FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Consequences of the increase of single motherhood among low educated mothers: comparing Spain and Italy before and after the Great Recession

GT 6 Desigualdad y Estratificación Social

Anna Garriga Alsina (Universidad Pompeu Fabra)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 1 : Distribución de la renta y pobreza
Responsable(s): Sebastià Sarasa Urdiola (Universidad Pompeu fabra)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: jueves, 30 de junio de 2016
Hora: 09:30 a 11:30
Lugar: 102

The increase of single motherhood is a very important social transformation experienced by Western societies in the last half century. However, nowadays, one of the most important social changes is not the increase of single parent families per se but rather the fact that single parenthood has become more common among low educated women in most Western countries (Härkönen, 2014; Garriga, Sarasa and Berta, 2014). In a previous study (Garriga, Sarasa and Berta, 2014) we showed the reversal of educational gradient in single motherhood observed in most western countries also have taken place in Spain but not in Italy. Several researchers have alerted us to the potential consequences of the increase of single motherhood among low educated women on children’s well-being and family living conditions (McLanahan and Percheski 2008). However, despite the importance of this question, there is limited research that explicitly demonstrates whether this demographic change has negative consequences (with the exception of Härkönen, 2014). For this reason, in this study, we explore the consequences of the increase of single parenthood among low educated mothers on poverty and family income comparing Spain and Italy. We use the 2005 and 2011 waves of EU-SILC which include an inter-generational module containing information on attributes related to the family of origin. EU_SILC is a unique database that contains Spanish information on the characteristics of single mother families in recent years and allows cross-national comparability. We use a sample of 7,280 mothers in Spain and 10,422 in Italy. We perform several logistic regression (poverty) and quantiles regressions. Our results indicate that the increase of single motherhood among low educated women has negative consequences on family living conditions such as poverty and family income in Spain but not in Italy. In addition, in Spain, the negative effects of the increase of single motherhood among low-educated mothers are greater after the beginning of the economic recession (2011) than before it (2005). We have also explored the moderating role of mother’s education across the different quantiles of the income distribution.

Palabras clave: Income, single motherhood, education, poverty, quantiles regression