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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2018

Lone Parenthood in the Life Course

  • Focuses on the diversity and heterogeneity of lone parents at the beginning of the XXI century

  • Adopt a longitudinal and multidimensional life course perspective on one-parent families

  • Features a mix of longitudinal, comparative and qualitative studies to address the subjective and objective dimensions of lone parenthood

Part of the book series: Life Course Research and Social Policies (LCRS, volume 8)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (16 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xiii
  2. Changing Lone Parents, Changing Life Courses

    • Laura Bernardi, Dimitri Mortelmans, Ornella Larenza
    Pages 1-26Open Access
  3. Defining Lone Parents

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 27-27
    2. Changing Lone Parenthood Patterns: New Challenges for Policy and Research

      • Marie -Thérèse Letablier, Karin Wall
      Pages 29-53Open Access
    3. Lone Young Parenthood by Choice? Life Stories in Great Britain

      • Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq
      Pages 75-92Open Access
    4. Variety of Transitions into Lone Parenthood

      • Laura Bernardi, Ornella Larenza
      Pages 93-108Open Access
  4. Demographics of Lone Parents

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 109-109
    2. Migrant Status and Lone Motherhood – Risk Factors of Female Labour Force Participation in Switzerland

      • Nadja Milewski, Emanuela Struffolino, Laura Bernardi
      Pages 141-163Open Access
  5. Income and Poverty Among Lone Parents

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 165-165
    2. Income Trajectories of Lone Parents After Divorce: A View with Belgian Register Data

      • Dimitri Mortelmans, Christine Defever
      Pages 191-211Open Access
    3. The Economic Consequences of Becoming a Lone Mother

      • Susan Harkness
      Pages 213-234Open Access
  6. Labour Market Behavior of Lone Parents

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 235-235
    2. Lone Mothers in Belgium: Labor Force Attachment and Risk Factors

      • Emanuela Struffolino, Dimitri Mortelmans
      Pages 257-282Open Access
  7. Well-Being and Health of Lone Parents

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 283-283
    2. Associations Between Lone Motherhood and Depression: A Co-twin Control Study

      • Diana Dinescu, Megan Haney-Claus, Eric Turkheimer, Robert E. Emery
      Pages 285-301Open Access
    3. The Selective Nature of Lone Parenthood: The Case of Ireland

      • Carmel Hannan
      Pages 303-322Open Access

About this book

Lone parenthood is an increasing reality in the 21st century, reinforced by the diffusion of divorce and separation. This volume provides a comprehensive portrait of lone parenthood at the beginning of the XXI century from a life course perspective. The contributions included in this volume examine the dynamics of lone parenthood in the life course and explore the trajectories of lone parents in terms of income, poverty, labour, market behaviour, wellbeing, and health. Throughout, comparative analyses of data from countries as France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, and Australia help portray how lone parenthood varies between regions, cultures, generations, and institutional settings. The findings show that one-parent households are inhabited by a rather heterogeneous world of mothers and fathers facing different challenges.

Readers will not only discover the demographics and diversity of lone parents, but also the variety of social representations and discourses about the changing phenomenon of lone parenthood. The book provides a mixture of qualitative and quantitative studies on lone parenthood. Using large scale and longitudinal panel and register data, the reader will gain insight in complex processes across time. More qualitative case studies on the other hand discuss the definition of lone parenthood, the public debate around it, and the social and subjective representations of lone parents themselves. 

This book aims at sociologists, demographers, psychologists, political scientists, family therapists, and policy makers who want to gain new insights into one of the most striking changes in family forms over the last 50 years.

This book is open access under a CC BY License.


  • Divorce and separation
  • Living arrangements
  • Lone parenthood as family form
  • Lone parents' family composition and policy arrangements
  • Mothers and fathers
  • Single parents
  • Family Dynamics
  • Family Welfare
  • Vulnerability
  • Lone Parenthood
  • Life Course
  • Open access

Editors and Affiliations

  • National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES – Overcoming Vulnerability: Life course perspectives (NCCR Lives), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

    Laura Bernardi

  • CLLS, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

    Dimitri Mortelmans

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)