A sociological exploration of the recent welfare reform system, Universal Credit implemented in Scotland and its impact, if any, on lone parents in receipt of universal credit in East Lothian.
The aim of this research was to explore the experiences of lone parents, what it is like to be a lone parent, particularly at a time of austerity. More specifically how lone parent participants have found the process of claiming benefits through the new welfare reform system, “Universal Credit”. Lastly, this research focused on what the dominant public opinion is on lone parents and benefit claimants and how this effects lone parents. This qualitative, phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews to gain detailed, rich data form six lone parents experiences. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data collected from the semi-structured interviews. A constructionist approach enabled themes to emerge from the data. Findings from the primary data were then discussed in light of previous research relating to lone parents, particularly with regard to the impact of welfare reform measures.