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Single Parent Homes as a Social Problem

The two-parent nuclear family is portrayed as the ideal family unit for bringing up successful, healthy children in social policy and popular culture (Burgess, 1970). The reality of family life, however, is extremely different from that in the majority of countries throughout the world, including America. One in three kids and half of all youngsters reside temporarily with a single parent or a distant relative. The percentage of children living in single-parent homes increased significantly during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and is still high now (around 30% of kids). Nevertheless, recent studies unpack this general advantage to reveal differences in the dimension of wellbeing and essential features in parents’ lives and experiences. Moreover, society tends to also concentrate on the adverse effects like related issues of confidence, alienation, and economic problems. All in all, the single-parent family is an ever-increasing phenomenon in contemporary American society. Therefore, it should be given increasing attention as a social and sociological problem (Dor, 2021). As a result of a spouse’s death, divorce, or separation, a parent could end up single. Whichever the situation, solo parenting harms children. Numerous studies outline the disadvantages to kids living with one parent instead of two parents. Other works of literature have shown that raising children as a single parent has many good impacts, especially when the single parent is a woman. Much of the study comparing parents to those who do not have children reveals a happiness advantage for those without children (Burgess, 1970). The benefits and challenges of parenting are well-documented in academic studies and popular parental narratives. It is critical to comprehend the characteristics of single parenthood, and understanding this could provide avenues for solutions to this problem.

Women and Single Parenthood

Women are the pillars of society. This may be attributed to the simple fact of their ability to endure and take on a lot of responsibility even when society and the world stand against them. One of these responsibilities placed on them since the dawn of creation is their childbearing ability. The art of giving life to another human being is simply beautiful. Furthermore, moms and their children have an unbreakable tie. In nuclear families, a child’s relationship with the mother is stronger than with their parents (Meier et al., 2016). This is because mothers spend more time with their kids, and because it is common for mothers to look after their babies, the bond between them becomes stronger when the kid is left alone.

It is well known that single motherhood places a disproportionate burden on women. Several sociocultural issues may be linked to single parenthood, parenting styles, and parents’ mental well-being (Jun-qing, 2020). According to research, single moms have more relationship instability than coupled mothers, and both transitions into and out of partnerships are linked to increased parental stress and modifications in parenting habits. Research shows that mothering experiences are typically associated with high levels of emotional well-being, though single parenthood is associated with changes in emotional valence. This research assessed mothers’ and, more specifically, their emotions in a broad range of parenting activities while controlling for a rich set of person- and activity-level factors. In addition, single moms endure higher economic stress and less social support than married mothers. Single women also report less enjoyment and more despair, worry, and tiredness in parenting (Sarsour et al., 2011). Due to single moms’ heavier caregiving responsibilities, there may be less time for the most gratifying and joyful elements of parenting. Additionally, selection variables are probably involved in many of these correlations; the characteristics that may raise stress, decrease contentment, and negatively impact wellbeing during child-rearing time may also be connected to increasing single parenthood (Jun-qing, 2020).

Social Factors that Cause Single Parenthood

The sociological perspective of functionalism dictates that every part of society is related in a way, and these parts affect each other consciously or subconsciously. Based on this theory, it is only fitting that examining the social factors that cause single parenthood can lead to a better understanding of the problem. Furthermore, it may lead to possible solutions to the problem (Burgess, 1970). Single parenthood’s social causes can be grouped as structural, cultural, interactional, and political.

It is well recognized that solo parenting has a significant impact on addictions. Addiction may impact one or both parents. Many types of addiction include gambling, drug addiction, and more (Jun-qing, 2020). In this case, the other partner or spouse takes care of their partner’s issues. It may be a difficult time for the single or most impacted parent, which is one reason why single parenting is frequently overlooked by society. In addition to addiction, incarceration is another cause of potential single motherhood, particularly in underdeveloped, underprivileged areas. If a parent gets imprisoned, they leave their children behind. Having empathy for a family with a prisoner parent may be challenging, but since the children and the other spouse did not commit the crime, they should not also face punishment (Dor, 2021). One parent is responsible for making decisions about the children’s upbringing. Depending on how long their partner must be away from the family, it may occasionally result in a long-term single-parent home. Although it may be claimed that some jail cases result from systemic issues with court systems, the impact is nonetheless felt.

