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Are poor parents poor parents? The relationship between poverty and parenting among mothers in the UK

Cooper, Kerris (2021) Are poor parents poor parents? The relationship between poverty and parenting among mothers in the UK. Sociology, 55 (2). 349 - 383. ISSN 0038-0385

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038520939397

Abstract

Low-income parents have long been demonised in both political discourses and mainstream media, portrayed as lacking in parenting skills not just financial resources. Using the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) this article examines to what extent there are differences in the parenting of low-income mothers by examining parenting behaviours of low-, middle- and high-income mothers. The findings show that where there are negative differences in the parenting of low-income mothers these are often part of a broader income gradient that extends all the way up the distribution, rather than unique to low-income mothers. Furthermore, there are some positive differences in parenting among low-income mothers compared to middle-income mothers. These findings have important implications: low-income parents are not an unusual or deviant group parenting differently to everyone else. The findings suggest more attention ought to be given to parenting differences higher up the income distribution. In focusing on low-income parents only, existing evidence exaggerates differences and wrongly identifies low-income parents as problematic.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/soc
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2020 16:00
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 15:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/104686

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