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Research Evidence to Inform Strengths-Based Policy and Practice: Mapping the Coping Strategies of Young Women in Mozambique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-134
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume49
Issue number1
Early online date20 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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Abstract

Unintended pregnancy amongst young women in Mozambique is associated with many 'problems' and 'poor outcomes', yet little is known about how young women, their family and communities actually respond to these problems. Qualitative research on the coping strategies used by young mothers under twenty years of age in response to conflictual relationships, poor material provision, poor health and poor educational access in Mozambique is presented. Data were constructed through twenty-one semistructured narrative interviews with young mothers (sixteen to nineteen years old) from two regions (urban/south and rural/north) on their experience of coping with unintended pregnancy. Thematic data analysis to identify coping strategies was completed using NVivo 7. The majority of strategies identified were 'relational' in nature, highlighting the importance of developing interventions that strengthen naturally occurring strategies used by women, their families and communities. The findings are used to illustrate the role of strength-based research in developing policy and practice, particularly in relation to community development and groups considered unable to 'cope' or 'get on'. It is also important to ensure strengths-based approaches are used to tackle structural inequalities and strengthen organisational resources, despite this being a strong critique levied at strength-based interventions.

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