Case study of single parent families

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Single-parent families can be defined as families where a parent lives with dependent children, either alone or in a larger household, without a spouse or partner. Single-parent is a parent who cares for one or more children without physical assistance of another parent in home. "Single parenthood" may vary according to the local laws of different nations or regions. Single-parent families which are families with children under age 18 headed by a parent who is divorced, widowed, adoption, artificial insemination, surrogate motherhood or not married. But mostly single-parent families came about because of the death of spouse. Besides that, most of the single-parent families face common problem and special challenge, the most common problem is their children. Children who live with single father or mother, they have to take care themselves and get less care from parent because of busy working. According to social scientists, children who growing up in single-parent families are disadvantages in other ways when compared to a two-biological-parent families. Many of these problems are directly related to the poor economic condition of single-parent families, not just to parenting style.

Factors of Single-Parent Families

The effect on children

In single-parent families, children tend to experience short-and long-term economic and psychological disadvantages, higher absentee rates at school, lower levels of education, and higher dropout rates (with boys more negatively affected than girls) (Demo & Acock, 2011). Besides that, they will more on criminal activity, including alcohol and drug addiction. Teenagers, on the other hand, are more negatively affected by parental discord prior to divorce than by living in single-parent families and actually gain in responsibility as a result of altered family routines. In addition, children in single-parent families more likely to suffer emotional problem, due to mother and father split up or any other reason. In future, children who from single-parent families become adults, they are more likely to marry early, have children early, and divorce. Girls are at greater risk of becoming single mothers as a result of noncapital childbearing or divorce (McLanahan & Karen, 2011).

Economics of single-parent families

The main problem of single-parent families is economic, in single-father families, there will be no any problem, because father have particular job, have no worry. But in single-mother families, there might have problem, for example, when single-mother divorced or widowed, she have no any job or any income to maintain the families. Single-mother has to face economic problem, such as lack of money paid for children studies.

Lower level of educational achievement

Children or teenagers who live under single-parent families will face lower level of education problem, this is because the families facing finance problem, having poor economic condition, so the parent have no enough money send the children to tuition, or any learning centre to have extra learning, children just only go to the government school study. Besides that, parent who have finance problem, he or she don't have enough money to buy the reference books for their child, they just study the text book, can't get extra learning material or knowledge.

Children / Teenagers having conflict with their parent

Children or teenagers who lives in single-parent families will have conflict with the parent, this is because the parent are busy working outside and spend less time with their children, or even can't have a good communicate with them, lack communication between parent and their children, then the conflict occur. Parent who busy working outside, they can't spend more time on them, that's why the parent don't even know what their child need or wants. Besides that, children or teenagers with argue with their parent because the parent can't understand them, can't have a good communicate with them.

Less supervised by parent

In a single-parent families, single father or mother are busy working at outside, they don't have much more time supervised their children. This will cause the children turn to bad side, because the parent can't spend time on supervise them. When parent busy working not at home, or parent don't have much time with the children, so when the children will feel alone or boring, they will hanging out with friends, truancy with friends, smoking with friends, or taking drugs. In this situation, the parent doesn't know at all, they don't know what their children doing outside, making good or bad friends.

No discipline

Children who lives in single-parent families, most of them don't have discipline, this is because single father or mother didn't spend time on family education, they just busy with their job. Family education is important for children, for example, children who don't have discipline, he or she is just a rude boy or girl, they don't know what is respect and how to respect other people. Besides that, when the children study in school without discipline, he or she don't know how to respect the teacher and not following the instruction, for example, when teacher teaching the lesson, he or she playing with other friends and disturbing other students, he or she will be punish by the teacher or headmaster due to don't have any discipline.

Divorce parent/single parent finds new partner who treats the children of the previous partner badly

When a divorce parent or single parent live single for few years, he or she might find a new partner for accompany his or her. But here is the problem, if the parent find the new partner is bad, the new partner will treats the children of the precious partner badly. For example, if the new partner of the parent doesn't like the children, he or she will keep making trouble on them, such as beating them, threaten the children, and any other worst things on them.

Casa Study of Single-parent families

Children in single-parent families more likely to suffer emotional problems, report finds

Children from broken homes are almost five times more likely to develop emotional problems than those living with both parents, a report has found

By Martin Beckford, Social Affairs Correspondent 5:59PM BST 21 Oct 2008

Young people whose mother and father split up are also three times as likely to become aggressive or badly behaved, according to the comprehensive survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics.

Living in a "reconstituted" family containing step-children or step-parents increased the risk of developing behavioral problems still further, it found.

The stark findings of the study, commissioned by the Department for Health and the Scottish Government, fly in the face of the Government's repeated failure to extol the benefits on children of growing up in a traditional family home.

