Robin L Jarrett
LIVES OF STRUGGLE, LIVES OF HOPE: RESILIENT, SINGLE MOTHERS IN A LOW-INCOME HOUSING PROJECT
During her Center appointment Professor Jarrett will prepare for publication of her research findings from a completed study of African-American, single mothers living in a large public housing project. She collected information from the mothers and other key family members through detailed interviews and observations as they carried out daily routines in the home and in the larger community (e.g., shopping, visiting kin). Her work focuses on the positive family and coping strategies that mothers use to promote family stability and positive child development, despite individual poverty and living in a community with limited resources (e.g., poor-quality schools, few parks) and multiple dangers (e.g., gangs, violence).
Professor Jarrett discovered that key coping strategies include reliance on supportive extended kin, effective child supervision, and in-home learning. Uses of these family and parenting patterns provide an explanation of how some families beat the odds associated with poverty. She expects that publications derived from her study will contribute to theoretical discussions of resilience and result in applied recommendations to improve the lives of families in poverty.