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Lone Motherhood and Health Status


  • Lori J. Curtis


This study focuses on the health status of women with children, particularly lone mothers, the beneficiaries of many policies. Data from the 1994 Statistics Canada's National Population Health Survey indicate that lone mothers have, on average, consistently lower unconditional health status than married mothers. However, lone mothers also have, on average, lower levels of health inputs. Once age, income, education, lifestyle factors, family size, and other recognized determinants of health are controlled for, lone mothers are at least no worse off than married mothers when it comes to health status. This evidence points toward promoting policies directed at increasing the education, income and lifestyle factors of lone mothers if we wish to improve their health status.

Suggested Citation

  • Lori J. Curtis, 2001. "Lone Motherhood and Health Status," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(3), pages 335-356, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:27:y:2001:i:3:p:335-356

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Greg Stoddart, 1995. "The Challenge of Producing Health in Modern Economies," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 1995-15, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
    2. Macran, Susan & Clarke, Lynda & Joshi, Heather, 1996. "Women's health: Dimensions and differentials," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1203-1216, May.
    3. Benzeval, Michaela, 1998. "The self-reported health status of lone parents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1337-1353, March.
    4. JoAnn Kingston-Riechers, 1998. "The Association Between the Frequency of Wife Assault and Marital Dissolution," Department of Economics Working Papers 1998-05, McMaster University.
    5. B. L. Wolfe & S. Hill, "undated". "The health, earnings capacity, and poverty of single-mother families," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 964-92, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    6. Macintyre, Sally, 1992. "The effects of family position and status on health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 453-464, August.
    7. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    8. Wyke, Sally & Ford, Graeme, 1992. "Competing explanations for associations between marital status and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 523-532, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dong-Sik Kim & Gyeong-Suk Jeon & Soong-Nang Jang, 2010. "Socioeconomic status, social support and self-rated health among lone mothers in South Korea," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 55(6), pages 551-559, December.
    2. Peter Burton & Lynn N. Lethbridge & Shelley Phipps, 2008. "Mothering Children with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions: Long-Term Implications for Self-Reported Health," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(3), pages 359-378, September.

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