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Term Paper SOCI

Term Paper SOCI - PID 711125894 Single Parent Families The...

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PID: 711125894 Single Parent Families The Effects of Single Parent Families Single parent families are on the rise as an increasing type of family. A single parent family is defined as a family that is comprised of one parent, a mother or a father, although it is more likely to be a mother, and one or more children. This type of family did not begin to be a common family style until fairly recently. In the 1960’s the idea of a single parent family was one that held pessimistic and unsupportive views. This began to change in the 1980s when others began to see that children of single parents do all right even though there are several risk factors associated with growing up in a single parent family. Thus although people no longer view children growing up in a single parent family as doomed, they do understand the increased risk of living in this family type. Since years have go by more and more children are living in single parent families. In 1970, the number of single parent families with children under the age of eighteen was about four million; by 1990 the numbers had more than doubled to almost ten million, and more recently in 2002 to about thirty-one percent of children were living in single parent families. Through out the years as single parent families have been increasing, so has the research about those families. There are several trends in single parent families that have been discovered through research. Some of the trends include the idea that more mothers tend to raise single parent families than fathers, single parent mothers tend to be younger than married mothers and these families tend to be in the lower income socioeconomic class. The fact that
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these families tend to be of the lower socioeconomic status places them at an increased risk of disadvantage. These single parent families are a matter of debate because of these increased risks imposed on the children that are raised in these families. These disadvantages include, a lower performance in high school, dropping out of high school, not attending college, becoming sexually active at a younger age, becoming active in drugs and alcohol, having a child outside marriage, have trouble getting/keeping a job, having a low paying job and finally, having psychological/mental health problems. Many of these problems, some researchers seem to think, stem from the low economic status that these families live in. For most single parent families, the parent takes on dual roles, the role of the care taker and the role of the financial provider. Out of the single parent families, there are about five times more single mother families than single father families. Due to the fact that female wage workers tend to make a lower salary than men, this can explain some of the financial stress on many single parent families. Additionally, forty- six percent of single parent mother families have more than one child and thus places them at an increasing risk for living in poverty and encountering those previously mentioned risk factors.
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