The demographic determinants of becoming a lone mother after separation in Hungary

Judit Monostori, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Our paper deals with the changes in the family arrangements among women who raise their underage child(ren). We focus on the trajectories into the lone parenthood, basically concentrate the termination of partnership since that is the main route into the lone parenthood. Using the whole partnership and childbirth trajectories we estimate the likelihood of becoming a lone parent, the duration of episodes of living as a lone parent and we try to identify the demographic factors which contribute to becoming a single parent family. We use the four waves of the GGS (2001-2012) and Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and Cox-regression as methods. Our research has highlighted that the ratio of mothers who were affected in lone parenthood in their life is substantially higher than those who are in lone parenthood in a particular year. Our paper pointed out that in spite of the fact that cohabitation turned into a prevalent family arrangement where more and more children are born and growing up, a significant difference remain between the two coexistence forms. The couples in cohabitation face a higher risk of separation than married counterparts. Furthermore the mothers and fathers who got married after their first child’s birth significantly differ in stability of the partnership from those who were married at the first birth. The number of children was also associated with the partnership stability. We state that couples with only one child have a significantly higher risk of separation than couples with children. This result can be interpreted equivocal. It can be a selection effect, namely those undertake only one child with higher likelihood who are less able to organize the everyday life. On the other hand it can be feasible that these women planned more children but the quality of the partnership inhibited them from realizing their fertility intentions.

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Presented in Session 92: Single parenthood