Change, choice and constraint in family and work
This research examines the nature and role of relationships, especially family relationships, in sustaining work and quality of life.
As part of an earlier project, the research team interviewed a sample of lone mothers and their children in 2004, when the mothers had recently started work, and again in 2005 and 2007. At the time significant changes were taking place in the shape and direction of social security and employment policy for families. There was a commitment to increasing employment rates and making work pay, and there was a promise to end child poverty. The in-depth interviews explored the transition to work and the impact of work on quality of life and well-being. The financial crisis of 2008, the economic recession, and the political and policy changes that followed have all highlighted the challenges facing such families. The 2016 follow-up interviews with 15 of the families examined how the participants have managed work and family over time. The research explored how the participants themselves identified what they believed were key points of choice and decision-making.