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Impact And Effects Of Single Parenthood

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For years, single parenthood has been a topic of discussion and whether or not it has negative effects on children. It used to be frowned upon and mothers were looked down on if they chose to do it alone. Now, it is increasingly common and accepted in society. Single parent households make up 23% of households in America ( That is more than any other country in the world. How will the children be effected? That remains to be the main question. It is believed that single parenthood will have more of a negative impact on a child than positive but, it can go either way depending on the resources available and the individuals environment.

An individuals settings have a lot to do with their behavior. Studies suggest that if there is positive parenting resources and competencies available that the likelihood of adverse child affects would be substantially reduced (Ricciuti, 2004). If a single parent had no financial problems and didn’t have many responsibilities it would make their situation a lot easier. When a parent is absent from the home due to demands of work it creates a space of loneliness for the children involved. If there are siblings present it lessens the burden. Keep in consideration, nuclear families have more support and duties can be split in to multiple ways. In a single parent household there is an emotional and task over load that two parent families do not experience. Whether it was divorce, death, or adoption that led living with one parent, it does not take away the level of difficulty and obstacles they faced in the beginning.

Growing up with a single mother or father is a factor on a child’s development and their cognitive thinking. “Individuals who grew up with a single mother for their entire childhood and to a lesser degree also individuals who experienced parental separation showed a small but persistent decrease in life satisfaction into old age controlling childhood socio-economic status,” (Richter & Lemola, 2017). Quality of life has many factors to it and family relationships is one of them. A persons childhood shapes a lot of our beliefs and skills today. The developmental stages are pivotal to ones future. If all a person can remember is being happy in their household with their single parent, that would result in a state of being content. Yes there might have been times where they struggled and could not get what they wanted but that was okay because that was temporary.

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When a father is absent for the entire childhood there are other consequences that take place. Participants who spent the first 15 years with a single mother showed a lower level of social integration during adulthood. That included a smaller number of friends, fewer visits to see family, and less success in romantic relationships. There was also a lower probability of living with a partner and a higher probability of being divorced (Richter & Lemola, 2017). These likelihoods make sense since growing up with one parent you are used to seeing a single person doing everything. Or possibly failed relationships. Either way, independence will be gained and with that it can be beneficial and or a setback.

Next, findings suggest that presence of positive maternal attitudes and parenting resources may significantly mitigate the likelihood of adverse child outcomes of single parenthood. “Duration of children’s experience with a single parent was found to be unrelated to high school achievement” (Ricciuti, 2004). Academic achievement is a big concern for parents whether there are two parents present or not. Ricciuti’s findings did also discover that little to no evidence of systematic negative effects emerged at a later stage. Although, in the African American sample it did suggest that vocabulary scores were somewhat negatively influenced by years of single parent experience. Extended two parent experience were positively affected. Which again supports the idea that nuclear families have more help in the household. Single mothers face more limitations in economic and social resources. These resources help with positive child environments and their outcomes. It is recognized when family income is low in single parent households it increases the likelihood of unfavorable outcomes for their children. Positive family characteristics that support child rearing will enhance a better future in adulthood.

In addition, pupils living in a single mother family do not perform notably worse than others if truancy of the individual is controlled. There are many reasons and to why children miss school. Add the fact of parent separation or divorce, they are bound to not want to be in an environment where they are different. Where their friends and classmates have two parents instead of one. ‘Good parental supervision by single mothers or other interventions that ensure that these children attend school might counterbalance all disadvantages associated with divorce and separation in terms of academic outcomes,” (Dronkers, Pong, & Veerman, 2017). Of course there are other details as to why a child might not want to go to school like classroom disruption and grades. A parent can only do so much to help make sure their kids experience a positive and safe environment at home. When to go to school there are more elements that will keep them wanting to go to school or stay home.

Finally, there seems to be a stigma on how children from a single parent household will turn out. It has been proven in studies that depending on the environment and resources, the likelihood of adverse child effects is little to none. Single parents have a lot on their plate, especially in the beginning they experience things two parent households do not have to. The extra responsibilities they endure is twice as much. ‘Fewer and less consistent studies have reported on negative effects of single parenthood in younger children,” (Ricciuti, 2004). If all a kid remembers is living with their mother or father from a young age, it is easier to be accepting of it. All parents experience their struggles and go through different walks of life. Positive parenting resources result in positive child outcomes.

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Impact And Effects Of Single Parenthood. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Impact And Effects Of Single Parenthood.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Impact And Effects Of Single Parenthood. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Impact And Effects Of Single Parenthood [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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