Single moms spend less time with children

Nov. 25, 2008 at 1:05 PM
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COLLEGE PARK, Md., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Mothers who are married or cohabit spend similar amounts of time caring for their children, but single mothers spend less, U.S. researchers said.

Sarah Kendig and Suzanne Bianchi, both of the University of Maryland, used data from the American Time Use Survey to study the relationship between family structure and maternal time with children among 4,309 married mothers and 1,821 single mothers with children younger than 13 years of age.

The researchers found single mothers spent around 83 percent to 90 percent as much time with their children as married mothers.

Single mothers spend less time with children, on average because as a group they are less educated than married mothers -- and more highly educated mothers spend more time with children, the researchers said.

The study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, said that as a group, single mothers have higher employment rates -- and employed mothers spend less time caring for their children than mothers who aren't employed.

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