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Using the Scottish Household Survey to research families and relationships in Scotland Lynn Jamieson Centre for Research on Families and Relationships.

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Presentation on theme: "Using the Scottish Household Survey to research families and relationships in Scotland Lynn Jamieson Centre for Research on Families and Relationships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using the Scottish Household Survey to research families and relationships in Scotland Lynn Jamieson Centre for Research on Families and Relationships

2 Limits of the SHS for studying families and relationships SHS has more limited data on families and relationships than GHS or BHPS No data on quality of relationships within households Data on relationships between and beyond households is more or less limited to receiving and providing care. Little or no data to help explore some key issues (e.g. low fertility: no question about fertility intentions such as GHS asks)

3 The basic household variable: hhtype A single adult: of non-pensionable age and no children. A small adult household: 2 adults of non- pensionable age and no children. A single parent: an adult of any age and 1 or more children Small family households: 2 adults and 1 or 2 children. A large family: 2 adults and 3 or more children or 3 or more adults and 1 or more children. A large adult household: 3 or more adults and no children An older smaller household: an adult of non- pensionable age and 1 of pensionable age and no children or 2 adults of pensionable age and no children. A single pensioner: 1 adult of pensionable age and no children.

4 Why solo living? Growing proportion of households are one person households Growth rapid among adults of working age and particularly those who would more conventionally be partnered and parenting. General trend but rates higher in S than E&W The meaning of this trend is a matter of academic debate Has obvious significance for policy issues

5 Scottish Household Survey Data on social contacts/social capital Increase in solo-living at all ages sometimes seen as evidence of turning back on family/ death of community/ declining social capital/ rampant individualism. Are people who live alone generally more isolated/lacking in social capital? What variation is there within the population of ‘single adult households’

6 Differences between ‘solos’ and ‘multis’ by age and gender Economic status:. much higher proportion of ‘permanently sick and disabled’ among solos of working age. Housing tenure: higher rate of social housing among solos of working age. Marital status: not surprisingly higher levels of never married

7 Solo-living and childlessness GHS shows that among women aged a higher proportion of women living alone expect to remain childless 47% expect to have no children compared with 12% of their peers living in family-households (many of whom already have children).

8 Marital Status of Solos Man aged Woman aged Man aged Woman aged Pensioner Man Pensioner Woman Never married 60%55%74%79%21%13%

9 Variations among ‘solos’ Below pensionable age, more men than women living alone Gender difference in marital status of solos below pensionable age Variation in socio-economic circumstance Variation in experience by urban/rural areas?

10 SHS Distribution of Solo Householders aged by Rural/Urban classification Source: Scottish Household Survey 2003/4 MenWomenAll 25-44ratio Large urban area47% (604) 46% (401)47% (1005)1.5 Other Urban27% (346) 28% (242)27% (588)1.5 Small accessible towns 8% (101) 9% (77) 8% (178)1.3 Small remote towns 5% (65) 4% (37) 5% (102)1.7 Accessible rural 7% (89) 8% (68) 7% (157)1.3 Remote rural 6% (81) 6% (50)6% (131)1.6 All100% (1288)100% (875)100% (2161)1.5

11 Single Adult Household % of all households Single Adult Household % of household of yr olds Large urban area1928% Other Urban1521% Small accessible towns 1318% Small remote towns % Accessible rural1114% Remote rural1418% All1622%

12 Solo and multi-person households’ links In the past fortnight Solo-%Multi-% To Family Went to visit relatives5968 Went out with relatives3740 Had relatives round5259 Spoke to relatives on phone8087 To Friends Went to visit friends5661 Went out with friends5450 Had friends round50 Spoke to friends on the phone7582 With neighbours Spoke to neighbours8185 None of these11 Source: Scotti sh Household Survey

13 Solo (and multi-person) households’ links by age and gender In the past fortnight Male 30-59Male 60-74Female 30-59Female To Family went to visit relatives57 (66)50 (59)67 (72)58 (64) went out with relatives30 (36)27 (33)44 (42)41 (38) had relatives round38 (57)48 (60)54 (61)64 (62) spoke to relatives on phone73 (85)74 (85)84 (90)87 (96) To Friends went to visit friends62 (63)43 (51)59 (66)53 (48) went out with friends62 (54)40 (42)57 (52)49 (39) had friends round52 (50)39 (47)56 (53)47 (44) spoke to friends on the phone72 (81)62 (78)82 (84)78 (78) With neighbours spoke to neighbours75 (82)83 (88)79 (86)87 (86) none of these2 (1)3 (1)0 (1)1 (1)

14 Conclusions Solos are not generally socially isolated or devoid of social capital But considerable variation and men more likely to be so than women Lots of interesting issues still to be explored

15 Publications 2005 ‘Solo Living across the adult lifecourse’ Fran Wasoff and Lynn Jamieson in Linda McKie and Sarah Cunningham-Burley (eds.) Families and Society: Boundaries and Relationships. Policy Press CRFR Briefing No 20


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