skip to Main Content

May 24, 2021 – Groundbreaking ESP Study!

Today, I am sharing with you a fairly recently conducted, ground breaking study by journalist, Emma Johnson. Via Survey Monkey Ms Johnson received responses from 2,279 single moms in the USA. While we must readily concede that the methodology might imply a self selection bias, the large sample size and the clarity of the findings must surely give us significant reason to think long and hard about the economic consequence of separation and divorce and more importantly, about the social policy that we need to encourage healthier kids and wealthier moms.

The following is from Ms Johnson’s abstract as reported in her paper that is available online.

Equality in parenting time correlates with higher income for single moms and a greater sense of pride in their parenting. Also, equally shared parenting between moms and dads is popular with single mothers.

These are the biggest findings of the Single Mom Income and Time-Sharing paper, based on a survey of 2,279 single moms in the United States, which sought to understand the connection between single mothers’ income and their time-sharing with their children’s fathers.

There are 16 million single mothers in the United States, and one-third of all children, or 24 million kids, live with a single parent.

Survey highlights include:


  • Moms with a 50/50 parenting schedule are 54% more likely to earn at least $100,000 annually than moms whose kids are with them most of the time (with “visits” with the dad).


  • Moms with a 50/50 parenting schedule are more than three times (325%) more likely to earn $100,000 than single moms with 100% time with their kids.


  • 13%, or 1 in 8, single moms have a 50/50 arrangement — and 98% of them are content with it.


  • 51% of single moms surveyed have their children 100% of the time.


  • Equally shared parenting is popular with single moms: The majority of single moms, 53%, either already enjoy a 50/50 schedule, or wish they had it.


  • 9 in 10 single moms say they could earn more money if they had more equality in their parenting time.


  • Moms with 50/50 parenting time are 34% more likely (23% vs 15%) to say they feel “awesome and proud” of being a mom when compared with moms who care for their kids 100% of the time.


Takeaway: Gender pay equity cannot be achieved without equal parenting time between mothers and fathers. While it is not possible to legislate equal time-sharing between married parents, it is possible to legislate equality between separated and divorced parents, who represent 20% of the U.S. parent population. Changing expectations for parenting arrangements between single parents present a unique opportunity to change gender culture and child-rearing practices for everyone. [Colman’s emphasis added]

Link to Gene C. Colman’s Equal Shared Parenting Web Page

Link to past issues of the ESP Thought of the Day publication


Back To Top