- Volume 56 Issue 3
In Korea, since the systematic efforts to help unmarried mothers are rather limited, the unmarried mother's social relationship is expected to play a critical role in the adjustment of unmarried mothers after the birth of a baby. The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of social relationship on unmarried mother's self-esteem. Especially, this study focused a negative aspect of social relationship, social conflict, which has been ignored by the previous researches. For this study, survey method was employed. The respondents of the questionnaire were 205 unmarried mothers staying at six out of eight institutions for unmarried mothers available in Korea. The multiple regression and other descriptive statistical methods were conducted and the results of analysis are as follows. First, the higher the level of perceived social support was, the higher the level of self-esteem of unmarried mothers was. Second, the higher the level of perceived social conflict was, the lower the level of self-esteem of unmarried mothers was. Third, even though the level of perceived social conflict was much lower than the perceived social support, the effect of social conflict on unmarried mothers' self-esteem was as powerful as the social support. This means that the effect of social conflict also can be very important. These findings suggest a new direction for intervention for unmarried mothers. Until now, the major target of intervention in social relationship was to strengthen existing social support or establish new social support system. Now, in addition to augmenting social support, we should pay attention to removal of social conflict, since it has significantly powerful effect on the adjustment of unmarried mothers.