Parents in lockdown – Why have cohabiting mums suffered so much?

How have relationships REALLY fared during lockdown?

Our brand new analysis of a June questionnaire (pp 83-85, 90) completed by 2,559 parents for the national survey Understanding Society has produced two main findings:

  • Around 20% of parents said their relationships had IMPROVED during lockdown. This was pretty well the case across the board, regardless of whether they were mothers or fathers, married or not, how old they or their children were, or whatever their income and employment status.
  • Around 10% of parents said their relationships had WORSENED during lockdown. However here there was a great deal of variation. Cohabiting mums in particular stood out with 22% saying their relationships had got worse, compared to 6% of cohabiting dads, 7% of married mums and 11% of married dads. Cohabiting mums were also far more likely than anyone else to say they had quarrelled a lot, got on each others nerves a lot, regretted getting together in the first place, and thought the division of household responsibilities was unfair.

So the big question is why have cohabiting mums in particular – note that this is not all mums nor all cohabitees, just cohabiting mums – done so much worse than anyone else?

We think its about commitment …

For more, download our study


Here you can download the Research Briefing Paper as a PDF and the Press Release where it is available.

Media Links

Christian Today – One in five cohabiting mums say relationship with partner worsened during lockdown

Mercatornet – Why did so many cohabiting mums have relationship problems during lockdown?

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