Annotated Bibliography on the Relationship Between Single Mothers and Poverty

Paper Type:  Annotated bibliography
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1802 Words
Date:  2021-06-01

Wright, K. (2012). 5 Things to Know About Single Mothers in Poverty Center for American Progress.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Families that are managed by single mothers are at a very high percentage of living in poverty as compared to married couples households. This perspective may have adverse effects on the well-being of children, child care expenses and single parenting affects the role of mothers in parenting. The concept of single mothers in poverty is derived from the fact that they significantly earn low income and they are the sole providers for the family. Single mothers have to balance the control variables such as hours of working, social capital, occupation and education. Therefore, with the inability to handle a full-time job it increases the chances for single mothers to live in poverty in the effort of wanting to be a present and providing mother. For instance, the job quality is of the essence in single-parenting especially for single mothers who are earning a low income. If a child happens to fall sick the mothers are forced to select in between letting go of their work and caring for the sick baby. These causes reduction of wages, instability in child care provisions, and inflexibility in work schedules.


Badger, E. (2014). The relationship between single mothers and poverty is not as simple as it seems. Washington Post.

History dictates that single parenting has been ongoing even in the past because of increase in parental mortality rate caused by diseases, wars, and dying at child birth. Statistics indicate that during the 17th century a third of children lost their fathers during childhood because of wars. While in the19th and the 20th-century single-parenting increased as a result of divorce cases, however, depending on the culture of each nation. Therefore, it clearly observed that the family structure has been evolving due to current trends that significantly leads to the rise of single mothers. This family structure is intertwined with poverty because almost a third of family units are managed by single women who are already experiencing the depths of the poverty line. At about 45% of children raised in a household without their fathers are experiencing poverty. Recently, research studies outline that intergenerational income flexibility was lesser in metropolitan locations especially where single mothers lived.

Causes and Related Factors

PHYS, (2015). Single mothers much more likely to live in poverty than single fathers, study finds.

One of the major causes that lead to single-mothers in poverty is the fact that they significantly earn less than other forms of family structures and they are for each additional offspring they bring to life. In comparison, single-fathers earn more than the single-mothers and their income may increase with every additional child brought to the family. Therefore, single-mothers are highly prone to living in poverty because of low incomes even when control variables such as social capital and occupations are incorporated.

Kirby, J. (2001). Single-parent Families in Poverty.

Furthermore, it is reported that about 39% of single mothers depend on child support from their biological fathers; this caters only 28% of expenses which leads to increase in inadequacy in satisfying household needs. Often single mothers fall into this family structure bracket because of childbearing before marriage which leads to financial distress and finds it difficult to deal with the community stigmatization.

Impact of the problem

Mclanahan, S. (2017). The Consequences of Single Motherhood. The American Prospect.

Children raised by single mothers are at high risk of experiencing high poverty levels due to less income as compared to family structures who have both parents. Financial stability is the key aspect to eradicating poverty because it plays a crucial role in providing the children with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. Additionally, the social well-being of the child is significantly affected because of lack of the presence of the mother in their social lives. Research studies indicate that children that are reared in families that have both parents are not in a position of experiencing social problems because they receive effective parental care, guidance and emotional support in comparison to single mothers who have inadequate time for their children because they are working around the clock.

Single mothers in poverty often depend on the government support. In that, they receive government welfares, public assistance, and food stamps thus due to the accrued benefits highest percentage of single-mother have continued reliance on government support. The dependence on government for household necessities can have a negative impact on children because high dependency on government welfare can reduce a childs intelligence quotient. As such, it is debated that children raised by single mothers may end up committing acts of delinquency, portray behavioral problems and increased sexual activity at a tender age.

Competing points of view

The relationship between single mothers and poverty to some extent depends on a persons ideology. For instance, looking at the past and the present trends, cultural variations and integrations, and societal restructuring have a significant impact on the rise in single-parenting and change in family structures. This leads to a rise of poverty levels in these types of family structures as a result of leaving all the household workload to one parent who has 24hours to manage dynamic factors such as child care, education expenses, household management and expenses and acquire a well-paying job. Therefore, single mothers tend to compromise their jobs by working part-time in order to provide care for their children.

