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Scand J Caring Sci. 2009 Dec;23(4):748-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2008.00675.x. Epub 2009 May 9.

Well-being of mothers with children in Finnish low-income families--the mother's point of view.

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Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.



Low income correlates with increased health risks. The well-being of low-income families has received only limited attention in nursing research and most of the work has focused on unearthing their problems rather than on identifying their strengths. This article describes the well-being of mothers with children in Finnish low-income families, from a family health point of view.


The aim of this study was to generate description of the well-being of mothers with children in low-income families in their everyday life and interpret and understand it from the perspectives of low-incomes mothers.


This study is based on the phenomenological method and the informants consisted of 15 mothers of low-income families with children. The data were collected in 2004-2005. The mothers were recruited from three municipalities by means of purposive sampling from amongst families in receipt of income support. Ethical approval was obtained.


Well-being appears as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon which, in addition to health, is understood as the opposite of illness and experienced health involves dimensions related to the family's everyday life and situation. Mothers' well-being is described in terms of the flow of everyday life, meaningful family activities, everyday health, the existence of a network of significant others, internal family functioning, the strength received from motherhood and being in the position to influence the well-being of one's family.


The results suggest that for purposes of supporting family well-being on the family's own terms, it is important to have a clear understanding of the everyday life of families in different situations and understand the meanings that grow out of their everyday life. This information helps nurses to take into account the social aspect of family health and understand low-income mothers' point of health, in different health situations in nursing practice where they meet one another.

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