Mother’s employment, lone motherhood and children’s achievements as young adults

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Working Papers of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change


Publication date

August 1, 1998


The study finds that for children, mother's employment during their childhood is generally associated with favourable outcomes during young childhood: higher educational attainments, lower unemployment and a smaller chance of becoming a mother before a woman's 21st birthday. For the most part, this conclusion also applies to young people from lone parent families. The experience of life in a lone parent family tends to reduce the child's educational attainments and increase the chances that a young woman becomes a mother before their 21st birthday, but it has no effect on their unemployment when they enter the labour force. Finally, we find strong persistence across generations in early childbearing: daughters who were born when their mother was aged 21 or less are themselves more likely to become mothers before their 21st birthday.



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