coping efforts and health
  • perceived health risks and health resources
  • risk behaviours and health behaviours
subjective health
Subjective Health

Very good

good

moderate

bad

very bad

0,0%

5,0%

10,0%

15,0%

20,0%

25,0%

30,0%

35,0%

40,0%

45,0%

subjective perception of health

slide12
Table 2:Associations between positive indicators of health and subjective health (significant correlations, ** p<0,01)
slide13
Table 3:Associations between negative indicators of health and subjective health (significant correlations, ** p<0,01)
conclusions for health promotion 1
Conclusions for Health Promotion 1
  • General need for health promotion for single mothers is confirmed again (subjective health)
  • specific health needs are identified especially in indicators of mental health (inner balance, life satisfaction, energy, and depressive feelings)
  • Frequent life stressors are identified in women‘s financial problems, in problems with the child‘s father and with local authorities; the strongest predictor for health is stress in the housing situation
conclusions for health promotion 2
Conclusions for Health Promotion 2
  • Problems to adequately cope with life stressors: Coping behaviour includes smoking, difficulties in help seeking, lack of salutogenic orientation for life management (SoC)
  • The majority of women perceives both their health risks and health resources; thus, they are important preconditions for health promotion
conclusions for health promotion 3
Conclusions for Health Promotion 3
  • Most women believe that they can personally contribute to their health
  • Most single mother realistically report their risk behaviours (too much smoking and eating); in reporting health behaviors especially the deficits are worth noting (sleeping, relaxing, recreation, and medical check-ups)
how to reach these women for health promotion
How to reach these women for health promotion?
  • Professional interventions in settings and in institutions familiar to these women (kindergarten, schools, etc.) and in their local communities
  • Implementation of health promotion in institutions of the social and educational systems
  • Planned practice project: health promotion programs for single mothers with parallel child care
program in health promotion for single mothers
Program in health promotion for single mothers
  • Interventions in familiar kindergarten in social disadvantaged communities
  • group program for single mothers : „Time for me. What can I do for me and my health“
  • parallel free child care by child care center
  • 10 sessions over 6 months plus booster session
  • 4 groups with 12-15 women
  • group moderation: specifically trained psychologist or health educational scientist
  • Evaluation study (pre/post/follow-up)