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How well are families doing? A description of family well-being in South Africa
  1. Nicolette Vanessa Roman1,
  2. Serena Ann Isaacs2,
  3. Charl Davids2 and
  4. Xin-Cheng Sui2
  1. 1.Department of Social Work, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
  1. Corresponding author: Nicolette Vanessa Roman, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa, Tel.: +27-21-9592277, E-mail: nicoletteroman{at}; nroman{at}


Objective The purpose of this study was to describe the well-being of a sample of families from low socioeconomic communities in the Western Cape South Africa in terms of family resilience, family satisfaction, parenting styles, family structure and family functioning.

Methods The study used a descriptive survey design and sampled 358 adult family members.

Results The results indicate that although family functioning is challenged, parents are perceived to be using an authoritative parenting style and having a father present enhances family satisfaction. The results also describe families as displaying low-to-average levels of family resilience.

Conclusion This study provides a descriptive study of a sample of families in the Western Cape, South Africa. Overall the families in this study are not doing very well. The implications and significance of these findings are further explained.

  • Family functioning
  • family resilience
  • family satisfaction
  • family well-being
  • parenting styles
  • South Africa

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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