The purpose of writing this research report is to discuss on the question that single parenthood does not benefits the society and it brings negative effects to the society. There will be a full explanation with some evidences to support the idea that single parenthood brings many negative effects to the society. Furthermore, this report will also have three main ideas on the negative effects as well as how they are likely to affect the single parents, children and society. At the same time, there will also include the weaknesses of arguments from the opponents. After a brief explanation of the three main ideas, there will also have some recommendations for this report. Understandably, most of the problems are come from the single parents towards the children, thus, single parents have to show some responsibilities towards this problem, several recommendations are needed to take into actions. However, before actions, it is necessary for us to have certain knowledge on the negative effects. Hope that this research report will pave the way to overcome the problems of single parenthood.
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A family in society is often seen as a father, mother and their children. Nowadays this is not always the case. In this modern age, single parenthood is now acceptable in our society. It is a person who builds a family and cares for one or more children without marriage or without the presence of a husband or wife. According to information from the United States Census Bureau, in 2002 there are about 20 million children lived in a household with only their mother or their father. (Single Parent Central, 2004). Single parent families are families with children under age 18 headed by a parent who is widowed or divorced, not remarried, adoption, artificial insemination and surrogate motherhood, or by a parent who has never married. It also may be the result of an unforeseeable occurrence, such as death, child abuse, child neglect, or abandonment by biological parents.
In this day and age, single parenting caused by adoption of a child are widely accepted. Adoption by single individuals has also soared. In 1970 only 0.5 to 4 percent of adoptive parents were single. In the 1980s this rate increased from 8 to 34 percent. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 33 percent of children adopted from foster care are adopted by single parents. (Single Parent Central, 2004). A single parent who has chosen to adopt generally feel as though their life is incomplete without a child, they feel there is a loneliness which money or a social friend network cannot cure in their life.
As a result of that, it has brought up an ultimate question which remains debatable among the society is, single parenthood does not benefits the society and it brings negative effects to the society. Do you agree?
In the end, the answer for this question is yes. Single parenthood does not benefits us, besides, it brings many negative effects to the society. So, single parenthood is not encouraged by the society because it will bring impacts for the children of single parent and they are not growth in a complete and healthy family. According to a study conducted in the United States, children from a single parent background had a 77 percent chance of being physically abused, 87 percent risk of being harmed by neglect and overall 120 percent of being endangered by some form of child abuse. (National Service Personnel, 2010)
Therefore, this report will mainly focus on the negative effects of single parenthood to the society. It will indicate that the single parents have financial problems, they cannot handle the pressure of raising the children alone. Furthermore, most of the children may have psychological problems due to lack of supervision and they may involve in social problems. It also include the weaknesses of the arguments from the opponents. Overall, this research results are related to the global range, including United States and some other European countries.
The percentage of children of all races living in single parent homes has been steadily increasing since 1970.
Percentage of Children in Single Parent Homes: 1970-2005
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. Current Population Survey – Families and Living Arrangements, Historical Tables. Table CH-1: “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present.”
The proportion of children living in single-parent homes more than doubled between 1970 and 2006 from 12% to 28%, according to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Over the 36-year period, the share of children living with only their mother rose from 10 percent to 24 percent while the share living with only their father grew from less than 2 percent to 5 percent. A never-married parent is becoming more common in single-parent homes. Between 1970 and 2006, the proportion of children living with a never-married parent increased from 7% to 42%. In 2006, almost 4 percent of children lived with other relatives (including foster parents) and fewer than 1 percent lived with non relatives. Although there may be no direct, causal link between single parent families and youth violence, poor parenting is often identified as one of the most serious risk factors for unhealthy youth development.
2.0 Body of Content
2.1 Single parents cannot handle the pressure of raising the child alone.
As a single parent, raising a child is challenging. It is like having two jobs at once. Psychologists believe that raising a child is a very stressful task that single parent will require to be a sympathetic mother plus a strict and providing father at the same time. Without proper guidance from counselors, a single parent will deteriorate emotionally due to stress. Psychologists suggest that in order for a single parent to manage both stress and take care of their child, they should enumerate things that brings them the stressors. (Maxx Family Life, 2010).
