Informal social support and attrition among nonpartnered, rurally-located, poor mothers Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tb09j8935

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  • This qualitative study used interview transcripts to find clues to attrition from a longitudinal study among nonpartnered, rurally-located, poor mothers, a generally vulnerable population with characteristics commonly associated with attrition (low-income, low levels of educational attainment, and rural location). Drawing on Rural Families Speak data, the author used the number of family members and friends living in close proximity to mothers, and mothers' descriptions of their family members and friends (including boyfriends) and the quality of their relationships with these individuals to predict whether mothers would drop out of the study after Wave 1 (attriters), stay in the study through Wave 3 despite moving (continuer-movers), or stay in the study through Wave 3 while remaining in place (continuer-nonmovers). Analyzing data through the lens of the affect theory of social exchange, the author was unable to consistently predict the groups to which mothers belonged. Trends supported the use of affect theory of social exchange as preferable to classic social exchange theory in predicting outcomes with this sample. In ad hoc investigations, the author found that attriters and continuer-movers differed significantly with respect to age and education, and that these two demographic variables were useful in predicting outcomes for these two groups. The findings also revealed the importance of establishing consistent protocols in longitudinal research, particularly when data are collected from widely dispersed geographic locations. The findings led the researcher to recommend using a more contextual framework and a mixed methods approach to studying attrition and informal social support. The author recommends that future, similar research include interviews of continuers to learn what factors contribute to their decisions to stay in longitudinal studies, and that adequate funding for the implementation and oversight of consistent protocols be provided.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-10-04T16:11:58Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 22797 bytes, checksum: c87af7b95ad7d9cc7c32b1191f533229 (MD5) license_text: 23084 bytes, checksum: 24f8f2abcc0a604d988d82a6620de1dd (MD5) AmityFredericaA2011.pdf: 515286 bytes, checksum: 3180471ed3b38641307c4b93ea704989 (MD5)
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