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Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol 1The Nature and Extent of the Problem$
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Esther Dermott and Gill Main

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447332152

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447332152.001.0001

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The cost of children: parents, poverty, and social support

The cost of children: parents, poverty, and social support

(p.155) Seven The cost of children: parents, poverty, and social support
Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK: Vol 1

Esther Dermott

Marco Pomati

Policy Press

This chapter provides an overview of the relationship between parenting and poverty in the UK. We focus on the economising practices couple and particularly lone parents resort to in order to reduce living costs and the extent to which poorer parents are likely to engage in widely promoted parent-child activities. We find that despite engagement in the labour market as well as support from state, family and friends, parenting remains expensive and for those on low income associated with self-sacrifice and prioritisation of children’s material, social and educational needs. We also find that most parents, regardless of their income, have similar levels of engagement in parenting activities, casting doubts over political claims of widespread ‘poor parenting’.

Keywords:   children, couple parents, economising, educational resources, lone parents, parenting practices, socio-economic characteristics

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