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The parenting and economising practices of lone parents: policy and evidence

Dermott, Esther and Pomati, Marco ORCID: 2016. The parenting and economising practices of lone parents: policy and evidence. Critical Social Policy 36 (1) , pp. 62-81. 10.1177/0261018315602198

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UK governments have historically viewed lone parents as a political and social problem. This article argues that present-day political discourse increasingly positions lone parents as deficient parents, suggesting that they are more likely to fail to engage with good parenting practices than parents in couple households and may lack the resource management skills of successful families. We critique claims of an association between poor parenting and lone parenthood status using data from the UK Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) 2012 survey. We find negligible differences in the parenting behaviours of those living in lone and couple households, and lone parents (who are mainly mothers) actually cut back on their own expenditure to a greater extent than other parents in order to provide for children. These findings undermine the viability of links made between ‘poor’ parenting and family living arrangements; such claims are grounded in erroneous individualised accounts of disadvantage.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Publisher: Sage Publishing
ISSN: 0261-0183
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 11:32

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