University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences study: Single mothers more likely to live in poverty

1 Sep

The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

Science Daily reported Single mothers much more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, study finds:

Single mothers earn significantly less than single fathers, and they’re penalized for each additional child they have even though the income of single fathers remains the same or increases with each added child in their family. Men also make more for every additional year they invest in education, further widening the gender gap, reports a University of Illinois study.

“Single mothers earn about two-thirds of what single fathers earn. Even when we control for such variables as occupation, numbers of hours worked, education, and social capital, the income gap does not decrease by much. Single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, and they do not catch up over time,” said Karen Kramer, a U of I assistant professor of family studies.

In 2012, 28 percent of all U.S. children lived with one parent. Of that number, 4.24 million single mothers lived below the poverty line compared to 404,000 single fathers, she noted.
The single most important factor that allows single-parent families to get out of poverty is working full-time, she said. “A 2011 study shows that in single-parent families below the poverty line at the end, only 15.1 percent were employed full-time year-round.”

Previous studies show that 39 percent of working single mothers report receiving unearned income, assumed to be child support. That means fathers are contributing only 28 percent of child-rearing costs in single-mother households, she said.

The pathway into single-parent households differs by gender, she said. “Single fathers are more likely to become single parents as the result of a divorce; single mothers are more likely never to have been married,” she explained.

“Divorced single parents tend to be better off financially and are more educated than their never-married counterparts. The most common living arrangement for children after a divorce is for mothers to have custody. Single fathers with custody are more likely to have a cohabiting partner than single mothers, and that partner is probably at least sharing household tasks. Single mothers are more likely to be doing everything on their own,” she said.

Often single mothers have both the stress of raising children alone and crippling financial stress, she added….. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150831163743.htm

Citation:

Single mothers much more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, study finds
Date: August 31, 2015

Source: University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

Summary:

Single mothers earn significantly less than single fathers, and they are penalized for each additional child they have even though the income of single fathers remains the same or increases with each added child in their family. Men also make more for every additional year they invest in education, further widening the gender gap, reports a new study.

Journal Reference:

1. Karen Z. Kramer, Laurelle L. Myhra, Virginia S. Zuiker, Jean W. Bauer. Comparison of Poverty and Income Disparity of Single Mothers and Fathers Across Three Decades: 1990–2010. Gender Issues, 2015; DOI: 10.1007/s12147-015-9144-3

Here is the press release:

Single mothers much more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, study finds
Published August 31, 2015

URBANA, Ill. – Single mothers earn significantly less than single fathers, and they’re penalized for each additional child they have even though the income of single fathers remains the same or increases with each added child in their family. Men also make more for every additional year they invest in education, further widening the gender gap, reports a University of Illinois study.

“Single mothers earn about two-thirds of what single fathers earn. Even when we control for such variables as occupation, numbers of hours worked, education, and social capital, the income gap does not decrease by much. Single mothers are far more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, and they do not catch up over time,” said Karen Kramer, a U of I assistant professor of family studies.

In 2012, 28 percent of all U.S. children lived with one parent. Of that number, 4.24 million single mothers lived below the poverty line compared to 404,000 single fathers, she noted.
The single most important factor that allows single-parent families to get out of poverty is working full-time, she said. “A 2011 study shows that in single-parent families below the poverty line at the end, only 15.1 percent were employed full-time year-round.”

Previous studies show that 39 percent of working single mothers report receiving unearned income, assumed to be child support. That means fathers are contributing only 28 percent of child-rearing costs in single-mother households, she said.

The pathway into single-parent households differs by gender, she said. “Single fathers are more likely to become single parents as the result of a divorce; single mothers are more likely never to have been married,” she explained.

“Divorced single parents tend to be better off financially and are more educated than their never-married counterparts. The most common living arrangement for children after a divorce is for mothers to have custody. Single fathers with custody are more likely to have a cohabiting partner than single mothers, and that partner is probably at least sharing household tasks. Single mothers are more likely to be doing everything on their own,” she said.

Often single mothers have both the stress of raising children alone and crippling financial stress, she added.
Society still stigmatizes single mothers, she noted. “People think: How did you get in this position? It’s irresponsible to be a single mother with so many kids. Now you don’t have time to work.”
She pointed out that the role of women as caretakers saturates every aspect of our culture. “Women perform most caregiving work for children, elders, and dependent persons, both within their own families and as paid employees,” she said.

“We need to encourage women to invest in education. And, as policymakers, we need to make sure that women and men get the same return on that investment,” she said.

Kramer recommended that more emphasis and pressure should be placed on fathers and their ability to pay child support and spousal maintenance; raising the minimum wage to a living wage; and providing similar benefits and rewards for part-time work as the ones full-time workers get.

Affordable housing in a safe neighborhood, access to public transportation, food support, child care and health care for single mothers should also be supported, she added.

Kramer noted that single mothers who don’t participate in Social Security because they are not working are setting themselves up for lifelong poverty.

“Social Security is designed to protect those who have lengthy work histories or women who get married. Single motherhood presents a continuing crisis that requires efforts to end women’s poverty by enforcing anti-discrimination laws and offering opportunities and training for better-paying positions,” Kramer said.
“Comparison of Poverty and Income Disparity of Single Mothers and Fathers Across Three Decades, 1990-2010” appears in a recent issue of Gender Issues. Co-authors are Karen Z. Kramer of the University of Illinois, Laurelle L. Myhra of the Native American Community Clinic in Minneapolis, and Virginia S. Zuiker and Jean W. Bauer of the University of Minnesota. Funding was supplied by USDA.

News Source:
Karen Z. Kramer, 217-244-3974

News Writer:
Phyllis Picklesimer, 217-244-2827
http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/single-mothers-much-more-likely-live-poverty-single-fathers-study-finds

This comment is not politically correct. If you want politically correct, stop reading. Children, especially boys, need positive male role models. They don’t need another “uncle” or “fiancée” who when the chips are down cashes out. By the way, what is the new definition of “fiancée?” Is that someone who is rented for an indefinite term to introduce the kids from your last “fiancée” to? Back in the day, “fiancée” meant one was engaged to be married, got married and then had kids. Nowadays, it means some one who hangs around for an indeterminate period of time and who may or may not formalize a relationship with baby mama. Kids don’t need someone in their lives who has as a relationship strategy only dating women with children because they are available and probably desperate. What children, especially boys, need are men who are consistently there for them, who model good behavior and values, and who consistently care for loved ones. They don’t need men who have checked out of building relationships and those who are nothing more than sperm donors.

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