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Korean Journal of Child Health Nursing 1999;5(2):185-197.
A Study on Stress in Poor Families with School Children.
Hee Kyeung Kang
Department of Nursing, Cheju Halla College, Korea.
In the family life cycle, the most important task the families with school children should perform is 'child education' and 'socialization'. However, economic stress on poor families with school children presents multiple problems through the shortage of resources necessary for child education and socialization, inappropriateness of family appraisal, and the insufficiency of the control channels for the efficient management of these confined resources and appropriate appraisal. The objectives of this article are : First, to report research on the actual conditions of the poor families in one area of Cheju and on the relevant health welfare policy, and to examine the appropriateness of the direction and the substance of this policy In terms of the intervention in economic stress on the poor families under the categories of resource management and control of appraisal. Second, to analyze qualitative data extracted from the memoirs of single-parent families living in several areas of Korea under the conceptual framework constructed by literature review in order to get a better understanding of the stress which poor families with school children have experienced. And third, to confirm the factors that can be risk factor but, at the same time, strength to these poor families from presented data and to use them as the basic data from which an intervention model can be developed, based on resource management and control of appraisal. The findings of this article are : First, while the number of absolute poor families in one area of Cheju is increasing and, as a result, the danger of the possibility that multiple problems will occur is also growing, the supporting level of the current policy is no more than a direct resource offer and there is no evidence that resource management is being professionally carried out. When it comes to control of appraisal, due to absence of the professional human resources in this matter, policy performances such as technical education training can have a negative impact. Second, a conceptual framework introduced in this article, : Economic Pressure->Helplessness->Poor self-esteem->Marital Conflict->Parent-Child financial conflict->Inappropriate socialization->Poor child social competence : is partly verified. And third, judging from the results of the qualitative data, it is confirmed that the healing families, having overcome poverty, show several positive characteristics including : hope, strength, and social support. These findings are identified with the factors of resiliency considered above. According to these results, this article suggests the following : The anti-poverty policy in the future should focus not only on a direct resource offer but also on resource management and the control of appraisal that can magnify its effects. In particular, close attention should be paid to school children since they are in the most crucial period for socialization. More over, an emotional labor is such an essential resource for intervention that skilled nurses should play pivotal roles.
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