Soci 004 Outline.docx - Word Count 1,525 SOCI-004-401 Report on Single-Parenting Introduction A single-parent household can be defined as a one in which

Soci 004 Outline.docx - Word Count 1,525 SOCI-004-401...

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Figure 1. This graph shows the increase of single-parent households in the United States. Word Count: 1,525 SOCI-004-401 Report on Single-Parenting Introduction A single-parent household can be defined as a one in which a parent with no committed partner or spouse lives with one or more dependent child. While single-parent families have always been around, the second half of the twentieth century saw a fast and dramatic growth in the amount of single-parent families in the United States. On one hand, some sociologists have used this trend of increasing single-parenthood to suggest that society is experiencing a collapse of ‘the family’ (usually described as a married man and woman living with their biological children as one household), resulting in extremely negative effects on children and society as a whole (McLanahan 1996). On the other hand, other researchers have argued that while children who grow up in single-parent households are more likely to have negative outcomes, that single- parent families are not the root cause of those problems and should therefore be seen as a different type of family rather than deviant (Coontz 1997). Regardless of how different family forms are viewed and their social implications, there has been a significant change in the prevalence of single-parent families. This report will first explore the way single-parenting and attitudes toward single-parents evolved from about 1970 to about 2015, followed by an examination some of the conceivable reasons for changes in single- parenting such as increasing cohabitation and divorce. Certainly, it may be possible that an increase in cohabiting couples and divorcing couples may have contributed to the increasing rates of single-parents since they facilitate the decrease of two-parent households. Single Parenting in America According to the United States Census Bureau, only about 12 percent of family households—households with at least one parent—included children under the age of eighteen living with only a single parent in 1
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1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Single-Parent Households Year Percent of Households 1970. By 2010 however, that percentage had more than doubled to about 28 percent, indicating a drastic increase in single- parent families in the past couple of decades (Census Bureau). Gendered Single Parenting 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Children Under 18 Living with Only One Parent Total Mother Only Father Only Year Percent of Children While the overall percentage of single-parent families has increased (see Figure 1), the most common type of single-parent household has historically been those headed by single mothers. In 1970, single-mother families represented up about 90 percent of the total number of single-parent households in the United States. Although single-mother families make up the 2 Figure 2.
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