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Lone parents, health, wellbeing and welfare to work: a systematic review of qualitative studies

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Public Health, February 2016
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Title
Lone parents, health, wellbeing and welfare to work: a systematic review of qualitative studies
Published in
BMC Public Health, February 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-2880-9
Pubmed ID
Authors

Mhairi Campbell, Hilary Thomson, Candida Fenton, Marcia Gibson

Abstract

Lone parents and their children experience higher than average levels of adverse health and social outcomes, much of which are explained by high rates of poverty. Many high income countries have attempted to address high poverty rates by introducing employment requirements for lone parents in receipt of welfare benefits. However, there is evidence that employment may not reduce poverty or improve the health of lone parents and their children. We conducted a systematic review of qualitative studies reporting lone parents' accounts of participation in welfare to work (WtW), to identify explanations and possible mechanisms for the impacts of WtW on health and wellbeing. Twenty one bibliographic databases were searched. Two reviewers independently screened references and assessed study quality. Studies from any high income country that met the criteria of focussing on lone parents, mandatory WtW interventions, and health or wellbeing were included. Thematic synthesis was used to investigate analytic themes between studies. Screening of the 4703 identified papers and quality assessment resulted in the inclusion of 16 qualitative studies of WtW in five high income countries, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, covering a variety of welfare regimes. Our synthesis found that WtW requirements often conflicted with child care responsibilities. Available employment was often poorly paid and precarious. Adverse health impacts, such as increased stress, fatigue, and depression were commonly reported, though employment and appropriate training was linked to increased self-worth for some. WtW appeared to influence health through the pathways of conflict and control, analytical themes which emerged during synthesis. WtW reduced control over the nature of employment and care of children. Access to social support allowed some lone parents to manage the conflict associated with employment, and to increase control over their circumstances, with potentially beneficial health impacts. WtW can result in increased conflict and reduced control, which may lead to negative impacts on mental health. Availability of social support may mediate the negative health impacts of WtW.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 140 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 140 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 31 22%
Student > Master 30 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 14%
Student > Bachelor 16 11%
Unspecified 6 4%
Other 14 10%
Unknown 24 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 46 33%
Medicine and Dentistry 15 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 11%
Psychology 11 8%
Unspecified 7 5%
Other 21 15%
Unknown 25 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 March 2016.
All research outputs
#13,656,227
of 17,792,212 outputs
Outputs from BMC Public Health
#10,005
of 11,976 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#178,066
of 272,284 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Public Health
#1
of 1 outputs
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