Deportation is another issue that is as serious as imprisonment. There are several causes for deportation. For instance, a family may have fled a civil conflict in their nation in pursuit of environmentally friendly spouses, only to be deported. In these circumstances, family separations are frequent, and the responsibility for parenting the children may fall to one parent (Burgess, 1970). The other spouse can start worrying about their significant other’s well-being. Finally, financial difficulties are arguably the main factor contributing to single parenthood. If one spouse decides they can no longer provide for their daily necessities, they may decide to separate from the other in pursuit of better possibilities.

Possible Solutions to Single Parenthood

Perhaps the most straightforward approach to this issue is to try to resolve marital troubles without getting a divorce. As was previously said, this is not the only factor contributing to single parenthood. The phrase solution in this context refers to methods a single parent might employ to ease their load (Meier et al., 2016). The first step in figuring out single parenthood is to work toward achieving financial security. Both single parenting and divorce may be expensive. When the two are together, tension may easily become an issue. A single parent may cut back on unnecessary spending and work to pay off their credit card debt and other bills. Second, lone parents ought to allow themselves more leisure time.

It is still feasible to enjoy the child-free time when raising children alone. Additionally, it is essential for keeping one’s sanity. An excellent place to start is by allowing yourself to have regular periods when you are away from your kids and doing something you enjoy. This may be as easy as treating yourself to a lunch out by yourself or with friends, or it could be as complicated as taking a weekend getaway with your support network (Dor, 2021). Even the most laid-back people occasionally find it difficult to face the difficulties of single parenthood. These parents tolerate the pandemonium that occasionally results in this difficult scenario because they genuinely care about their kids and their welfare. Finding methods to lessen the stress of single parenting will go a long way toward easing tensions between single parents and their kids. Making a routine may help youngsters maintain stability and equilibrium, which are vital (Burgess, 1970). When children know what to expect from their daily routine and, in turn, what is expected of them, they do pretty well. Even when co-parenting, it’s crucial to have a consistent food, sleep, schoolwork, and playtime routine.


It is crucial to remember that single parenthood impacts males and women, despite this study’s focus on single parenting as it relates to women. A more optimistic view of the issue is that kids from single-parent homes develop trust and strong self-esteem since they aren’t exposed to interpersonal violence and conflict that might lead to divorce and probable single parenthood. Many nuclear families frequently quarrel in front of their kids, which impacts their psychological growth. To sum up, a kid is affected by single parenting. Research suggests that a kid raised by a single parent has numerous beneficial impacts, including good job performance, a high degree of duty, and a strong feeling of community, even though many social scientists focus on the adverse effects.


Burgess, J. K. (1970). The Single-Parent Family: A Social and Sociological Problem. The Family Coordinator, 19(2), 137–144.

Dor, A. (2021). Single Motherhood by Choice: Difficulties and Advantages. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 11, 18.

Jun-qing, F. (2020). The Causes and Solutions on the Problems of Child Rearing in Single-Parent Family. Items, 1231–1234.

Meier, A., Musick, K., Flood, S., & Dunifon, R. (2016). Mothering Experiences: How Single Parenthood and Employment Structure the Emotional Valence of Parenting. Demography, 53(3), 649–674.

Sarsour, K., Sheridan, M., Jutte, D., Nuru-Jeter, A., Hinshaw, S., & Boyce, W. T. (2011). Family Socioeconomic Status and Child Executive Functions: The Roles of Language, Home Environment, and Single Parenthood. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17(1), 120–132. 10.1017/S1355617710001335


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