Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Longitudinal Study: HILDA
Title: Mental Health Problems Among Single and Partnered Mothers
Authors: Crosier, T 
Rodgers, B 
Butterworth, P 
Publication Date: Jan-2007
Pages: 6-13
Keywords: Mental Health
Abstract: Background Research has shown elevated levels of common mental disorders among single mothers compared with partnered mothers. The objectives of this analysis were to examine the prevalence of mental health problems among single and partnered mothers and the extent to which this relationship is mediated by socio-demographic, financial and social support variables. Methods Using cross-sectional data from a large, nationally representative longitudinal Australian household survey—the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey—the prevalence of moderate to severe mental disability (as measured by the SF-36) was assessed among 354 single mothers and 1,689 partnered mothers. A series of univariate and simultaneous logistic regression analyses assessed the association between parenting status, the other explanatory variables and mental disability. Mediational analyses were conducted using the ‘explained fraction’ approach. Results The prevalence of moderate to severe mental disability was significantly more pronounced among single mothers (28.7%) compared with partnered mothers (15.7%). Including all explanatory factors—socio-demographic, household income, financial hardship and social support—accounted for 94% of the association between single mother status and poor mental health. Financial hardship and social support were the strongest predictors, accounting for most of the predictive power of the other variables. Conclusions Single mothers are more likely to experience poor mental health than partnered mothers, and the primary factors associated with this are the presence of financial hardship in particular, as well as perceived lack of social support. Future research should examine the extent to which changes in financial hardship among different family types relate to changes in mental health over time, as well as continue to examine variables that may moderate the relationship between social disadvantage and poor mental health.
DOI: 10.1007/s00127-006-0125-4
Keywords: Health -- Mental; Families -- Mothers; Families; Health; Families -- Lone parents
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Mar 29, 2023
Google icon

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.