Short on time?

Get essay writing help

Single Parent Vs Nuclear Family: Children’s Behavior Comparison

  • Words: 2341
  • |
  • Pages: 5
  • This essay sample was donated by a student to help the academic community. Papers provided by EduBirdie writers usually outdo students' samples.


There is lots of contradictions that say that whether a has two parents or one they all tend to achieve the same, behave the same. The purpose of this report was to see the differences between a child’s behavior that was brought up in a nuclear family compared to a child brought up by a single parent. Aggressiveness, assertiveness and submissiveness were the three main behavioral targets from the research that was conducted by the Children action tendency scale in Turkey, 2006. Children behave aggressively, assertively, or submissively for a wide variety of reasons; generally, a combination of factors underlies how a child will behave in any given situation.

“A father can never be a mother, nor a mother can ever be a father”. In my opinion that’s how life works, God has created a man and woman to create a child, so it is the responsibility of both to work together as a couple on raising their child.

A family is a group of people in which two or more people are together with blood tide and marriage (Ozkalp, 2003: 111). A family is defined as a complex structure that has a common history, togetherness, sharing an emotional bond with an individual action plan to meet the needs of the whole family members of a social construct (Nazli, 2003). In addition to these definitions, a family is one of the effective institutions that guide children for their development, integration, and socialization (Yavuzer, 2001).

Due to some reasons like divorce, separation or death; the normal structure of a family breaks apart – this leads to single parenting. A divorce is basically breaking off the union that two people would have built up when they get lawfully wedded. Despite its increasing prevalence, divorce continues to be troubling, difficult, and painful for children of all ages just as it is troubling for most divorcing couples. One reason is that human beings do not break their attachments lightly, even bad attachments (Berman, 1988; Bowlby, 1988). After divorce occurrence, children feel insecure and suffer from feelings of complexity. Most children think that one day, their father and mother will be together, so they occupy themselves to find out a solution that is useless. In order to solve the conflict between parents, some of them prefer living with one of them (Ozkalp, 2003). Young people whose mother and father split up are likely to be three times more aggressive or badly behaved, according to a survey that was conducted by ‘Office of the National Statistics’.

US divorced rate and the rate of women having children without wedlock has drastically increased from 1996 to 2013. Women percentage of getting divorced in 2013 was 82% compared to 50% in 1996. In addition, children who were born out of wedlock has increased to 44% which was only 4% in the past. Studies also show that children that are raised by a single parent are more in number that gets expelled, do theft, have behavioral problems and are also numerously caught by the police.

Effects of children that experience divorce of their parents:

3 to 5-years-old children

  • Poor understanding of the family situation
  • Feelings: frightened, insecure
  • May have nightmares, whining, crying, clinging behavior
  • Temper tantrums
  • Changes in eating and sleeping
  • Regression to more infant like behavior

6 to 8-year-old children

  • Trouble separating their own needs from those of their parents
  • Feel sad, loss, frightened, uncertain
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Disorganized and unsettled
  • School work problems
  • Feelings of abandonment by and miss parent they do not see much
  • Anger at perceived rejection
  • Lashing out at custodial parent, teachers, other children
  • Denial, self-blame, feels alienated

9 to 12-year-old children

  • Sense of loss
  • Feel rejected, helpless, lonely, ashamed, embarrassed
  • Powerless to control parental behavior
  • Psychosomatic symptoms
  • Anger, withdrawn, overactive
  • Blame one parent for the divorce, direct anger
  • School work problems
  • Struggling with feelings of mixed loyalties, loneliness, depression
  • Power struggle with authority
  • May seek support from other adults outside of the home (Wallerstein, 2003)

Children raised by single mothers are more likely to far worse on several dimensions, including their school achievement, their social and emotional development, their health and their success in the labor market. They are at greater risk of parental abuse and neglect (especially from live-in boyfriends who are not their biological fathers), more likely to become teen parents and less likely to graduate from high school or college. (McLanahan and Sandefur 2010). However, this not the case for every child raised in a single parent family, it’s just that there is a higher possibility for these scenarios to occur.

One major difference between the upbringing of the children is the income and education, children raised with both parents present are more likely to worry about the income compared to the single parent family. For instance, if a child falls ill, the mother can easily stay at home and take care of the child, yet, when there is only one parent working and the cant gets a holiday from work the child is left alone to take care of its own self. Education is one of the most critical factor of poor parenting. If by chance a mother is uneducated with a child, it is hard for her to get good job position and makes difficulty in raising a child.