Another important thing to regard is single parent have to struggle to do everything by themselves with no one else to blame if it does not get done. They have to learn that if something has to be done, then they are the one has to do it. Even if they have developed a network of friends which helps each other, they also may find that there are some jobs have to be done by themselves when no one is capable of or have time to do.
According to The Single Mother’s Survival Guide, the most common challenge for a single parent will be the financial problems. Opponents argued that single parents will have total control over expenditures than a two parents. They will have to plan on a specific date and set money aside to cover the expenses for their living that a two parents may not have. As single parents are handling the family finances, medically dental care, transportation, household tasks such as repairs and moving, so they must have a wise plan on their expenses. However, to oppose this, in 2002, as twice as many single parent families earned less than $30,000 per year compared to families with two parents present. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 39 percent of two-parent families earned more than $75,000 compared to 6 percent of single mother families and 11 percent of single father families. (Single Parent Central, 2004). Single parents are low income earners. They usually survive on only one income, whereas other families usually have two parents working providing double income. Kristen Anderson Moore from the Child Trends claims that children living in households with single parents were five times as likely to be poor as the children in households where both parents were present. (Child Trends Research Brief, 2007).
Child Poverty by Family Type. Children Age 0-11, 1994-1995
Note: Poverty is measured using Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-Off Lines.
17 percent of children in two-parent families and 68 percent of children in single-parent families were living in poverty, based on Statistics Canada’s 1994 Low-Income Cut-Off Lines (LICO). Infants were over 20 percent more likely than 11-year-olds to be living in poverty, primarily because younger families have higher poverty rates. One in ten Canadian children live in households that are supported primarily by social assistance.
17% of children in two-parent and 68% in single-parent families live in poverty.
Only 0.4 percent of children live with teen mothers. However, the overview report stated, even though the numbers were relatively small, this group of children demands particular attention because of the heightened risk of growing up in a poor household and having poor child outcomes.
Child outcomes were examined in the areas of emotional and behavioral functioning, academic functioning and social functioning. Most children had no problems in these areas – only 26 percent had one or more problems.
About 10 percent of Canadian babies are born prematurely, and 5.7 percent had a low birth weight. There is a well established link between important indicators of health at birth, such as low birth weight and prematurity, health and social problems later in life, the authors of the report stated. Also, the NLSCY corroborated past research linking low household income and mothers who smoked during pregnancy with a higher incidence of low birth weight.
2.2 Children may have psychological problems due to lack of communication and attention from their parents.
Children from single parent families are more likely to suffer emotional problems than those who are living with both parents. According to the survey carried out by National Statistics, children from the age of 5 to 18, the result showed that 3 percent had developed problems, 30 percent had emotional issues and 43 percent had behavior problems. They stressed that they had not found any direct causes of the problems in children but sure that will be a link to living in a not complete family. (National Statistics, 2008). Children who experienced the stressful events such as seeing their lovely parents divorce, appear in court, being tortured or serious injured by one’s parent, they were likely to develop emotional problems. Others emotional issues includes anxiety, depression or become aggressive and antisocial behavior because they think that their parents divorce because they do not want to take care of them. Based on another survey, children whose parents had break up were 4.53 times more likely to develop emotional problems than those children in two parent family and were 2.87 times to show the onset of behavior disorders. (National Statistics, 2008). As a fact, children in single parent families have psychological problems or abnormal behaviors due to the lack of family care. Consequently, these children suffer a lot from mental strain and stress, therefore they may change their moods very easily and frequently, sometimes they are not willing to listen to their parents.
Another important thing to regard is single parents are the sole breadwinners for the family, so they cannot always spend so much time with their kids, this will lead to a poor relationship between them and single parents also may have less parental control over the children. In fact, the children are lack of supervision and they do not receive guidance or attention when they are desperately seeking for. As a result, the gap between the single parent and the children may widen, children might feel that friends are more important than their parents. Hence, communication is an important role in the developing and growth of a child. Parents who communicate and supervise their children will enhance their well-being. (Maccoby and Martin, 1983). Single parents should work to the best on doing everythings to make their children feel love, respect and secure.
