10 Studies About the Struggles of Single Parents

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The challenges of single parenting are legion, and all-too-familiar to those who have had to raise their kids solo. For everyone else, there are a number of very interesting studies which investigate the struggles peculiar to single parenthood. We’ve put together a selection of studies on single parenting that touches upon a variety of issues that confront lone parents. Whether you are raising a family on your own, or know someone who is, the information provided is enlightening:

  1. The Stress of Single Mothers and Its Effect on Quality Child Care This study, conducted by Salome Bronnimann of The Master’s College, sought to determine what, if any, stressors were faced by single mothers, and whether they presented difficulties in their ability to provide quality child care for their children.
  2. Female-Headed Single Parent Families: An Exploratory Study of Children’s Influence in Family Decision MakingUsing specific demographic characteristics of single mothers and their families, Roshan “Bob” D. Ahuja and Kandi M. Stinson of Xavier University studied their effects on children’s influence in making family decisions from the perspective of consumer behavior.
  3. A Study of Single Mothers’ Experience of  Persistence At a Four-Year Public University – Of particular interest to young low-income single moms attempting to further their education, this study addresses the obstacles associated with adult education as they apply specifically to that group. Data was gathered for each year of enrollment at a 4-year school.
  4. Black Single Fathers: Choosing to Parent Full-TimeA study conducted by Roberta L. Coles of Marquette University which investigates the motivations of African-American single dads for choosing to be full-time parents. In addition to providing insight into the reasons for their choices, the study provides a counter to the stereotype of the black absentee father.
  5. One-Parent Households Double Risk of Childhood Sexual Abuse – William C. Holmes, MD, MSCE, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shares his findings about the increased risk of sexual abuse to children of single parents. The study infers that much of the risk is due to a combination of  prolonged absence of the parent, opportunistic predatory adults, and the quality of child care affordable to low-income parents.
  6. Mother’s Education and Ability More ImportantResearcher Henry Ricciuti of Cornell University found that the education level and overall ability of a mother had a more significant impact on her influence than whether she was a single parent or a partner. The study showed no ill effects on the behavior nor academic performance of 12- and 13-year old kids.
  7. The Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4)The study classifies children into six different categories of domestic status, compares rates of abuse in each category and compares the findings with previous studies (NIS-2, NIS-3, etc.). It concludes that in all categories, the incidence of child abuse is down except for the case of single parent homes.
  8. Kamp DushUsing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and 4, 910 single mothers as subjects, as well as 11,428 kids, Claire Kamp Dush studied the effects of growing up in a single parent home on children’s rates of success. The study ultimately concluded that family stability was a more significant factor than whether the children were raised by a single parent or two.
  9. Single-parent Families in Poverty – Jacqueline Kirby, M.S. Of the Ohio State University. conducted this study of the relationship between poverty and single parenting. The findings included the statistic that 53% of single mothers are not working because they cannot find affordable, quality child care.
  10. Single Moms’ Sons Can SucceedPointing to high-profile examples that include President Barack Obama and Lance Armstrong, the study demonstrates that the ill effects that threaten   associated with being raised without a father are not as prevalent among boys as previously thought. In homes where other important factors existed such as adequate socioeconomic resources and strong relationship with the in-home parent, the risk was minimized.
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