Estructura y dinámica de la monoparentalidad en España

  1. Rocío Treviño
Supervised by:
  1. Montserrat Solsona Director
  2. Lluís Flaquer Director

Defence university: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Year of defence: 2007

  1. Inés Alberdi Alonso Chair
  2. Cristina Brullet Tenas Secretary
  3. Constanza Tobío Soler Committee member
  4. Anna María Cabré Pla Committee member
  5. Andreu Domingo Valls Committee member

Type: Thesis

Teseo: 133085 DIALNET lock_openTDX editor


The thesis analyses the homogeneity or heterogeneity of single parenthood from a cross-sectional and longitudinal perspective, whereby the relevancy and theoretical and methodological implications of the use of the term one-parent family as a category of sociological analysis is examined. The dimensions of the homogeneity or heterogeneity of single parenthood that are taken into account are: 1) The cross-sectional analysis of the profile of single parents according to sex and marital status; 2) The comparison between the sociodemographic profiles of single parents at the time of the survey and when entering or leaving the state of single parenthood; 3) The spatial uniformity or not of single parenthood; 4) The uniformity or not of the sociodemographic factors that favour entering single parenthood on the basis of the origin of the event (widowhood, divorce/separation, single); 5) The uniformity or not of the patterns of leaving the status of being a single parent on the basis of the origin of becoming a single parent; 6) The possible differences in the patterns of entering and leaving the single parenthood status according to the historical moment in time and between the different cohorts. 7) The possible gender differences that exist, allowing to separate the gender effects from the effects of single parenthood status. The main data sources include the population censuses of 1991 and 2001 (INE) and the Sociodemographic Survey of 1991 (INE). These were complemented by Fertility and Family Surveys (PAU) that were held several times during the 1990s in 12 European countries, and the Catalonian Population Statistics of 1996 (IDESCAT). In the cross-sectional analysis of single parenthood different methods of standardisation have been used (standardising the population, coefficients type or standardisation by logistic regression) to compare the sociodemographic profile of the single-parent fathers and mothers of each marital status. The determinants of entering and leaving single parenthood have been analysed on the basis of discreet time models using logistic regression, considering the entrance and exit of single parenthood as a family transition. The cohort analysis of 1991 showed that around this time single parenthood was at a historic minimum in Spain. Results show that the most important common factors of single parenthood are: it is a fundamentally female experience; it supposes an end to childbearing; it rarely occurs more than once; it is strongly associated with a complex household structure; and high labour force participation. Major differences in single parenthood are seen in function of the origin of entering single parenthood. Single parenthood through separation or divorce is more selective towards higher educated women as well as labour force participation. This is maintained from one generation to the next for labour force participation, but not so with regard to educational level that exhibits a weaker effect in recent cohorts. The north-eastern part of the peninsula and the islands are areas with the highest prevalence of single parenthood. They show a larger propensity to enter into a new union, a tendency that is largest among recent cohorts. Leaving the status of single parenthood by entering into a new union holds a negative relationship with the variables related to the socioeconomic status of the individual. 1 Single parents among the never married are more likely to be low educated women, with few changes among recent cohorts. It is associated with a complex family structure, areas that are economically less dynamic, of large duration, show a low probability of leaving the status through the formation of a new union and presents few signs of increase. Labour force participation is very much conditioned by contextual factors, such as the type of household, the Autonomous Region of residence, or the size of the municipality. 2 One-parent families that are headed by widows are less associated with family structure and labour force participation, although single parenthood favours the entrance into the labour market. Here, labour force participation is highly associated with educational level, but very little with contextual variables. Among the older cohort the individual status variables maintain a positive association with being married. The duration of single parenthood, as it has been defined, is short because one enters with children that are much older. 3 Male single parenthood is also related to a complex family structure, although it is determined by gender because of the fact that single parenthood is for them of short duration, and leaving the state of single parenthood by marriage tends to favour men of higher social status.