Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

A community based study of unmarried & married mothers

Abstract

THIS study examined a group of 50 unmarried mothers, living in an urban underprivileged area in Ireland, under the headings of: demographic details, background factors, material and social supports, the prevalence of psychiatric disturbance, and how they perceived their babies. The findings were then compared with those of a control group of 53 married mothers from the same community.

Difficulties encountered by both groups were very high levels of unemployment, financial difficulties and a high prevalence of psychiatric morbidity. There was also a high incidence of single pregnancies in the families of both groups. Significant differences between the unmarried and married groups of mothers lay in the areas of: inadequate accommodation, desire to conceive at the time of conception and paternal interest in the pregnancy.

The group of single mothers living alone emerged as a particularly vulnerable group, specifically in the areas of finances, social contact and psychiatric disturbance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Quarterly Data, Dublin. Central Statistics Office, 1985.

  2. 2.

    Quarterly Data, Dublin. Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children. 1985.

  3. 3.

    Kruk, S. Pregnancy and the single woman. London. Heinemann Educational Books. 1983.

  4. 4.

    Crellin, E., Pringle, M. West. Born Illegitimate. Slough. NFER. 1971.

  5. 5.

    Islley, R., Gill, D. S. Changing trends in illegitimacy. Soc. Sci. Med. 1968: 2, 415–433.

  6. 6.

    Finer. Report of the committee on one parent families. London. HMSO. 1974.

  7. 7.

    MacIntyre, D. Single and Pregnant. Croom Helm. 1977.

  8. 8.

    Weir, S. A study of unmarried mothers and their children in Scotland. Scottish Health Services studies. SHHD. 13. 1970.

  9. 9.

    Marsden, D. Mothers Alone. Allen Lane Hardmansworth. Pelican. 1973.

  10. 10.

    Ferri, E. Growing-up in a one parent family. London National Children’s Bureau. 1976.

  11. 11.

    Department of Health. Children coming into care. Dublin. Federation of Services for Unmarried Parents and their Children. 1978.

  12. 12.

    Parket, G., Tuplin, H., Brown, L. B. A parental bonding instrument. Br. J. Med. Psychol. 1972: 52, 1–10.

  13. 13.

    Corney, R. H., Clare, A. W., Fry, J. The development of a self report questionnaire to identify social problems in a pilot study. Psychol. Med. 1982: 12, 903–909.

  14. 14.

    Corney, R. H., Clare, A. W. The construction, development and testing of a self report questionnaire to identify social problems. Psychol. Med. 1985: 15, 637–649.

  15. 15.

    Goldberg, D. P., Blackwell, B. Psychiatric illness in general practice—a detailed study using a new method of case identification—the general health questionnaire. Br. Med. J. 1970: 2, 429–443.

  16. 16.

    Goldberg, D. Manual of the general health questionnaire. Windsor, Berks. NFER-Nelson. 1978.

  17. 17.

    Doll, E. A. Measurement of social competence — the vineland social maturity manual. American Guidance Service Inc. 1953.

  18. 18.

    Quarterly Data. Central Statistics Office. Ardree Road, Dublin. 1987.

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

McDonnell, K., Fitzgerald, M. & Kinsella, T. A community based study of unmarried & married mothers. I.J.M.S. 157, 79 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02950355

Download citation

Keywords

  • Single Mother
  • General Health Questionnaire
  • Psychiatric Morbidity
  • Family Planning Method
  • Married Mother