Low-Income Urban Filipino Mothers’ Experiences With Community Violence

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Community violence exposure has profound implications for individuals’ psychological well-being, and yet, little is known about its effects on parents residing in high-risk neighborhoods. Using qualitative interviews with 20 mothers living in informal settlement areas in the Philippines, this study examined (a) the parenting strategies that mothers use in response to community violence and (b) the protective factors that enhance their well-being. Content analyses revealed that the most frequently endorsed parenting strategies were giving reprimands and advice (pinagsasabihan at pinangangaralan) and monitoring and prohibition (pagsubaybay at pagbabawal). To protect their well-being, the mothers most frequently mentioned relying on prayers and faith to cope and make sense of community violence. The findings highlight Filipino mothers’ use of active and resourceful parenting strategies, the constructive function of religion and faith in low-income Filipino mothers’ experiences, and mutual support among family and community members as protective factors. Implications include incorporating religion and faith in local resilience frameworks, including the family and community in interventions, and equal attention on policies aimed at fostering resilience and reducing poverty.

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