Opponents argued that in a single parent household with sufficient income, the parent will actually have more free time to allocate for the kids that a married parent would have. They can give much attention that a single parent will often bestow in the absence of a spouse and concentrate on their children’s studies in order to have a high level of academic achievement. Children who have that kind of support, even if it is only from one parent, are much better equipped to deal with the intellectual. On top of that, African American children in elementary school actually do better in school when their parents work outside of the house. The fact that children from low income, single parent families actually can have higher grades than children from two parent homes. (One-parent households and achievement, 1992). However, to oppose this, single parents who have less time overseeing their children’s study habits and helping them with their homework, therefore, the children may have discipline problems and do poorly in school, all these will lead to the lower of academic achievement. Thus, two parent household is “better” for a child, it is really not surprising. (Matt Garrett, 2007).
2.3 Children who involve in social problems like crime, alcohol and drug abuse are they face family problems.
Children of single parents are more likely to involve in dangerous behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, crime, delinquency, violence, sexual activity, suicide attempts, etc. This would link on logically from the psychological problems mentioned above. If a child is unhappy and dissatisfied, they need someone to share with their problems and they can’t find their own parents to talk with, so they will most probably want to smoke and drink to release out their stress. Often, children left alone at home for long periods when their parents get outside to work, they may be unduly influenced by peers that can lead to unwanted behavior. While most parents will want to respect their children’s privacy, watching for early tell tale signs of drug use or other harmful behavior will save everyone much grief later. (David Richardson, 2007). Furthermore, in The Lancet’s Jan. 25 issue, the research showed among other things, that 2.5 percent of boys and 1.5 percent of girls in single parent families were hospitalized with alcohol problems and the increased risk for drug addiction, compared to just 1 percent of boys and 0.5 percent of girls in two parent homes. (Bootie Cosgrove-Mather, 2003).
Another important thing to consider is adolescents are more negatively affected by parental discord prior to divorce . Later, as they from single parents families become adult, they are more likely to marry early, have children early and divorce too, follow their own parents footstep. (Demo and Acock, 1991). Understandably, children need to feel love and secure from their parents in the developing and growth, this may be difficult following a divorce, especially if it was an acrimonious divorce. Family and home are fundamental to a child’s sense of self and if children lose confidence on this safe and loving place, they might lose their belief to the world.
Opponents claim that in single parenthood, children prior two parents household included frequent fighting and discord between the adults, the absence of a partner means the absence of sometimes irrational and vehement arguments that the children would observe. Consequently, children can be benefit from living in a one parent home provided that the conflict is stopped. At the same time, children being raised in a single parent families can learn to be self reliant, they solve problems themselves. They also can learn to help with household chores and care for younger siblings, which makes them become more mature and gain in more responsibilities than other children in their age group as a result of altered family routines (Demo and Acock, 1991). However, to oppose this, in fact, having two parents is usually better than one. Children are actually learn by example, if their parents didn’t have any fighting and discord, on the contrary, they are loving and caring to their children, then it will lead to a happy and well being family. So, be a good role model for the children to follow by setting a good example.
Above all, it can be states that single parenthood does not benefits the society and it indeed brings many negative effects to the society. In this day and age, people pursue a high quality life and happy marriage, but their hopes will usually end up in a higher rate of divorce and greater hurt to the children than before. It will be better if divorced parents establish a new family life with their children, they should spend more time, patience, care and love to their kids. Single parents will have a unique opportunity to influence their children for good or ill, without the counterbalance of another partner.
Therefore, based on the three arguments that are mentioned and with the aids of examples and supporting arguments, we could conclude that it is really important to give children a peaceful and stable home environment in the developing and growth of them.
It is highly recommended that the society take steps to help in overcoming the problems of single parenthood whether is the single parents or the children. We should keep in mind that we want to live in a peaceful life and to look forward to a progressive society.
Statistics indicate that single parents cannot handle the pressure of raising the child alone, so the government sector should provide some subsidies for single parents in order to reduce the expenses of single parents, instead they can also save the money for being used by future. Besides, some of the children may have psychological problems due to lack of communication and attention from their parents, therefore, single parents should spend more time with their children like have some family day events on holidays, always have a talk with them, do not let them feels that they are left out. Other than that, as a matter of fact, children who involve in social problems like crime, alcohol and drug abuse are they face family problems, the single parents and the society should avoid the happenings of such social problems because children who are still young, they do not know how to differentiate that what should do and what should not do. Hence, adults like us have the responsibilities to help and protect the children, especially their parents.