Job insecurity and child well-being in single-parent families in Europe: A matter of family and gender policy
Keywords:child deprivation, gender equality, labour market, multilevel analysis, poverty
Objective: The aim of this article is to extend our knowledge about child deprivation in single-parent families from a comparative European perspective. We first analyse the relationship between the employment status of single parents and child deprivation. Furthermore, we examine whether gender equality in the labour market and family cash benefits reduce deprivation and alleviate the consequences of unemployment and employment precariousness.
Background: Children from single-parent families suffer deprivation mainly due to their parents' job insecurity and the fact that, in general, there is only one breadwinner in their households, usually a woman. However, the situation of these children may differ between European countries according to gender equality and family policies.
Method: We use cross-sectional data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions 2014 and multilevel logistic regressions. The analysis is based on a sample of single-parent households (N = 5910) from 28 European countries.
Results: The results indicate that temporary employment and unemployment are associated with a greater risk of child deprivation in single-parent families. The results also show that gender equality in the labour market reduces child deprivation, especially in families where the parent has a temporary employment. Redistributive family policies have a more limited impact.
Conclusion: The main findings indicate that advances in gender equality in the labour market are essential to combat child deprivation in single-parent families in Europe.