Beyond Provisions: The Relationship between Poverty and Parenting among Single Mothers

Ronald E. Bulanda, Miami University

The primary aim of this study is to assess how poverty status influences the parenting of single mothers. A common approach in the literature assessing the parenting of single mothers is to target only low-income mothers. Currently we do not know how poverty influences variations in parenting within single mother families. The results from this study offer several important contributions, including the identification of the conditions in which poor families demonstrate positive parenting behaviors. In this work, the results suggest the poverty status of single mothers to be primarily unrelated to their parenting. Specifically, the parental style, support, and monitoring of single mothers is not associated with their poverty status. In contrast, the parenting measure related to the poverty status of poor single mothers may be indicative of a positive parenting approach. Poor single mothers are more involved in establishing limits for their adolescent children.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being