How well are families doing? A description of family well-being in South Africa
Roman, Nicolette V.
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BACKGROUND: As a result of South Africa's unique socio-political history and diverse cultures, the South African family is neither simple to describe nor easy to understand. The new family policy strives to strengthen South African families but the research on family well-being is very limited. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe the wellbeing of a sample of families from low socioeconomic communities in the Western Cape South Africa in terms of family resilience, family satisfaction, parenting styles, family structure and family functioning. METHODS: The study utilised a descriptive survey design and sampled 358 adult family members. RESULTS: The results indicate that although family functioning is challenged, parents are perceived to be utilising an authoritative parenting style and having a father present enhances family satisfaction. The results also describe families as displaying low to average levels of family resilience. CONCLUSION: This study provides a descriptive study of a sample of families in the Western Cape, South Africa. Overall the families in this study are not doing very well. The implications and significance of these findings are further explained.