The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Lone parents in the UK

Lone parents in the UK
Lone parents in the UK
This chapter has two key aims; firstly to chart the increase in lone parent families in the UK over the past forty years, and secondly to investigate whether inequalities between lone and partnered mothers in material wellbeing and health behaviour have widened over this period. The chapter starts by reviewing the moral and political context within which lone parenthood has been discussed in the UK. It then summarises the explanations which have been put forward for the association between lone parenthood and poor health. Section two examines demographic trends in the rise of lone parenthood, describing the relative roles of unpartnered childbearing and partnership dissolution in their formation. In section three differences between lone, cohabiting and married mothers in terms of their employment characteristics, housing tenure and smoking behaviour are examined for the period 1979-2012. The conclusion reflects on the implications of these findings for policy.

Given the requirement for a long-term perspective this chapter utilizes data from repeated rounds of an annual UK Government survey – the General Household Survey1 (GHS) - from 1980 to 2009 which have been harmonized by a team of researchers within the Economic and Social Research Council Centre for Population Change (Berrington et al., 2011; Beaujouan et al., 2014). In addition to collecting information on social conditions and cigarette smoking, the GHS collected retrospective partnership and childbearing histories, providing a unique source of information on family formation trends2. The GHS was discontinued in 2011 but data on socio-economic conditions and smoking have been collected by the Office for National Statistics in its Opinion Survey 3
(ONS, 2014a). We thus use data from the 2012 survey to update the time series. Unfortunately the Opinion Survey does not ask respondents about their past co-residential partnerships and so we cannot update the GHS time series in terms of the partnership histories of lone mothers in Britain. Nevertheless, the strength of combining all of these survey data lies in their national representativeness and long time series of consistent information which permits us to explore the changing associations between socio-economic factors and health risk factors and health (Minton et al., 2012; Popham et al., 2012).
1-29
University of Southampton
Berrington, Ann
bd0fc093-310d-4236-8126-ca0c7eb9ddde
Portier, F.
Berrington, Ann
bd0fc093-310d-4236-8126-ca0c7eb9ddde
Portier, F.

Berrington, Ann (2015) Lone parents in the UK. In, Portier, F. (ed.) Parenting, Fertility and Health. Southampton, GB. University of Southampton, pp. 1-29.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

This chapter has two key aims; firstly to chart the increase in lone parent families in the UK over the past forty years, and secondly to investigate whether inequalities between lone and partnered mothers in material wellbeing and health behaviour have widened over this period. The chapter starts by reviewing the moral and political context within which lone parenthood has been discussed in the UK. It then summarises the explanations which have been put forward for the association between lone parenthood and poor health. Section two examines demographic trends in the rise of lone parenthood, describing the relative roles of unpartnered childbearing and partnership dissolution in their formation. In section three differences between lone, cohabiting and married mothers in terms of their employment characteristics, housing tenure and smoking behaviour are examined for the period 1979-2012. The conclusion reflects on the implications of these findings for policy.

Given the requirement for a long-term perspective this chapter utilizes data from repeated rounds of an annual UK Government survey – the General Household Survey1 (GHS) - from 1980 to 2009 which have been harmonized by a team of researchers within the Economic and Social Research Council Centre for Population Change (Berrington et al., 2011; Beaujouan et al., 2014). In addition to collecting information on social conditions and cigarette smoking, the GHS collected retrospective partnership and childbearing histories, providing a unique source of information on family formation trends2. The GHS was discontinued in 2011 but data on socio-economic conditions and smoking have been collected by the Office for National Statistics in its Opinion Survey 3
(ONS, 2014a). We thus use data from the 2012 survey to update the time series. Unfortunately the Opinion Survey does not ask respondents about their past co-residential partnerships and so we cannot update the GHS time series in terms of the partnership histories of lone mothers in Britain. Nevertheless, the strength of combining all of these survey data lies in their national representativeness and long time series of consistent information which permits us to explore the changing associations between socio-economic factors and health risk factors and health (Minton et al., 2012; Popham et al., 2012).

PDF
__userfiles.soton.ac.uk_Users_spd_mydesktop_Lone Parenthood in the UK.pdf - Other
Download (227kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 2015
Organisations: Social Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382028
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382028
PURE UUID: 095a2d64-4263-4064-818a-df6f9d88c142

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2015 09:32
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:22

Export record

Contributors

Author: Ann Berrington
Editor: F. Portier

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×