Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Parent Homes

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The purpose of this paper is to express the advantages and disadvantages of single parent homes. As compared to over forty to fifty years ago, single-parent families are common in today’s world. A single parent is a parent with one or more children, who is not living with any of the children’s other parents. The percentage of children who live with two parents has been declining among all racial and ethnic groups throughout the years. It has been found that children in single-parent homes generally fare worse than those in homes with two parents. In today’s single parent households there are many advantages and disadvantages. Even after you weigh the single parenting pros and cons you will see that the disadvantages of single parenting usually outweigh the advantages. The biggest concerns about single parenting are the children. Single parenting is not an easy thing to do. You must be both mother and father to a child or children. Youth from single mother homes, especially those living in poor communities, are at higher risk for adjustment difficulties (Shook et la, 2010). National estimates from the United States have found that the poverty rate of single parent homes was 43.5% as compared to 21.1% of cohabitating families and 7.6% for married families. Single and cohabitating parents also had fewer assets, less stable employment and higher levels of material hardships. Among single parents and never married mothers, they may be even worse off than divorced mothers, because they had lower levels of human capital or family support and were less likely to receive child support (Gibson-Davis and Gassman-Pines, 2010). Research has shown that low income parents were more likely to use harsh discipline, engage in erratic and inconsistent parenting practices, and provide less cognitive stimulation. Economic well-being has also been directly linked to parental psychological health, because financial strain increases stress, anxiety and depression, further compromising parenting ( Gibson-Davis and Gassman-Pines, 2010). Growing up in a low socioeconomic household increases vulnerability to a wide array of risk factors that can have long-term developmental effects among children (Taylor et la, 2010). Stress and psychological vulnerabilities negatively influence parenting quality through behaviours such as ineffective monitoring of children, harsh or hostile parenting, and inconsistent parenting. Distressed parents are typically less affectionate and report feeling less capable in disciplinary interactions with their children. These types of poor parenting behaviours predict lower levels of children’s positive social behaviour and higher ratio of behaviour problems. Children from single mother families are at increased risk of maladjustment as a result of exposure to adverse environments resulting from poverty, parental internalizing symptoms and ineffective parenting (Taylor et la, 2010). Children from single parent families have very poor and behavioural outcomes. The transition to adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time as youth begin to exhibit lower social competence, declines in academic performance and increased levels of delinquency do to the lack of monitoring from their parent. It is proven that children living in single parent homes, in poverty ridden neighbourhoods are more likely to drop out of school, both so they could go and work to help with the household income or do to the lack of interest in academics. Pregnancy rates also increase for children between the ages of 15 to 17 years of age who live in single parent homes. There are also signs that children who have gone through a divorce may have problems with depression, and emotional stress. It has been found that adolescents from single parent families were found to be three times more likely to be depressed than those living in two parent households. Single-parent homes are also associated with criminal activity, such as murder, rape and other violent...
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