About this study
This study was commissioned with two main objectives:
Some key findings from the study are that:
mothers who view parenting as a job are less likely to move into work
the likelyhood of a mother entering work is higher if they use formal childcare, or a combination of formal and informal childcare.
Potential policy impact
Our analysis of 2006-8 data and subsequent findings about why some lone mothers enter work and others don't has fresh relevance given the introduction of the Lone Parent Obligation. This policy requires lone parents with a youngest child aged seven to move from Income Support to Jobseekers Allowance (the age limit will be reduced to five in 2012).
We analysed data collected from the 'Choices and Constraints' questions on the Families and Children Study. We used the following methods:
factor analysis to identify the structures underpinning lone mothers' attitudes and perceptions.
Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to model relationships between factors and work outcomes. A more detailed description of this multivariate analysis tool is given in the full report.