The demography of lone parenthood in the UK

Alexandra J Skew, University of Southampton

This paper examines the dynamics of lone parenthood, with particular emphasis on the pathways out of lone parenthood and how these vary by demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Previous work has shown that the factors associated with entry into lone parenthood are different for those who become lone parents through the separation of a partnership compared to those who enter through giving birth whilst single and never-married. Using British Household Panel Survey data for the period 1991-2003 this work seeks to explore whether re-partnering patterns are different for each type of lone parent. The research follows the experience of women who were lone mothers at the start of the survey in 1991 and follows their experience across the subsequent thirteen years. Specifically it will examine the timing to repartnering - the duration of lone parenthood and the types of unions formed. It will also be of interest to investigate whether the characteristics of lone parents change with increasing duration of lone parenthood. With the use of multivariate survival analysis techniques it will be possible to investigate the effect of each variable on the re-partnering process in the presence of other variables. Issues of sample attrition and censoring will also be taken into account in the analysis.

Presented in Poster Session 1