Material and Relational Difficulties: The Impact of the Household Environment on the Emotional Well-Being of Young Black Women Living in Soweto, South Africa

Emmanuel Cohen, Lisa J. Ware, Alessandra Prioreschi, Catherine Draper, Edna Bosire, Stephen J. Lye, Shane A. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

South Africa is an upper-middle income country with high levels of inequality. Young urban black women living in historically disadvantaged suburbs are particularly vulnerable to these socioeconomic inequalities. We conducted a qualitative study (four focus group discussions with young nulliparous women and 13 dual semistructured interviews between women and their mother) to better understand the household environment context of young women living in Soweto (a poor urban predominantly black township) and how this impacts their emotional well-being. Several household-centered issues were identified that impacted the young women’s well-being including both material and relational elements. These issues resulted in household environmental perturbations involving several psychological disturbances (stress, chronic anger, depression, and suicidal thoughts) stated by young women. Urban young black women experience significant material and relational hardships within the household environment. Interventions that aim to optimize young women’s emotional well-being should better recognize both economic and cultural aspects impacting on them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1332
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume41
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • black
  • chronic poverty
  • household environment
  • mental health/well-being
  • young women

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