09.12.2020

research articles on single parents

Single parent status was mainly due to divorce or parents never being married. No moderation by age, gender, and societal system where the childhood was spent (i.e. The association between childhood family settings and adulthood life satisfaction was not moderated by respondents’ age or respondents’ sex (for further details see below). The American Journal of Family Therapy: Vol. Although life satisfaction has been measured since the very beginning of the SOEP study in 1984, the information on where respondents had spent the first fifteen years of their lives was only available for respondents who entered the panel after the year 2000. These analyses controlled respondents’ age, age2, age3, and sex as well as parents’ education (dummy coded) and parents’ occupational prestige (standardized). Data Availability: Data are available from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (SOEP) due to third party restrictions (for requests, please contact [email protected]). We therefore studied life satisfaction among 641 individuals (ages 18–66 years) who spent their entire childhood with a single mother, 1539 individuals who spent part of their childhood with both parents but then experienced parental separation, and 21,943 individuals who grew up with both parents. A. American Psychological Association. There is also evidence that the absence of a father is associated with an increase in antisocial behaviors in boys, including violence, criminality, and substance abuse [16] and a decrease in social adjustment in general [5]. We focus on life-satisfaction in adulthood as a highly desirable characteristic which is assumed to play a crucial role for the populations' health, longevity, and citizenship [2, 3]. Single parenthood is increasingly common in Western societies, with 27.5% of children in the US currently being raised in single-parent households—more than 80% of them in households headed by single mothers [1]. Growing up with a single mother was further related to the participants’ own SES in adulthood including employment status, occupational prestige, and net income. Effects of the breakup on children's school performance and peer relations. 7, No. Less opportunity for parents and children to spend time together. A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. The number of doctor visits as well as their generalized monthly net income in EUR were estimated by calculating the mean of all yearly data available. For instance it is possible that the relationship between physical health and life satisfaction is reverse involving an impact of life satisfaction on physical health. Discover a faster, simpler path to publishing in a high-quality journal. No, Is the Subject Area "Children" applicable to this article? The findings of the research show that the books of children of single parents were mostly unpresentable. Children of single parents are likely to be strong, having encountered life being a child with one parent on which to … Education of respondents was scored using the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-1997; [23]. Testing sex differences regarding the role of these adulthood life circumstances for life satisfaction revealed that physical health (i.e., the reverse-coded number of doctor visits; men: β = .09, t = 2.46, p > .05, women: β = .20, t = 5.80, p < .001, sex × physical health interaction: t = 2.66, p < .01) and number of friends (men: β = .05, t = 1.17, p = .241, women: β = .16, t = 4.61, p < .001, sex × number of friends interaction: t = 2.54, p < .01) were more strongly associated with life satisfaction among women who spent between 1 and 14 years of their childhood living with a single mother when compared to their male counterparts. Similarly, we coded whether respondents’ marital status was “divorced” (divorced was coded 1.0, all other marital statuses were coded 0.0) for the years they reported their life satisfaction and collapsed the data into a mean score. Values with different superscripts vary significantly (p < 0.05; Bonferroni-corrected). 5. We hypothesize that differences in these life circumstances during adulthood partly explain the difference in general adulthood life satisfaction between individuals who have been raised by single mothers and their counterparts who grew up with both parents. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179639.s003. Social network status was measured in the years 2003, 2008, and 2013. Single Parent Households Research Question What is the impact thatsingle parent families are motherled have on children’s emotional and social development? Yes Disruptions of extended family relationships. Affiliation But if family members are still overwhelmed and having problems, it may be time to consult an expert or a licensed mental health professional. The latter include death of one of the parents, abandonment which may occur in tough conditions, parents who neglect th… Those not using SPSS or stata may check the included output-file. Researchers have been looking at how children from single-parent and two-parent families fare in life. Young maternal age and maternal single status have been reported to increase the risk for adverse outcomes for both mother and child. Generally, the effect sizes were in the modest range, and no significant association between childhood family settings and physical health (number of doctor visits, reverse-coded) and number of visits to/from friends was revealed after controlling childhood SES (see also S2 Table). A second pathway of impact is related to the generally lower socio-economic status and increased risk of economic deprivation among children in single-mother households (e.g., [4]). Growing up with a single mother was associated with lower SES in childhood including lower parental education and occupational prestige (mother’s education p < .01, all other ps < .001). In most circumstances, it occurs after separation or divorce and the mother becomes the primary caregiver as the custodial parent, and the father becomes a secondary giver as the noncustodial parent. Life satisfaction, occupational prestige and net income were standardized; employment status, physical health (number of doctor visits, reverse coded), number of friends, visits to/from family, partnership status, and having been divorced were centered. A research project on successful single-parent families. The main analyses showed a significant association of the different childhood family settings with general life satisfaction. Life in a single parent household—though common—can be quite stressful for the adult and the children. Any exceptions to this, including excerpting, paraphrasing or reproduction in a commercial work, must be presented in writing to the APA. The divorce rate in the socialist GDR was nearly twice as high as in the FRG and female participation in the labor market was at 89% compared to 55% in the FRG in 1990 [18]. This is in contrast to evidence on negative life events during adulthood including divorce, bereavement, and unemployment for which the general principle of adaptation holds positing that the impact of an negative event decreases with increasing time since the event has happened (e.g., [17, 26]). The western oriented Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR), which existed between 1949 and 1990, differed sharply in terms of several variables that may possibly be relevant for single parent families namely divorce rate, female participation in the labor market, and child day-care infrastructure. 