On the other hand, sociologists point out that the economic aspects that are bigger forces than family structures have destroyed the urban societies and robbed many women the capability of acquiring a stable marriage system especially due to lack of qualitative jobs. Therefore, within this perspective, the situations of poverty itself strains the single-women based families. However, the sociologists disagree with the view that social values have impacted to poverty levels among single mothers. It is termed as misleading policy prescriptions whereby they encourage incentivize marriage by convincing the poor women to get married in order to acquire family values and eradicate poverty.

The economic analysis points out certain conditions impacting to single-mothers to low social mobility. For example, some people may be convinced that cultural changes and integrations can be the cause to single mothers living in poverty levels. Hereby, one can blame the single mothers for the absence of fathers in the family unit and this may result in rejection of the society thus making it difficult for the children to obtain opportunities in some of these communities. Eventually, it leads to poverty because of lack of progress and isolation from the community within which the children should be at liberty to thrive in.

However, the perspective that culture is the cause of poverty among single mothers certainly ignores the surrounding economic circumstances. In that, if the woman was married in a neighborhood that has rates of unemployment, increased rate of poverty levels and incarceration this would evidently not solve the aspect of poverty. Economists indicate that marriage only gives the mothers emotional and marriage stability benefits to the middle and upper-class families, however, the aspect of marriage itself is not universally beneficial. The gap between single parenting and poverty lies within the ability to pay household bills, employment, and having flexible schedules towards raising of offspring.

Description of attempts to resolve the problem

Historical Attempts

Huang, C. C. (2000). A Policy Solution to Reduce Poverty in Single-Mother Families?An Examination of the Child Support Assurance System.

In the past, studies indicated that as women engaged more in academic pursuance the more the cases of divorced mothers arose. The occurrence also led to associated factors such as reduced birth rates; however, the outstanding fact is that the economic statuses of the women decrease as a result of marital dissolution. These trends have remained a puzzle on the level of impact that results from marital dissolutions especially to the welfare of the kids left in single-mother families. This led to the desire to implement policies that would see a decline in the poverty levels amongst single mothers.

For instance, in the U.S the Federal Government adopted several steps that attempted to prevent fathers from fully abandoning their children and ensure that they provided financial support. Child support was thus introduced as the mechanism that provided a platform where the non-resident parents were required to surrender a part of their earnings towards the support of the children. The implementation reduced the caseloads in the U.S and in turn reduced the reliance on welfare by the single mothers leading to an overall economic growth.

In a country like Taiwan, some policies were passed that favored the parent with the financial capability to take custody of the child. However, in 1996 an amendment was made that required the court of law to put into consideration the interests of the child, as usual children opt for their mothers and as a result to reduce the single-mother poverty their economic well-being is thus put into consideration.

Current Attempts

Gabe, T. (2014). Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female-Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013.

With the current economic conditions, policies have been re-adjusted to the prevailing economic atmospheres and conditions. The economy U.S economy specifically has faced some recessionary periods that affected the countrys infrastructure and therefore the government has to establish some economic stimulus strategies to drive the economy to recovery; this included supporting the middle-income families and the single-mothers from the languishes of poverty. Therefore some policies were recently put into motion.

Tax Rebates, Credits and Reductions

So as to stimulate the economy while providing a financial cushion for the segment of the population that is highly financially vulnerable, the government introduced an Economic Stimulus Act (2008) that single-parents especially single mothers were eligible to receive minimum tax rebates provided they had filed their federal income taxes.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The policy provided under the Unemployment Compensation the Unemployment Insurance system provides to a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment reimbursement for the lost wages to the workers who are qualified and proven eligible for job loss. Single-Mothers were major beneficiaries of the policy as most would end up losing their jobs due to divorce cases and the urgency to take care of the children.

Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2014). Household food security in the United States in 2013.

SNAP or the Food Stamp Benefits policy (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

The benefits for the SNAP program were raised to a maximum of monthly benefits by 13.5% as the replacement for the inflation on the annual food prices. This led to more than 15% increment in the household benefits; this would make it easy for the single-mother households as it became a sufficient financial incentive to guide them from poverty.

Implications for Generalist Social Work Practice


National Association of Workers, (2017). Poverty.

Social work has an extensive history in addressing the matters of poverty at individual and national...

Cite this page

Annotated Bibliography on the Relationship Between Single Mothers and Poverty. (2021, Jun 01). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism