While lone-parenthood today may be considered a normal part of family life for many it remains associated with high rates of joblessness and poverty and children in lone-parent families are widely considered to do less well than those in families that are intact. Yet much of the evidence on which this view is based is derived from old data which fails to recognise the extraordinary pace of social change that has taken place in recent decades. Today there are far more lone parents than before and lone-parenthood is an increasingly diverse and fluid state. This project will look at how the circumstances of lone parent families and their children has changed, and at the impact of lone parenthood on the trajectories of parents and children, using birth cohort data for those born in 1958, 1970 and 2000. It will ask: How does the experience of lone-parenthood change the trajectories of parents and children? Are there a set of typical; routes into lone parenthood that can be identified? Do these routes matters for parent and child outcomes? Finally it will address the question of whether lone- parenthood is becoming an increasingly diverse experience, with some mothers doing well and others struggling to avoid poverty and benefit dependency?