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Health of single mothers and fathers in Germany. Results of the GEDA studies 2019 – 2023

Journal of Health Monitoring

Public Health Journal for Germany. Quelle: RKI

Petra Rattay, Yasmin Öztürk, Raimund Geene, Stefanie Sperlich, Ronny Kuhnert, Hannelore Neuhauser, Ulfert Hapke, Anne Starker, Claudia Hövener

3 JULY 2024


Background: The living situation of single parents is often characterised by sole responsibility for family and household, problems in reconciling work and family life, and a high risk of poverty. In a comparative perspective with parents in partner households, the health of single mothers and fathers was analysed, considering differences in their social status.

Methods: The analyses are based on data from the GEDA studies 2019 – 2023 (7,999 women, 6,402 men). Prevalences for single mothers and fathers and mothers and fathers living in partner households were calculated for self-rated health, chronic diseases, depressive symptoms, smoking and utilisation of professional help for mental health problems. In multivariate models, adjustments were made for income, education, employment status and social support, and interactions with family type were included.

Results: Single mothers and fathers show higher prevalences for all health indicators in comparison to parents living in partner households. Also after adjustment, the differences between family types remain significant. The health of single mothers also varies partially with income, employment status and social support.

Conclusions: Health promotion measures have to consider that single parents are a heterogeneous group. In addition to strengthening personal skills, policy and setting-based interventions aim to reduce health inequalities.

German version: Gesundheit von alleinerziehenden Müttern und Vätern in Deutschland. Ergebnisse der GEDA-Studien 2019 – 2023

Date of issue July 3, 2024 PDF (427 KB, File does meet accessibility standards.)