Similarities and differences in the experiences of non-resident mothers and non-resident fathers

Sandra Kielty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reviews the available literature to give an overview of what is currently known about the situations and experiences of mothers who become the non-resident parent post-separation/divorce. Comparisons are made with non-resident father literature where possible in order to explore the similarities and differences in women and men’s experience of parenthood across households. The principal question explored is: to what extent do the experiences of non-resident parents relate primarily to gender, or to their status (as non-resident parent), or a combination of the two? Findings indicate that there are many similarities in women and men’s experience regarding the difficulties they each encounter when parenting at a distance. However, dominant cultural norms, which indicate that mothers should be co-resident with children, make the experience of non-resident motherhood a different psychosocial phenomenon from non-resident fatherhood. It is argued that more information is needed regarding the distinct experiences of both mothers and fathers if there is to be a more comprehensive understanding of non-residential parenting. Also, the steady rise in the number of non-resident mothers suggests a need for further investigation of parental role-reversal post-divorce parenting arrangements. Specifically how this type of arrangement impacts upon child welfare and whether this type of post-divorce parenting arrangement is acceptable to men and women as individuals and also to society in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-94
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Law, Policy and the Family
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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