A new study has revealed how Australian mothers are changing their family dynamic in the aftermath of the baby boom.
Key points:Researchers say a growing trend of children from mixed-breeds is taking a toll on mothersThe study found the number of mixed-parent families has soared in recent years, from 8% in 2004 to over 33% nowIn recent years Australian mothers have been choosing to take their children to exclusive schools for their own children, with the majority opting for boys in the early years.
It is a trend that is being observed in Australia’s rural areas and also among the country’s mixed- and mixed-race communities.
But the study, published in the journal Psychological Science, also suggests that the shift is having a significant impact on women’s ability to have children, as they struggle to balance childcare responsibilities and raising their children.
Researchers at the University of Sydney looked at data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Census Bureau and Australian Institute of Family Studies.
They found that, from 2004 to 2016, the number who identified as mixed- or mixed-ethnic family had increased by over 43%.
“We have seen an increase in mixed-and-race family formation,” Dr Mark Hodge, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the university, told ABC Radio Perth.
“In recent decades, the proportion of mixed and mixed parents has increased.”
He said it was a trend seen across all socioeconomic strata.
“It is quite a change from a long time ago, when mixed- race families were very small, very small in terms of numbers,” Dr Hodge said.
Dr Hodge also said that the increase in the proportion identifying as mixed was not a result of changing parenting styles.
“There’s not really a change in the way mothers are doing it,” he said.
“We see a significant shift to a more paternalised approach, and in that direction, we see more mothers being more interested in the child, and more caring for the child and their welfare.”
Mothers are looking at the child as their welfare, rather than their own welfare.
“Dr Hinkle said this change was not driven by a change to the parenting style of mothers, but rather by a shift in the cultural values that are prevalent in Australia.”
People don’t see mixed- family families as a very big problem anymore, they see mixed family families to be a normal thing, a very healthy thing,” he explained.
Dr Mark Hinkle from the University, says the increasing proportion of parents identifying as ‘males’ is a result in the changing social attitudes around parenting.
Topics:family-and%E2%80%99-poverty,health,poverty-and‑relief,society,women,women-and/or-girls,australiaFirst posted November 12, 2019 10:30:55Contact Nick MeagherMore stories from Western Australia