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More than Half of UK Parents Suffer Loneliness

Earlier this week Action for Children, the charity for parents and children, released the results of a poll of UK parents conducted with Survation in September 2017.

The poll covered the extent that loneliness affects UK parents and their children.

 

Headline results

  • 51% of UK parents said they were currently experiencing problems with loneliness, or had done so in the past
  • 55% of mothers experienced problems with loneliness, against only 48% of fathers
  • Single parents are 14% more likely than married parents to feel “cut-off” from support networks
  • 58% of parents also worry that their children are lonely

 

Loneliness amongst UK parents

Over 51% of UK parents are currently experiencing problems with loneliness, or had in the past, against 46% who said it wasn’t a problem for them, and 3% don’t know.

Parents with three or more children were more likely to have problems with loneliness, with 58% saying loneliness was or had been a problem for them, against 54% of parents with one child.

Female parents are more likely than their male counterparts to suffer from loneliness, with 55% of mothers reporting problems with loneliness now or in the past, compared to 48% of fathers.

 

Single parents much more likely to feel “cut-off” from support networks

Of all parents, 34% reported that they “always” or “often” felt “cut-off from friends and other means of support”.

Single parents were much more likely than married parents to agree with this sentiment. Almost half, 46%, of single parents said they “always” or “often” felt “cut-off”, against only 32% of those who were married or in a civil partnership.

Parents with three or more children were also most likely to feel this way, with 43% saying they “always” or “often” felt “cut-off”. This compared to 35% of parents with one child, and 36% with two.

 

More than half of parents worry their children are lonely

Loneliness might not just a be problem for adults. When asked how often they worried their children were lonely, 60% said “often” or “some of the time”. “Hardly ever” and “Never” were chosen  by 26% and 14%, respectively.

Single and divorced parents were once again more likely than parents who were married or in a civil partnership to say this affected them. A fifth of single parents said they “often” worried their children were only, against only 15% who were married or in a civil partnership.

Survation interviewed 2,087 UK parents online between 8th – 14th September 2017. Full tables can be found here.


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