eCite Digital Repository

Working their way out of poverty? Sole motherhood, work, welfare and material well-being


Walter, MM, Working their way out of poverty? Sole motherhood, work, welfare and material well-being, Journal of Sociology, 38, (4) pp. 361-380. ISSN 0004-8690 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/144078302128756732


Over the last 20 years, Australian social policy has increasingly focused on raising the labour market participation level of sole parents. The extension of mutual obligation to sole parents under welfare reform further concentrates this policy direction. Yet while increased workforce activity may reduce 'welfare dependency', the efficacy of employment to raise the level of material well-being in sole parent families is less clear. Recent research casts doubt on the assumed link between material well-being and paid work for sole mother households. This article uses data from the 1996/97 Negotiating the Lifecourse Project and three measures of material well-being to examine the relative importance of employment and partnered status to material well-being among sole and married mother households. The results indicate that increased market work may not lead to significantly higher rates of material well-being for sole mother families.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Social policy
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Families and family services
UTAS Author:Walter, MM (Professor Maggie Walter)
ID Code:25714
Year Published:2002
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Riawunna
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2007-08-21

Repository Staff Only: item control page