Masters Thesis

The Illegitimacy of single parents: identity conceptualizations and the consequences of owning a deficit status

In this study, I examine the relationship between parental marital status and social exclusion among parents. Existing literature identifies parental marital status as an influential factor to socioeconomic status, but does not identify whether or not the ramification of social exclusion are limited to socioeconomic status, or if social exclusion is a byproduct of possessing an undesired parental marital status as it is interpreted as an identity construct among women. Through my quantitative survey research in the Western part of the United States, I describe how attitudes/perceptions and reactions toward parental marital status are inconsistent, and that parents which possess ‘deficit’ identities are consequently subjected to bias. In addition, this quantitative study shows the social proximities and settings parental outgroups are likely to experience discrimination and identify the ingroups that contribute to the prejudice of “legitimizes myths” concerning single parents and the perceived discrimination enacted.

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