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Especially women - single parents are sick much more often
There are more and more single parents in Germany. Around 90 percent of them are women. Many of them are at a disadvantage compared to couples. According to a new study, single parents are sick more often than parents in a partnership.
90 percent of single parents are women
There are 1.64 million single parents in Germany. That is 20 percent of all families, according to a report by the "Rheinische Post" (RP). 90 percent of single parents are women. A new study by the Rostock Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research has now shown that single parents are sick more often than parents in partnership. Experts call for more support for those affected.
Single parents are sick more often
Many single mothers experience fatigue and burnout. The double burden of family and work is much harder for single parents than for people in a partnership.
It is therefore not surprising that a study by the Rostock Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research came to the conclusion that single parents are sick more often than parents in partnership.
According to the study, their personal wellbeing also lags behind the assessments of those who share their upbringing with a partner.
Improve health and well-being
Social scientist Mine Kühn was able to show that health and wellbeing can improve if single parents pursue paid employment.
According to the RP, 2.31 million children live in single-parent households, 68 percent of the mothers are employed - an average of 29.6 hours a week.
"When a woman goes from part-time to full-time, health and well-being improve even more," Kühn told the German Press Agency.
The central task of society is to create opportunities for single parents that they can work full time. Among other things, an offer of flexibly available daycare places is crucial for this.
Significant deterioration for young women
According to the information, the study was created from data from the so-called socio-economic panel, for which around 30,000 people in almost 11,000 households are interviewed annually.
On a ten-part scale, the health of single mothers fell on average by 0.5 points compared to women in partnerships, and in terms of well-being even by a whole point. "This is a considerable deterioration for young women," said Kühn. Usually, the values in this age group changed only minimally.
Support especially with childcare
Federal Minister of Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig (SPD) shares Kühn's assessment: "Single parents need special support, especially when it comes to childcare, so that they can work and stand on their own two feet." If they lack maintenance, they would also need material support.
Federal Minister of Family Affairs Schwesig pointed out that single parents and their children who receive little or no support are supported. These included, for example, the KitaPlus program, which promotes flexible childcare times, and the expansion of the maintenance advance.
In 2015, the government paid maintenance advances for 440,000 children. According to the RP, the risk of poverty for single parents is 44 percent, for couple families ten percent. It was pointed out years ago that single mothers are often over-indebted.
Rapid introduction of the extended maintenance advance
As the RP writes, the association of single mothers and fathers is also urging a quick introduction of the extended maintenance advance. Although the federal and state governments had agreed on the main features, Schwesig's plans had stalled.
"It is important to start early," said association chairman Solveig Schuster in Berlin. "The reform must come as soon as possible." The municipalities fear chaos of bureaucracy and high costs.
The federal and state governments have so far not been able to agree on financing, but the main features have long been decided. (ad)