Research and statistics appear to show that there are negative effects of single parenting, but are these caused by single parenting itself; or a consequence of other circumstances common to many single parents? I suggest that it is not as straightforward as the commentators would have us believe. Single parenting has been the focus of much interest and research in recent years due no doubt to the increase in the incidence of birth outside of marriage and divorce. There are many negative effects of single parenting that are mentioned in the media on a regular basis. Among these are: ~negative social stigma
~reduced educational attainment
~social problems like anti-social behaviour
~psychological problems like self concept
One of the negative effects of single parenting is the social stigma. I certainly felt the stigma when I was a single parent, but whether that came from within me or from society I don't know. Probably a bit of both. I guess I had never wanted to be a single parent, but for me it was far better than being in an abusive marriage. It was not just better for me, but better for the kids as well. In reality I think there is far less social stigma attached to single parents than there used to be. In any case attaching a stigma to a condition that the majority of people don't choose to be in, is unhelpful. What would be constructive, would be to support and educate single mothers to enable them to do their best for their children and themselves. The results of a Dutch study gave some support to the notion that the weak social position of the mother is a cause of the negative effects of single parenting. Therefore all the more reason to value women and mothers in society and lessen the impact of divorce on our children. Lower Educational Attainment
Another of the negative effects of single parenting is lower educational attainment. It's often cited that children from single parent households do less well at school. This is explained by saying that the single parent does not have the resources to fully support their child in school, or to provide educational opportunities out of school. I think that this may well be true, but it will also be true for two parent families living in poverty. Although it doesn't take account of the fact that many single parent families have a wide network of supportive friends and relatives. My parents became much more involved in my children's lives when I left my first husband and I believe that was hugely beneficial for them. It also gave me valuable support which I needed. Therefore it would be my opinion that with support from other people, there's no reason why children from single parent families can't reach their potential. I think it comes down to needing to build a more supportive, cohesive, all-embracing and loving society where there is mutual support and care. According to the 2000 American census, the rate of poverty in single mother households is 26.4% versus 6.4% for two-parent families. That's a pretty stark statistic, but still leaves 73.6% of single mom households who don't live in poverty! I really believe that now more than ever we have great opportunities to be creative, follow our passion, and earn money using the internet.
Children from single-parent families are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems as those living with married parents, according to the Office for National Statistics (UK). I found it really hard reading through these reports, thinking of my own sons and what they've been through. Of course it's impossible for me to wind back the clock, but I can certainly work to the best of my ability on doing everything I can to make them feel loved and secure, even from a distance. Social Problems
Studies have claimed that children of single parents are more likely to display risky behaviours: smoking, drinking, delinquency, violence, unsafe sexual activity, and...
References: By Dr. Keith Ablow
Published July 22, 2012
Please join StudyMode to read the full document