Maternal Humanitarian Entrants' “Me Time”: How Social Support Works in a Facilitated Playgroup

By Annmarie La Rosa and Andrew M. Guilfoyle.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Conducted in collaboration with Save the Children Australia, this study employed an Interpretative Phenomenological methodology to explore how maternal humanitarian entrants (MHE) ascribed meanings to the role of social support in a facilitated playgroup. A focus group with nine women, individual interviews with five women and follow-up interviews with four playgroup staff members and two stakeholders were conducted utilizing a semi-structured approach. The interviews provided an opportunity for the women to share their rich descriptions and these were subject to an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Four salient themes emerged from the data: Isolation, a sense of wellbeing, “Me Time” and ‘a new family’. This research provides valuable insight into the role of social support for MHE in similar circumstances and assists in advocating for playgroups as an overarching source of support.

Keywords: Social Support, Humanitarian Entrants, Playgroup

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.43-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 430.618KB).

Annmarie La Rosa

Honours Candidate, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Annmarie La Rosa completed her undergraduate studies at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Children and Family Studies), and is currently completing her studies at ECU in the Masters of Psychology course (Clinical Psychology). Her aspiration for the future is working with children and families.

Dr Andrew M. Guilfoyle

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Andrew has published over 60 peer reviewed publications, completed several large scale national and regional funded projects, and regularly presents this work at international forums. His research is focused on developing sustainable services for social inclusion of Indigenous communities and CaLD populations. Andrew works within a constructionist, participatory, locational, community-based approach. His book chapter in Participation with Australian Aboriginal Communities’ (Elsevier Ltd: London) received an outstanding international review by Prof. Ron Chenail, editor of The Qualitative Report.