The impact of financial hardship on single parents: An exploration of the journey from social distress to seeking help.
Stack, R.J. & Meredith, A.
Single parent families are at high risk of financial hardship which may impact on psychological wellbeing. This study explored the impact of financial hardship on wellbeing on 15 single parents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using constructivist thematic analysis. Participants described food and fuel poverty, and the need to make sacrifices to ensure that children’s basic needs were met. In some cases, participants went without food and struggled to pay bills. Isolation, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts were described. However, participants reported that psychological services not able to take the needs of single parents in to account. Support for single parents must acknowledge the impact of social circumstances and give more consideration economic drivers of distress.