Children in mother-only families are more likely to be poor in adulthood than children who live with both parents. They are also more likely to become single parents themselves. Economic deprivation, parental practices, and neighborhood conditions all contribute to lower socioeconomic mobility. (McLanahan & Booth, 1989).

In the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, conducted by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, parents of 95,677 children aged 17 and under were asked whether their child had ever seen or heard “any parents, guardians, or any other adults in the home slap, hit, kick, punch, or beat each other up.” Among children living with both married biological parents, the rate of exposure to family violence was relatively low: for every 1,000 children in intact families, 19 had witnessed one or more violent struggles between parents or other household members. By comparison, among children living with a divorced or separated mother, the rate of witnessing domestic violence was seven times higher: 144 children per 1,000 had had one or more such experiences. This can also be said as one of the reasons why children raised by single parents are more aggressive and violent compared to children born into a nuclear family.


The number of children being raised in a single-parent house is on the rise. It continuously causes negative implications for kids. when kids have both mom and dad, they have a tendency to possess better academic opportunities and financial blessings. Many of us don’t even understand what proportion a child’s behavior is impacted by being raised in a single-parent home.

Majority of the youngers from single-parent households find themselves retreating socially. they have a tendency to dive into a state of depression and loneliness. This typically happens as a result of the one parent is usually busy and has no time for kids. as a result of the kids are typically alone, they tend to feel that they aren’t wanted or that the parent doesn’t care. once the kids enter the state of loneliness, they find themselves turning away from their peers and spend most of their time in their room alone. this could cause variety of issues for kids.

Save your time!
We can take care of your essay
  • Proper editing and formatting
  • Free revision, title page, and bibliography
  • Flexible prices and money-back guarantee
Place Order

Submissive children are more likely to get bullied since they don’t stand up for themselves, they basically think of other than themselves. They would they to avoid upsetting others or fear that whatever they do might hurt another. For example, if a child of a submissive behavior is getting bullied, he/she would neither fight back or report to their parent nor teacher.

Assertive behavior is the balance between aggressive and submissive behavior, assertive means the ability to speak up for yourself with honesty and respectfulness. For example, if someone is angry at you for not doing some work, the best assertive way to reply would be: “I see that you are angry, I hear you saying that you think I should spent more time doing….However, I disagree with you and here is why.” Assertive behavior describes the middle approach where no one is left feeling badly treated and all parties come out of the encounter feeling full of worth. Assertive behavior makes you feel better at the time and makes it more likely that you will be assertive in the future as it is confidence building (Lee-Davies & Bailey, 2007, 128).

Aggressive behavior can cause physical or emotional harm to others. It may range from verbal abuse to physical abuse. Through studies majority of the aggressive behavior that is formed in a child is due to family stress. A child swearing, hitting or biting anther is an example of aggressive behavior.

Other aggressive and submissive children, however can conceive of assertive alternatives, but choose not to exhibit such behavior because they believe that aggressive or submissive acts will yield grater benefits and/or costs than assertive behaviors (Deluty & Usakli, 2009: 20).


CATS (Children action Tendency Scale), which measure aggressiveness, assertiveness and submissiveness in the behavior of children. It calculates the results by setting children into 13 different situations which also involves frustration, provocation, and conflict. Now the experimenter emphasized on the point of being honest to the children, to check how each child would react.

The number of aggressive, assertive and submissive actions were elected by the subject constituted, giving each scenario their respective scores. The results varied, one subject could receive two points of assertiveness, two points of aggression or even two points of submissiveness.


The ANOVA Founding of Mean Assertiveness, Aggressiveness and Submissiveness Points with Regards to Parental Situation

The experiment results were done through MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance). Which is a statistical test procedure for comparing multivariate (population) means of several groups. There are 2 major things within which MANOVA is required. the primary is once there are many correlative dependent variables, overall applied mathematics look at on this set of variables rather than performing multiple individual tests. The second, and in some cases, a lot of necessary purpose is to explore how independent vaiables influence some patterning of response on the dependent variables.

The assertive kid expresses herself or himself openly and directly whereas respecting the rights and feelings of others. For instance, in response to being teased concerning her new hair-cut any kid says sedately, assertively, “Please stop teasing me. You would not prefer it if I made fun of you. I just like the way my hair looks. “If self-assertiveness entails each style and the non-violation of others‟ rights, then self-doubt will take one amongst 2 forms: aggressiveness or obedience. Aggressive kids express their thoughts and feelings openly, but they

do coercively and at other people’s expense. Submissive kids take under consideration the sentiments, power or authority of others, however deny (or do not stand up for) their own rights and feelings. for a few aggressive kids and for some submissive kids, the thought of acting assertively merely never occurs to them. These kids see their choices as restricted to fight or flight.

