Single mothers and their sense of purpose and meaning in life Cover Image

Poczucie sensu życia matek samotnie wychowujących dzieci
Single mothers and their sense of purpose and meaning in life

Author(s): Lilianna KLIMEK, Magdalena Barabas
Subject(s): History, Social Sciences, Sociology, Family and social welfare
Published by: Zakład Historii Edukacji w Instytucie Pedagogiki Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego
Keywords: sense of purpose and meaning in life; single mothers

Summary/Abstract: The article presents the results of a research on single mothers and their sense of purpose and meaning in life. Questions about the meaning of one’s own existence recur, with varying intensity,in the consciousness of every human being. Moreover, people always fulfil their own, personal meaning, related to their specific situation. The questions ‘who am I?’, ‘why do I live?’, ‘what is the meaning of my life?’ seem particularly relevant when a person is in a difficult situation. Single parenthood can be perceived as such a situation. The literature of the subject suggests multiple negative consequences of the fact of raising a child by a single parent; these consequences are faced not only by children, but also by adults.It is not possible to state unequivocally that the lack of favourable conditions will deprive a person of their sense of life purpose and meaning entirely. Similarly, even when objectively favourable conditions exist, they are not a guarantee that a person will perceive her or his life as meaningful. In a woman’s life, a difficult situation such as being a single mother, combined with homelessness and a necessity to move to a residential home for single mothers, can become the stimulus to search for and experience the meaning of life or, on the contrary, it can be a source of an existential insecurity. The purpose of this research was to learn how single mothers perceive the meaning of their lives and to assess their life purposes and aspirations.The theoretical context of these reflections is based on K. Popielski’s concept of the no etic dimension of personality and existence. The research was conducted among women living in residential homes for single mothers. Their sense of purpose and meaning in life was assessed with the use of J.C. Crumbaugh and L.T. Maholick’s Purpose in Life Scale (PIL). The collected material was evaluated using quantitative analysis.

  • Issue Year: XI/2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 229-243
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English, Polish