THE CHILD SUPPORT GRANT AND YOUNG MOTHERHOOD: EXPLORING CORRELATES OF DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMOLOGY
Young motherhood is acknowledged as a challenge in South Africa, as it is characterised by competing responsibilities in relation to care for children, and the desire to advance into employment and education (Graham, 2012). These competing aspects could place young mothers at a high risk of experiencing depressive symptoms. Young mothers are fortunate that they can access the Child Support Grant (CSG) as a source of financial support for children living in poverty in South Africa. But what other factors play a role in young mothersâ€™ mental well-being? In this article, a secondary analysis of the National Income Dynamics Study (South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), 2008) is conducted, with the aim to investigate the associations between individual factors, household factors and depressive symptomology in young mothers aged 18-24 years. The findings revealed that there is a distal relationship between the CSG and depressive symptomology in young mothers. This means that while the CSG is a source of support and young mothers retain the CSG when they move away from home, the grant without family support is inadequate in protecting young mothers against depressive symptoms. Interventions that are aimed at building parenting and financial abilities are, therefore, crucial in protecting young mothers against depressive symptoms as they age.
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