In the context of American society there are many children who are raised in single parent homes. The objective of the proposed study is to demonstrate that single parent homes are comparable to two parent homes. This particular topic is important because of the sheer number of children who are raised in single parent homes. The study will assist parents, teachers, social workers and others who work with children in understanding the issues the children may face as a result of their familial situations. The proposed study will also contribute to the body of knowledge concerning single parent and two parent homes and their impact upon children. Literature Review
A plethora of research exists concerning the impact that the structure of the family has on children. A great deal of this research has studied the outcomes for children raised in single parent homes and two parent homes. For the purposes of the proposed study the focus will be upon single parent homes. Several researchers have confirmed that the single family home is becoming increasingly more prevalent throughout America (Hanson, 1985; Richards & Schmiege 1993) As it pertains to single parent homes, Hanson (1985) found that both the children and the parents reported high degrees and physical and mental health. The research also found that variables such as good communication and strong social support were positively correlated with the physical and mental health of both parents and children. Studies have also found that socioeconomic status is greatly correlated with positive outcomes as it pertains to both the physical and mental health of single parents. According to Johner (2007), “…single mothers of low SES experience depressive symptoms and feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness. Poor mental health in single-parent families with young children is associated with persistent poverty and is concentrated in populations receiving social assistance (Browne et al., 1997). Poor physical health in single parents of low SES is more prevalent than in single parents of high SES (Artazcoz, Borrel, Benach, Cortes, & Rohlfs, 2004). According to the literature, single parents are more vulnerable to poor health outcomes over the life course than the rest of the population because of income and skill inequities (Johner, 2007 pg.89).”
Another study entitled “Just the two of us: Parent-Child Relationships in Single-Parent homes”, researched the strengths and weaknesses of the individualist and micro- structural theories as it pertained to the gender differences in parent child relationships. The study concluded that for four out of the five variables parental gender did not affect child outcomes. The only exception was school discipline. The study found that when a male is the custodial parent children tend to have fewer problems in school (Park & Risman, n.d.). In her study Coles (2001) examined the influence of single Black fathers in research entitled “The parenting roles and goals of single black full-time fathers”. In this study the author points out that the role pf black fathers is not often researched in any capacity and this is particularly true when the black father is serving as the custodial parent. This study was composed of a convenience sample of 10 single black fathers from Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The study took place with the assistance of civil organizations and schools. For the purposes of the study the participants completed a survey and participated in an in-depth interview lasting two to three hours. The study found that “this sample of fathers placed high priority on what the literature (Erickson, 1964) would call "generative" roles--nurturing, providing, teaching, etc. This could be explained by the fact that all of these men were relatively mature as fathers; the majority being in their 30s when they took custody and being of majority age when they first...