65-73. They are more often exposed to harsh parental rearing practices and poor parental mental health, and they more often receive suboptimal nutrition and suffer from poor physical health [13]. Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, fathers, and even by a grandparent raising their grandchildren. Yes Moreover, one might expect that the higher rate of female participation in the work force as well as the higher number of children in day-care in the socialist GDR might have mitigated inequalities between children raised in single parent households compared to children from two-parent households in the GDR. Finally, we compared the variance explained by the childhood family settings in model 3 with the variance that childhood family settings explained after the mediators of model 4 (model 3 mediators plus adulthood social integration and success in romantic relationships) had been entered to the regression model. According to Amato’s research, sociologists warn that many children of single parents are born into undesirable circumstances. The effect of family structure on child outcomes is a much-studied subject, and many researchers, including Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur (Growing up with a Single Parent, 1994), have explored the potentially adverse effects of single parenting on children. In a recent Psychology Today article, “One Parent Can Do Just as Good a Job as Two, Women Say,” Bella DePaulo shared findings from Family Story’s national survey of about 1,000 women. Again, respondents’ age, age2, age3, and sex as well as parents’ education (dummy coded) and occupational prestige (standardized) were entered into the equations to control for these background variables. In a first step, respondents’ z-standardized general life satisfaction served as the dependent variable in hierarchical multiple regression analyses. Indirect paths were estimated separately in individual models but illustrated here together in one model for presentational parsimony. No, Is the Subject Area "Socioeconomic aspects of health" applicable to this article? 3. Yearly data on the employment status of respondents were coded to generate a continuous index (full-time employment was coded 1.0, regular part-time employment or vocational training were coded 0.5, marginal, irregular part-time employment was coded 0.25, and not employed was coded 0.0) and collapsed into a mean score to represent the general employments status of respondents across the years they reported their life satisfaction. Yes Mediation analyses revealed that a large part of the variance in life satisfaction between different childhood family settings was explained by childhood SES, including differences in the education and occupational prestige of the respondents’ parents (i.e., 29% of the variance; see Table 2, Model 1). In the analysis, the scales of these variables were reversed. This hopelessness and struggle with life is real, causing stress, frustration, and tension. The values underlying Fig 1A are reported in Table 2, Model 1. The role of single parent is challenging one especially when the family is headed by a women. In model 3, respondents’ adulthood physical health (number of doctor visits, reverse coded, and centered) was entered to the equation. Respondents’ general social network status was estimated by calculating the mean of all data available. Is the Subject Area "Mothers" applicable to this article? In addition, we tested whether associations of the different childhood family settings with general life satisfaction in adulthood differed for individuals who grew up in the FRG or the GDR. A second explanation for finding no differences between the FRG and the GDR is that our respondents who grew up in the GDR responded to the study many years after the breakdown of the socialist state of the GDR in 1990. 1B. Single parents have higher levels of mental health problems, which could result partly from the stress of trying to balance the needs of employment, home responsibilities, child rearing, and interactions with the child's school with limited time, personal, and social support (Cairney, 2003). This association exhibited evidence of a dose-response relationship: individuals who spent their first 15 years living with a single mother reported lower SES in adulthood than individuals who spent between 1 and 14 years living with a single mother, who again were lower than their counterparts who lived with both parents throughout childhood, controlling for their childhood SES (all linear trends p < 0.05). Effect of Single Parent Homes on Child Delinquency Single parenting effects children mentally, emotionally as well as psychologically. To do so, we compare the general life satisfaction of adults reared by their single mothers with respondents who grew up with both parents. Contrary to expectations this effect was not moderated by sex, age, or the societal system in which the childhood was spent. A third pathway can be summarized as the ‘missing-father hypothesis.’ In popular science, it has been discussed that children need both a mother and a father, presuming that fathering involves distinct and necessary qualities which are particularly important for gender identity formation in boys (e.g., [14, 15]). In a third step, mediation analyses were conducted to test whether differences in adulthood life satisfaction related to childhood family structure were mediated by indicators of adulthood life outcomes including adulthood SES, physical health, social integration, and success in romantic relationships in adulthood. Finally, inclusion of respondents’ social integration and success in romantic relationships attenuated the association of the different childhood family settings with life satisfaction by a further 16% (Model 4). Regarding the societal system where the children grew up, in the FRG, 18,186 respondents grew up with both parents up to the age of fifteen, 1234 lived with their mothers for between one and fourteen years, and 483 lived with a single mother up to the age of fifteen. Single-parent families are determined by the sex of the "primary carer," responsible for the children the majority of the time, and they can … The breakdown of the socialist system has lead to many changes and new economic hardships to a part of the population [28]. Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work. PLOS ONE promises fair, rigorous peer review, Family Deficit Model. Recent evidence suggests that children from single parent families do less well, on average, than children who live with both of their parents. Missing information on education (n = 138, 0.6%) was scored as the lowest category. In general, research on single-father families evolved from qualitative studies focused on Furthermore, regarding the possible mediating factors of the effect of childhood family settings on adulthood life satisfaction, physical health could have been measured in a more sophisticated fashion. C Changing Structure of the Family. The experience of parental divorce may cause further emotional distress to the child [5, 11] and may eventually lead to an insecure attachment representation [5, 12]. Yes (2019, October 31). This decrease was partly mediated by worse adulthood living conditions related to socio-economic and educational success, physical health, social integration, and romantic relationship outcomes. These children have a … Single-parent families are more likely to be poor than two-parent families, and there is growing concern about the rising inequality among family types. We expect a smaller decrease in general life satisfaction in this group, as the parent who left the family may still provide resources to support children when they enter adulthood—which is less likely when the parent has never lived together with the child. In most cases these individuals had no occupational prestige due to being homemakers or being unemployed. Respondents’ general occupational prestige was estimated by calculating the mean of all yearly data available. Even more drastic difference existed with regard to the child day-care infrastructure; more than half of the children who grew up in the socialist GDR were in regular day-care, which was free of charge, while less than 2% were in day-care in the FRG at the end of the 1980s [19]. No, Is the Subject Area "Social systems" applicable to this article? In a fourth step, we included interaction terms into the regression analyses to analyze if the effects of the childhood family structure on adulthood life satisfaction varied depending on respondents’ sex and age when completing the questionnaire following the procedure proposed by Aiken and West [24]. Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. No, Is the Subject Area "Human families" applicable to this article? Finally, economic deprivation also increases the likelihood of these children to enter careers with poor socio-economic prospects and to show poor social integration when they reach early adulthood [5]. The direct use of SOEP data is subject to the strict provisions of German data protection law. In conclusion, the present study shows that growing up with a single mother—in particular if the father is absent for the entire childhood—predicts a small but stable decrease in life satisfaction across adulthood that is partly explained by lower socio-economic status and educational achievement, inferior physical health, poor social integration, and lower likelihood of romantic relationship success in adulthood. Several of the divorces and break ups occurred due to financial constraints and unemployment and fathers leaving due to a sense of failure and shame. First, we compared the variance explained by childhood family settings (only controlling age, age2, age3, and sex) with the variance that childhood family settings explained after the control variables of model 1 (childhood SES) had been entered to the regression model. In model 1 (baseline model), parents’ education (dummy coded) and occupational prestige (standardized) were included into the equation to control for childhood SES. One explanation for the lack of differences in such comparisons can be summarized by a relative deprivation perspective which holds that existing small economic differences may still matter a lot in societies with a more even distribution of goods and which is in contrast to an absolute economic deprivation perspective [26]. Today single parent families have become even more common than the so-called "nuclear family" consisting of a mother, father and children. As single parenthood and parental divorce are associated with parental socio-economic background and education, we statistically control for parents’ education and occupational prestige along with the respondents’ age and sex. Third, we test moderation of the effects by three possible moderating variables, age, gender, and societal system where the children grew up. broad scope, and wide readership – a perfect fit for your research every time. In a similar vein, it is possible that the direction of the causal influence between the factors that we tested as mediators and life satisfaction are different than we have specified them. Additionally, we also evaluated indirect paths of childhood family settings on adulthood general life satisfaction via these mediators employing the Structural Equation Modeling module of stata 13. Inclusion of respondents’ own education, occupational prestige, employment status, and net income during adulthood into the model attenuated the association of the different childhood family settings with general life satisfaction by a further 20% (Model 2). Here, all possible indirect paths were tested in individual models controlling age, age2, age3, sex, and childhood SES. This finding is consistent with studies on adult well-being after parental divorce [5, 25]. Different nations have varying laws related to single parenthood. parents. During the fourteen years of data collection, respondents reported their general life satisfaction (‘All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life in general?’) at the end of each yearly interview using an 11-point scale ranging from 0 (completely dissatisfied) to 10 (completely satisfied), a measure with high reported reliability and validity [21]. The participants also reported their socio-economic status (SES) in childhood (i.e., their parents’ education and occupational prestige), their own SES in adulthood (i.e., employment status, occupational prestige, education, and net income), their physical health status during adulthood (the number of visits to the doctor, reverse-coded), their social integration in adulthood (number of friends, number of visits to/from friends, and number of visits to/from family members), and success in romantic relationships (their relationship status and if they were divorced). Data from 2813 respondents were excluded who had spent part of their childhood in different family settings (e.g., raised by the mother and a new partner, by a single father with or without a new partner, or by other relatives; among the excluded respondents there were 207 individuals who grew up with a single father for 1–14 years and 21 individuals who grew up with a single father for 15 years, respectively). 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