Florence Gaughan

Florence Gaughan

A Qualitative Exploration of Loneliness and Parenthood Among Young Mothers

The study will explore loneliness and parenthood among young mothers with qualitative methods using an ethnographic approach. The topic of loneliness has been chosen as it is an important current social issue that affects many groups. However groups such as young parents have been shown to be particularly lonely yet are under-researched. Interview and focus group methods will be employed with an organisation that support younger vulnerable mothers in Northern England to explore personal experiences of motherhood and loneliness from the perspective of the women themselves. Other stakeholders that provide services to younger mothers that may be lonely will also be contacted to get a wide ranging view of the current support that is available to younger mothers in a Northern city.

Key References

British Red Cross and Co-Operative Foundation (2016) Trapped in a Bubble: An Investigation into Triggers for Loneliness in the UK. Found online at: https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/action-on-loneliness [Accessed: 10/06/2022]

Cacioppo, J. T. and Cacioppo, S. (2018) Loneliness in the Modern Age: An Evolutionary Theory of Loneliness (ETL). Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 58, 127–197.

Carpenter, L. and Austin, H. (2007) Silenced, Silence, Silent: Motherhood in the Margins. Qualitative Inquiry, 13 (5), 660–674.

Koniak-Griffin, D., Logsdon, C., Hones-Martin, V. and Turner, C. (2006) Contemporary Mothering in a Diverse Society. JOGNN, 35, 671-678.

Lever-Taylor, B., Howard, L M., Jackson, K., Johnson, S., Mantovani, N., Nath, S., Sokolova, A. and Sweeney, A. (2021) Mums Alone: Exploring the role of isolation and loneliness in narratives of women diagnosed with perinatal depression. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10, 2271.


  • Professor Sarah Pearson (Main supervisor)
  • Professor Andrea Wigfield (Secondary supervisor)