Under Labor, the number of couples getting married has fallen to the lowest level for more than a century while almost half of newlyweds are now expected to end up divorcing.

Yet Harriet Harman, the party's deputy leader, insisted recently that "there is no 'ideal' parenting scenario" and "marriage has little relevance to public policy".

The ONS report involved interviewing parents, teacher and children themselves to find out how many suffered emotional problems such as anxiety or depression, how many "conduct disorders" such as aggression had, and what the possible reasons behind them were.

After interviewing 5,364 children aged between five and 16 in 2004 and again last year, the researchers found that 3 per cent had developed problems over that time. In addition, 30 per cent who had emotional problems at the first survey, and 43 per cent who had behavioral issues, still had them three years later.

The researchers stressed they had not discovered any direct causes of emotional and behavioral problems developing or persisting in children, but agreed there was a link to living in a broken home.

Children whose parents had split up over the three years were 4.53 times more likely to develop emotional problems than those whose mothers and fathers stayed together, and were 2.87 times more likely to show the onset of behavioral disorders.

The report said: "The odds of developing an emotional disorder were increased for children where there had been a change in the number of parents between surveys, from two parents to one parent compared with children and young people in families that had two parents at both times."

It went on: "Children and young people in households of 'reconstituted' families, particularly where there were step-children, were more likely to develop conduct disorder as were those in families which had two parents at Time 1 and one parent at Time 2."

In addition, children whose mothers were mentally ill were found to be more likely to develop conduct disorders, as were those whose mothers were poorly educated.

Children who endured three stressful events such as seeing one's parents' divorce or appear in court, or suffering a serious disease or being badly injured, were three times as likely to develop emotional problems.

However those who were happy where they lived, had lots of friends or enjoyed activities outside school were less likely to become unhappy.

The report's author, Nina Parry-Langdon, said: "If children belong to more clubs, it may offer some protection against getting a disorder in the future."

One-parent families on the rise

Two-parent households are becoming less common

Britons are increasingly likely to live in single-parent families, stay at home for longer, marry later and struggle to afford a house, official figures show.Family

The Office for National Statistics said children in the UK were three times more likely to live in one-parent households than they were in 1972.

Last year almost 60% of men and 40% of women aged between 20 and 24 in England still lived with their parents.

The department's annual Social Trends report studies patterns in UK society.

Among the findings this year was that wages rose on average by 92% from 1995 to 2005, but house prices rocketed by 204%.

Stephen Evans, chief economist with the Social Market Foundation, said problems getting on the property ladder were partly to blame for young people leaving home later, but insisted there was an element of choice involved too.

"They're making a choice to extend their education because they know that they're going to get higher earnings in the long run."

Changing families

Since 1971 the proportion of all people living in "traditional" family households of married couples with dependent children has fallen from 52% to 37%.

Children by family type

Over the same period, the proportion of people living in couples with no children rose from 19% to 25%.

Nearly a quarter of children lived with only one parent last year and nine out of 10 of those households were headed by lone mothers.

David Green, director of the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, told BBC Radio 4's Today programmed: "If you take almost any measure - how well children do in school, whether they turn to crime, whether they commit suicide, etc - it's better to have two parents.

"It's also the biggest disadvantage of lone parenthood that you're much more likely to be poor."

But Jane Ahrends, from One Parent Families, said while single parents might face poverty, the image of them as "young, feckless women who deliberately get pregnant" was wrong.

"The vast majority of lone parents are ordinary working mums and dads in their 30s and 40s, who are just trying to do their best in circumstances they didn't choose," she said.

"And remember, families are constantly changing - lone parenthood is not a permanent state for most people. It's a phase, usually lasting about five and a half years."

Lone living

More children are born in Britain today outside of marriage than in most other European countries, the report also said.

The average figure is 44%, compared with just 3% in Cyprus, and just 12% in Britain in the early 1970s.

BBC home editor Mark Easton said that in Wales and the north east of England the numbers of children born to unmarried parents were even higher, at 52% and 55% respectively.

More than seven million people in Britain also live alone now, compared with three million in 1971.

This, the report said, had left societies more fragmented and led to much less trust and co-operation between neighbours.

Other findings included:

ï‚· Second marriages made up two-fifths of all marriages in 2005.

ï‚· In the same year, the average age at first marriage in England and Wales was 32 for men and 29 for women - up from 25 and 23 respectively in 1971.

ï‚· Divorces in 2005 fell to 155,000 from a 1993 peak of 180,000.

ï‚· In 2005, 66% of single-parent families lived in rented housing compared with 22% of couples with dependent children.