Partnership Status

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The results patterns of mothers’ activities with children, their feelings in these activities, and how patterns in mothering experiences vary by partnership status, employment status, and the intersection between these two key demographic features of mothers’ lives.

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Table 1 shows significant bivariate differences in feelings in mothering by employment and partnership status. Employed mothers are less sad but more fatigued in time with children than non-employed mothers. Single mothers are less happy and sadder, stressed, and fatigued than partnered mothers.

The generalized linear models (GLM) with random effects predicting each of the five emotions in activities with children. Even though all groups report high levels of happiness in time with children non-employed single mothers report the lowest levels of happiness in parenting, which is significantly lower than employed single mothers and partnered mothers regardless of employment status.

Although employed single mothers are better off than non-employed single mothers in terms of happiness in parenting, they register a significant happiness disadvantage in parenting activities relative to partnered mothers of either employment status. Partnered mothers’ happiness in activities with children does not differ based on employment status.

There is also, high levels of meaning in time with children and no significant differences by employment or partnership status. However, unemployed single mothers report higher levels of sadness in activities with children. Employed single mothers and partnered mothers do not differ significantly from each other in their reports of sadness in activities with children. Again, across the four groups, levels of stress in time with children are relatively low. Much like the findings for happiness, unemployed single mothers experience significantly higher levels of stress with children than any of the other mothers.

Employed single mothers also register significantly more stress than partnered mothers of either employment status. Partnered mothers who are employed do not differ from those who are unemployed in their levels of stress when parenting. All groups report higher levels of fatigue in parenting than do non-employed partnered mothers. There are no other employment or partnership differences in fatigue, indicating that although employment and single parenting are both associated with higher levels of fatigue in time with children, there is not an additional detriment for mothers who are both single and employed.

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Partnership Status. (2022, Apr 11). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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