The results showed that children with single parents were more aggressive but surprisingly where more obedient, giving a contrast in these two behaviors.


As a social downside, divorce affects kids negatively. Family, teachers and counselors ought to be aware of the issues that happen to single parent kids and take actions. Single parent kids are more aggressive or submissive compared to assertive behavior. Children should be counselled by counselors who can change their behavioral stance to better.

Loneliness is also one of the things that single parent children face, they also tend to go through depression compared to normal nuclear family children. We should focus more on single parent children and provide them with more attention.

For example, children living in single-parent and/or low-income households are more likely to exhibit problem behaviors and depressive symptoms and are less likely to display social competence than are children who grow up in more fortunate circumstances (Moore, 2006). Most common problems seen in single parent families‟ children are depression, stress, loneliness, aggression, compliance, smoke, alcohol, narcotics (Herwing, 2004; Jackson, 2000).

Numerous studies have found links between the quality of the parents’ relationship and positive outcomes for children and families (Amato, 2005). Children grown up in a nuclear family tend to be more mannered since they see both of their parents as role models and try to follow their footsteps. This however is not a privilege to young single parent children, which results them into being more aggressive.


  1. Ozkalp, E. (2003). Aile Kurmu (Family Institution). (In E. Ozkalp) Davranis Bilimlerine Giris (Introduction to Behavioral Science), Eskisehir: AOF, 110-126.
  2. Nazli, S. (2003). Aile Danışmanlığı (Family Counseling), (2.Baskı), Anakara: Nobel.
  3. Yavuzer, H. (2001). Çocuk Psikolojisi (Child Pscyhology), (20. Baskı), Remzi Kitabevi, Istanbul
  4. Berman, W. (1988). The role of attachment in the post-divorce experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 496-503.
  5. Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base: Parent-child attachment and healthy human development. New York: Basic Books.
  6. McLanahan and Sandefur, Growing up with a Single Parent; Jane Waldfogel, Terry-Ann Craigie, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. “Fragile families and child wellbeing.”The Future of children (2010), p. 87.
  7. McLanahan, S. and Booth, K. (1989). Mother-Only families: Problems, Prospects, and Politics. Journal of Marriage & Family, 51, 3 557-580.
  8. Wallerstein, J. S. ve Blakeslee, S. (2003). What about the kids? Raising your children before, during, and after divorce. New York: Hyperion.
  9. Moore, K.A., Vandivere, S., & Redd, Z. (2006). A sociodemographic risk index. Social Indicators Research, 75, 45-81.
  11. Deluty, R., & Usakli, H. (2009). Saldirgan, atilgan ve cekingen davranma(ma) yollari. Coluk Cocuk, 86 [Transl. from the Turkish: The ways (not) to behave aggressively, impulsively, and timidly. Child and Family, January 2009, 86, 20-21.]
  12. Lee-Davies, L. & Bailey, S. (2007). Developing Work And Study Skills, London: Thomson.
  13. Jackson, A.P. (2000). Maternal self-efficacy and children‟s influence on stress and parenting among single black mothers in poverty. Journal of Family Issues, 21, 3-16
  14. Herwig, J. E., Wirtz, M., & Bengel, J. (2004). Depression, partnership, social support, and parenting: Interaction of maternal factors with behavioral problems of the child. Journal of Affective Disorders, 80, 199-208.
  15. Amato, P.R. (2005). The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. Future of Children 15(2), 75-96.

Make sure you submit a unique essay

Our writers will provide you with an essay sample written from scratch: any topic, any deadline, any instructions.

Cite this Page

Single Parent Vs Nuclear Family: Children’s Behavior Comparison. (2022, February 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from
“Single Parent Vs Nuclear Family: Children’s Behavior Comparison.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
Single Parent Vs Nuclear Family: Children’s Behavior Comparison. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Feb. 2023].
Single Parent Vs Nuclear Family: Children’s Behavior Comparison [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 21 [cited 2023 Feb 4]. Available from:
Join 100k satisfied students
  • Get original paper written according to your instructions
  • Save time for what matters most
hire writer

Fair Use Policy

EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via

Check it out!
search Stuck on your essay?

We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.