Single Parents

A single parent is a parent with one or more children, who is/are not living with the child’s/children’s other parents. The definition of single parenthood may vary according to local laws of nations or provinces. Single parenthood may occur as a result of loss (death of spouse, separation, divorce, abandonment by one parent), or by choice (single parent adoption, donor insemination, egg donor/surrogate motherhood, choosing to carry to term an unexpected pregnancy and raise the child on one’s own). More than 25% of children in the U. S. live with only one parent (U. S. Bureau of Census, 1997).

Research about the welfare of children in single-parent families varies. Many factors influence the outcome of how children fare: parent’s age, education level, and occupation, family income, family’s support network from friends and extended family members (including the absent parent if available). Further, outcomes in families where single-parenthood is chosen is higher, as the single parent is typically older, has established employment and social supports, and has considered the pros and cons of raising a child alone.

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Statistically, children in single parent homes fare worse than those with two parents. In the United States, family structure contributes to five characteristics of a child’s well being. These include lower birthrates and higher death rates among infants when there is just one parent. Also, the number of children ages 15-17 in school and in good health is much lower, and the number of children becoming pregnant at these ages is increasing.

However, children raised in single parent homes do worse than those with caregivers who can give the child attention in all areas, including academic and emotional health. here are also signs that children who have gone through a divorce have problems with depression (mood), emotional stress, and difficulties in school. Problems like this however may not be because of the parent who raised them, but can be linked to other things that are also related to single parenting.

When there is only one parent, the family is often less well off financially and this is the main reason for so many family problems. The effects of coming from a low-income family can be things like lower education levels, lower economic achievement and even leave the child isolated and lonely. Being a single parent and struggling for money often coincide, the consensus of research now suggests that family structure itself is the more significant variable. Single parent homes are also associated with criminal activity in the U. S. A. Children from a single-parent household account for 72% of teenage murderers, 60% percent of people who commit rape crimes and are eleven times more likely to exhibit violent behavior. Reasons for this have to do with the fact that these children are generally less supervised, their actions are less monitored and there is usually less communication between the child and parent, and that most likely they come from poor families (although the effect remains strong even controlling for income).

Most researchers have found that children from single parent homes tend to do worse in school than children in two parent homes, and that concentrations of young people from one parent households produce unfavorable school environments. For example, Suet-ling Pong found that students from single parent homes showed lower scores on mathematics and reading achievement tests. She also found that high concentrations in schools of students from single parent families were associated with lower achievement results for all students.

Similarly, Carl L. Bankston III and Stephen J. Caldas found that high percentages of pupils from one parent families were closely connected to poor academic achievement for all students. Bankston and Caldas also found that many of the academic disadvantages of schools with large percentages of African American students could be explained by the predominance of young people from one parent families in these schools [Bankston, Carl L. and Caldas, Stephen J. , Family Structure, Schoolmates, and Racial Inequalities in School

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