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Single parents have a unique position in their children’s lives because they have to play the role of both mother and father in situations where the other parent has passed away, is divorced, has neglected the child, or never was involved in the child’s life.
Researchers have found that when kids grow up in single-parent homes, boys are affected more adversely than girls -- especially when the available parent is the mother, according to the report, “Wayward Sons: The Emerging Gender Gap in Labor Markets and Education,” published on the Third Way Organization website.
Family diversity is now a mainstream concept, and we know that no one definition of “family” is superior to another.
Each definition comes with its own bag of challenges and rewards, along with associated outside judgment and presumption.
A 2012 study of single parenthood in the United States and 16 other high-income countries, found that U. single parents are the worst off of these countries because single parents are given little support for balancing job and care-giving responsibilities, according to the New York Times article, “Single Parents: Unsupported and Feeling The Blame.” The single parent has to work long hours, and still the income may not be enough to meet the needs of the family.
As a result, single parents may not be in a position to make available the education and economic opportunities their sons need to get ahead.
Single mothers may also invest less time and emotion in their sons than in their daughters, causing the boys to misbehave and act out -- especially in school.
Boys exhibit at-risk behaviors such as getting low grades, skipping school or dropping out, and they often refuse to attend college or make choices that could affect their ability for greater economic opportunities in the future.
The sons of single parents are more likely to be predisposed toward psychological disturbances.
The largest study to date on the mental state of single-parent children, published in The Lancet in 2003, Swedish researchers found that children of single parents and, boys in particular, are at greater risk of suffering mental hardships because they have to adjust to their reality, which is different from that of children in two-parent households.
Martha Holden began writing professionally in 2002.