|This is an enhanced qualitative data collection.
The study explores the lives and experiences of mothers living alone: unmarried, separated, divorced or widowed. The study posed two questions: what is poverty and who are the fatherless? The study asked about housing conditions, homelessness, diet and nutrition, family relations, marriage and marital breakdowns, and the levels and adequacy of community and national assistance. The interviewees were asked about detailed indicators of poverty and also the subjective, felt experience of poverty. The study examined problems families faced as a consequence of both low income and lack of fathers, the causes of their circumstances, and the adequacy of assistance provided by community and national sources.
The study was developed from a pilot study done for a larger project, 'Poverty in the UK', by Peter Townsend.
The collection has been enhanced in two ways. First, all interviews were converted from paper to partially searchable Adobe PDF files. Additional relevant documents are included in the user guide, such as the questionnaire, the original letter sent to participants with assurances of consent and confidentiality, notes on methodology, and extracts from an interview with the author about conducting this research. This collection will also be made available through Qualidata Online.
Detailed questions were asked about living arrangements, marriage, factors that led to fatherlessness, and family structure. Also, physical conditions of housing, furniture, water supply and heating were described. Other topics covered included sources of income (work and benefits), health, food and diet and clothing. Regarding children, data were collected about their health and education.