Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

UN­MAR­RIED women and those who never have chil­dren strug­gle to find their place in so­ci­ety, new re­search from an Edge Hill Uni­ver­sity aca­demic re­veals.

In­ter­views with women over 50 who have never mar­ried and/or never had chil­dren, found they of­ten faced a bat­tle for sta­tus and iden­tity, com­pared with mar­ried women and moth­ers.

Edge Hill psy­chol­o­gist and re­search as­sis­tant Ser­gio A. Sil­ve­rio found women who hadn’t fol­lowed the “nor­mal” life course of­ten suf­fered from lone­li­ness and re­lied more heav­ily on long-stand­ing friend­ships with women in the same sit­u­a­tion rather than close fam­ily.

Ser­gio in­ter­viewed 12 women aged be­tween 50 and 78, six of whom had chil­dren, who had fol­lowed a “non-nor­ma­tive life course” (had not mar­ried and/or had chil­dren).

He found that as th­ese women weren’t act­ing as car­ers for grand­chil­dren and part­ners like many of their peers they of­ten felt marginalised and lonely de­spite oth­er­wise lead­ing ful­filled lives.

Ser­gio, who works in Edge Hill’s ev­i­dence-based prac­tice re­search cen­tre in the fac­ulty of health and so­cial care, pre­sented his find­ings on July 13 at the Bri­tish Psy­cho­log­i­cal So­ci­ety’s 30th Psy­chol­ogy of Women Con­fer­ence.

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