Solo parenting in New Zealand: Who are the children?
Hutton, D. (2001). New Zealand jobs, 1976 - 1996: A demographic accounting. (Population Studies Centre Discussion Paper No.39). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/834
The purpose of this paper is to begin to explore some of the recent trends and attributes of sole parenting in New Zealand, but from a from a child-centered rather than a parentfocused perspective. Reports that the proportions of children living in sole parent families have significantly increased have been the source of much concern, and even ‘moral panic’, over recent quinquennia. Sole parent households made up nine per cent of all households in 1976, and were up to 19 per cent by 1991. Advocates of family values allege that the traditional family unit is breaking down, and that this will have negative consequences for society and for our children. Previous research into the issue of sole parent families has been largely based on census information, producing snapshot-like pictures of the situation at one point in time. This paper begins to offer a more thorough look into some of the trends and processes at work by adopting the benefits of a longitudinal, retrospective survey that traces cohorts of children through their childhood. By following different cohorts through their family experiences during childhood, we can begin to build up a picture about if and how experiences of sole parenting have changed over time, and can begin to speculate about the situation for today’s children.
University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre