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Rostocks Eleven | June 6, 2016

A full-time job is good for single parents

© zlikovec / Fotolia.de

Single parents get ill notably more often than mothers who have a partner at their side. MPIDR-researcher Mine Kühn has investigated why this is so. And she found out that a job worked full-time of all positively affects the health of these women. The scientist explains why this is so at Rostock's Eleven, which takes place on June 9.

It is not well with the health of lone mothers in this country: They fall ill markedly more often than mothers who have a partner at their side. MPIDR-researcher Mine Kühn has investigated why this is so. Based on data on mothers in Germany, she has shown for the first time ever that the pressures faced by single mothers clearly are very high; so high, in fact, that they even negatively affect the health of these women. She has also proven that it is the added pressures of single parenthood that make for the bad state single mothers are in, and that it is not just illness as such that increasingly causes breakups. But what her research has also shown: Having a job positively affects the health and well-being of the mothers. And it is especially women who increase their working hours and do not have to rely on public childcare arrangements who benefit in terms of health. Single mothers who cannot count on family support for child care or who cannot afford additional child care paid out of their own pocket, by contrast, have poorer health. But we do not have to accept this situation, not as unjust as it is, says Mine Kühn. After all, policies could be introduced to ensure the provision of childcare facilities that would allow lone parents, too, to handle the balancing act between work and family better.

About Rostock's Eleven

Rostock's Eleven is a joint initiative of all research institutions in Rostock: Eleven young scientists from eleven research institutes in Rostock present the results of their research to young scientific journalists from all over Germany. At the close of the event, the best presentation will receive a prize.

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