Home > Uncategorized > Death as a destiny of choice – lone motherhood (SMH)

Death as a destiny of choice – lone motherhood (SMH)


Throughout the 1980s and 1990 the message was drummed into society that SMH (single mother households), were every bit as good as the traditional 2 parent family. The inference being, ‘So why bother with the latter ?’ Legislation was lobbying for and even granted to make this option possible.

These market leaders in shaping and warping public opinion (invariably women of a particular persuasion), drilled it into their audience, through their individual newspaper columns and as a group the media coverage afforded them, all the supposed benefits but none the disadvantages such a life style incurred. The plain fact that SMH are, by definition, not economically viable never phased or deterred these advocates.

Even in the 1980s and 1990 it was pointed out to them that children suffered as a consequence of separation or the choice of being an un-wed mother but these were shrugged off as being of little consequence either empirically or politically. Blithely they are still, even to this day, allowing their less tutored sisters to walk into a minefield.

Having earned their pieces of silver these poor wretches are finally entering into retirement, obscurity and hopefully ignominy as their predictions and policies fall to pieces before their eyes.

‘Politically’ they may have been fashionable at the time to hold such views but they have scared a generation if not even the generation to come. Do they ever ask themselves “Was the price worth it ?” One suspects they do not as they remain un-reconstructed and un-re-educated.

‘Empirically’ their legacy is nothing but as series of disasters in every direction. Even the most innocuous, the Equal Pay Act, has come back to bit them on the bum with the modern family unit being unable to survive on just one family income and having to resort to “food banks.”

What could not be reasonably predicted with any accuracy was the impact upon female suicide rates, mental illness, female mortality rates generally and morbidity among SMH

‘Well done’ the sisterhood for screwing up even the most basic necessities of life. Like today’s ‘bank-sters’ you have looked after your own class rather well at the expense of less well-placed women.


Mortality among lone mothers in Sweden: a population study


by Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, Bengt Haglund, Måns Rosén



Centre for Epidemiology, National Board of Health and Welfare, 106 30 Stockholm, Sweden (G Ringbäck Weitoft BA, B Haglund DMSc, M Rosén DMSc); and Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden (G Ringbäck Weitoft, M Rosén)

Correspondence to: Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft (e-mail: gunilla.ringback@sos.se <mailto:gunilla.ringback@sos.se> )




An increasing number of lone mothers are experiencing financial and health disadvantages. Our aim was to assess mortality among lone mothers compared with mothers with partners.


In this population-based study, overall and cause-specific mortality, between 1991 and 1995, was estimated for 90,111 lone mothers and 622,368 mothers with partners from data collected in the Swedish Population and Housing Census 1990. We estimated relative risks by Poisson regression, adjusted for socio-economic status, and, to handle health-selection effects, we adjusted for previous in-patient history from 1987 to 1990.


Lone mothers showed an almost 70% higher premature risk of death than mothers with partners. The excess risk remained significantly increased (relative risk 1·2 [95% CI 1·1­1·4]) after adjustments for socio-economic status and previous severe somatic and psychiatric inpatient history.
Increased mortality was especially pronounced for suicides (2·2 [1·5­3·1]), violence (3·0 [0·9­10·6]), and alcohol-related mortality (2·4 [1·4­4·1]) among mothers who were without a partner in 1985 and in 1990.


The increase of lone mothers in society shows financial, social, and health disadvantages. Nevertheless, the increased mortality risk of lone mothers seems to be partly independent of socio-economic status and health selection into lone motherhood. For long-term lone mothers the risks may be underestimated when adjusting for selection bias by taking hospital discharge history into account, since these events may be part of the consequences of the stress of lone motherhood.

  • ref. Lancet 2000; 355: 1215­19


During the past few decades the proportion of lone-parent families has increased substantially in Western countries. In Sweden, lone parents now constitute about 20% of all families with children. 1 Most lone parents are women. Although studies show that Swedish lone mothers have an economically more favourable situation than their counterparts in other countries, many findings show that their situation is disadvantageous.1­4

Relying on only one income, lone-parent families are to a larger extent dependent on public subsidy. Social welfare and housing allowance are far more common for lone-parent families than for other families.1

The proportion of lone mothers who had difficulties in paying their household expenses increased from about 30% in 1979, to more than 50% in 1995. For couples, proportions were 12% in 1979, and 20% in 1995.3

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