Journal Article

Differences in the Seriousness of Problems and Deservingness of Help: Swedish Social Workers’ Assessments of Single Mothers and Fathers

Christian Kullberg

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 35, issue 3, pages 373-386
Published in print April 2005 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online March 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch187
Differences in the Seriousness of Problems and Deservingness of Help: Swedish Social Workers’ Assessments of Single Mothers and Fathers

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In this vignette study, three hypotheses concerning differences in social workers’ assessment off single fathers and mothers are tested: first, that single fathers with custody of their children, who have problems similar to those often faced by single mothers, are assessed as having more serious problems than the mothers; secondly, that single fathers in such a situation tend to be assessed as being less deserving of support than single mothers in the same situation; thirdly, that the help offered to both sexes follows gender-traditional patterns. The results support the hypotheses. The overall problems and mental health tended to be assessed as more serious in the case of the father than in the case of the mother. The single father was assessed as being more responsible for his situation. The single mother was assessed as being in need of assistance in more areas and more varied social welfare measures were recommended for her than for the father. Finally, the results also show that only support which could enable the client to obtain paid work and be able to pay off the debts on his car was given higher priority in the case of the father.

Keywords: Social work; gender; assessments

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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