Factors affecting the quality of life of single mothers compared to married mothers

Ga Eun Kim, Eui Jung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: In this study, we aimed to compare the quality of life (QOL) of single mothers with that of married mothers and to identify the sociodemographic and psychological factors affecting single mothers' QOL. We identified the factors that were similar and different between single and married mothers. Methods: We analyzed survey data obtained from 195 single mothers and 357 married mothers living in an urban community in South Korea. The QOL was assessed with the World Health Organization Quality of Life-abbreviated form (WHOQOL-BREF). All participants completed the following self-report questionnaires: the Global Assessment of Recent Stress, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, the Scale for Suicide Ideation, the Korean version of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, and the WHOQOL-BREF. These self-rating scales were used as continuous variables. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to examine the association of quality of life with the sociodemographic and psychological factors for single and married mothers. Results: Single mothers showed lower QOL than married mothers. Older age, high income and education level, and professional job status were positively correlated with the QOL of single mothers. Residential instability, higher stress levels, depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and alcohol-related problems were negatively associated with the QOL of single mothers. Multiple regression analysis suggested that residential instability (public rental housing: β =-10.779, p < 0.001; Jeonse rental housing: β =-0.324, p = 0.01) and alcohol-related problems (β =-0.522, p < 0.001) were independent factors affecting lower QOL, whereas professional job status (β = 8.452, p = 0.037) was independently associated with higher QOL in single mothers. However, these factors were not associated with the QOL of married mothers. Higher education level was independently associated with higher QOL in both groups (β = 3.149, p < 0.033 in single mothers, β = 12.052, p < 0.001 in married mothers). Conclusions: Higher education level was associated with higher QOL in both groups. Unlike in married mothers, type of residence and occupation (related to the economic level) had a significant impact on QOL in single mothers. Alcohol-related problems were significantly correlated to QOL in single mothers compared to married mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Quality of life
  • Single mothers
  • Single parents

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