Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Rosalind Harris

Abstract

There has been a transformation in family structure in Thailand due to the changes in economic and social structures over time. Though not recorded in census data the rise in single-parent families can be expected due to a rise in divorce rates, that have been recorded, over the past decades. However, the literature on single-parent families is limited and little is known about the experiences of single-mothers and children of singlemother families in Thailand. This study examines the factors that have major impacts on the well-being of children of single-parent families in Bangkok, Thailand.

A qualitative methodology was employed to study the lived experiences from the point of views of 20 divorced single-mothers and 20 adult children from a different sample of divorced single-mother families in Bangkok, Thailand. Altogether 40 semistructured interviews were conducted in Bangkok, Thailand during June and July of 2010. Three theoretical frameworks, including family and household decision making theories, the life-course perspective, and the family composition perspective were applicable in this study to provide an understanding of how economic and social structures play an important role in the dissolution of marriages and how family composition plays an important role in the well-being of children.

The findings of this study shed light on the lived experiences of participants and revealed the important factors that influence the well-being of children of single-mother families. The major factors include financial resources, parenting styles and discipline, and social supports. In addition, this study has implications for developing programs to assist and facilitate the well-being of single-parent families, strengthening the relationship within extended families, and eradicating the negative assumptions that are often associated with single-parent families.

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