Since single parents are stress due burden of the new role, this stress is most likely get transferred in children, as they are unable to handle psychological pressures which are a consequence of stress. This impends the child ability to perform effectively especially in school settings. A recent study by Kim (2011) that assessed the impact of single parenting on the child’s cognitive and non-cognitive aspect over 2 years period. The study concluded that children coming from single-parent household performed poorly on cognitive aspect of the test non-cognitive that measured the interpersonal relationship. An interpersonal relationship may be defined as the child’s ability to maintain and form a relationship. What was the most interesting aspect of the study, was the fact that it was a longitudinal study that is analyses children over a period of 2 years. Perhaps the most serious disadvantage of this study was that the non-cognitive aspect of the study was assessed by different teachers over 2 years span of the study, this may result in inconsistency in the findings. The study would have been even more interesting if it had included a wider range of age group, as the study only included signal parent children who were in 1st and 3rd grade. Thus, the results cannot be generalized to the larger population such as children who are in their early childhood and adolescence. Possible reason of poor performance in school is children coming from single-parent household are likely to display serious dysfunctionalities and absent-mindedness which is psychological in nature that accounts for being absent mind in the classroom (Anderson, et al, 2008). However, (Wu, 2009), argues this notion by citing that children coming from abusive two-parent families are likely to experience tendencies. As they are constantly living in the terror of abusive parents. Such children view themselves holding a very little option to escape for example they mothers tend to be helpless and their fathers tend to be monsters (Cavanaugh &Fields, 2006) this may not be the case in single-parent families. A research conducted by Zastrow &Karen (2009), stated that children coming from single household be performing poorly in the classroom than children coming from intact family, however the most interesting finding of the study was that , children performance is worse soon after the separation and once the child recovers from the loss or separation of the other parent that is they mentally accept the reality when clearly explained to them the child’s performance improves (Wang ; Benard, 2004).
Single parent families hold a high risk of financial difficulties which can impact the child psychological well-being (Stack ; Meredith,2018). In single parent family, especially in the case of death of a spouse or unwanted pregnancy, the source of income may just be one individual, this may lead to deprivation when the child doesn’t receive what they need(Melchior et al., 2009). There has been a considerable amount of literature that has associated childhood poverty to unfavourable results in adulthood, for instance, poor health, economic hardship, and behavioural concerns (Anderson & Moore et al, 2009). Childhood poverty holds deleterious effects on child development, for example, low-income single parent family are unable to provide the child with stimulating behaviours which are important for the child’s cognitive growth. A study by Votruba?Drzal, (2003) concluded that household income was positively related to lower cognitive stimulating behaviour. As single parent family may be low on the economic fund which means that they hold limited resources to from basic needs such as food shelter and clothing. Thus leaving the parent with limited resources to provide their child with learning material that may be enriching and enhance their cognitive experience Votruba?Drzal, (2003). Apart from these children coming from low-income single parent family are at the increased risk of leaving school without graduating. In addition children coming from low income single parent families tend to limited linguistic environment as their environment is overshadowed by commands and sentence of simple structure, rather than providing explanation and elaboration which is essential for the child’s language development, for example, A recent study Frenald, Manrchman & Weisleder, (2013) the study compared children from high and low social economic status on language processing. Where the study indicated an imbalance in language processing seen in the two children coming from two different social economic strata. Which was evident in children as early as 18 months of age. Which suggest that experiential factors account for language development as affluent families may use more child-directed speech which may influence the infants’ language processing thus linking social economic status to difference acquisition. Another study that accessed whether the amount of speech directed toward infants(Spanish-speaking) from low socioeconomic status had an impact on child’s language processing and vocabulary learning. The study concluded that low child-directed speech in low-SES Spanish-speaking families influenced the child ‘s later vocabulary development (Weisleder ; Fernald, 2013). Lastly, poverty in childhood due to single parenting is associated with altered structure and function of brain regions involved in stress and self?regulation (get a study). Poverty in a single-parent household is Deprivation in childhood due to Childhood deprivation has been related hippocampal volume being compromised, alleviated respond to negative stimulant by amygdala responses, change in the configuration (reduced volume) and active of the prefrontal cortical (PFC), and disrupted connectivity between the PFC and amygdala. (Hackman et al., 2010; McEwen ; Gianaros, 2010). From the above finding we can conclude that children coming from household that has persistence economic difficulties that result in poor cognitive growth and it is not family instability that accounts for it. Highlight the fact it is poverty that accompanies single parenting that affected that child than family structure.
Disconnection, compromised parent-child relationship, lack of communication and poor monitoring is the common occurrence experienced by most children coming from single-parent families. Another line of thought on the impact of single parenting on a child’s development demonstrates that children coming from single-parent family are likely to externalize problem behaviour. Evidently, this problem in children can have a detrimental impact on their overall development. Notably, most studies on delinquent behaviour have compared two-parent families are usually with female single-headed families for instance study by (Apel & Kaukinen,2008 and Lizotte 2009). Research literature provides support that children that end up in single parent or non-intact families are most likely to be inclined to engage in delinquent behaviour, alcohol drinking and substance abuse than children that come from intact family (Hemovich and Crano, 2009 and Amato, 2001). As cited by Vanassche.et.al (2013) children of non-intact families are most likely to be prone towards delinquent behaviour and engage in alcohol consumption before they are legally permitted (below 16 years of age). Hemovich and Crano (2009) examined the role of father and mother only family on consumption of drug and compared to dual parent families. The study indicated the daughters living with fathers, the use of drugs exceeded that of daughters living with mothers. While the study by Hemovich and Crano (2009) addressed the role of single-parent family and how it impacts differs on the bases of gender. The study concludes that girl’s especial from father only family are more likely to engage in the use of drugs. Additionally, a study by Vanassche.et.al (2014) hypothesized that girls come from single-parent family are more likely to engage in alcohol consumption than boys and boys showed higher delinquent behaviour in single-parent families. The results indicated that children sharing a healthy relationship with parents were less likely to get involved in delinquent behaviour. Poor parenting and monitoring of behaviour were linked to an increase in boy’s engagement towards delinquent behaviour and an increase of alcohol use for girls.
Effect of single parenting on child development , differs greatly influenced by gender of the child and of that of parent raising them. Mothers role is important in formation of peer relationship which increases social adjustment (Magnuson & Berger,2007). Evidence suggest that single mother family which increases the child’s likelihood to engage in risky behaviour such as alcohol abuse that interferes in the child’s ability to adjust and develop (O’Conner.et.al,2002). Which evidence suggest that absence of father doesn’t affect the child’s emotional growth. But is does in increase the child to adverse environment (Mangnuson ; Berge, 2007). Aggressive behaviour is most likely to be report amongst boys who’s fathers are absent compared to children who hold frequent contact with their fathers (Lewis & Lamb,2003) Single father promote positive adjustment among children amongst sons. Especially if their son are able to relate to their fathers (Hertherington & Stanley- Hagen,1991). Mother figure is important particularly for girls. For example a girl will be most comfortable to approach their mothers regarding their personal matter compared to approaching single fathers (Kalman, 2003). Overall, from the above evidence it can be conclude that both parent are equally important in child development. However, each parent holds a particular role they play towards child development.
Literature provides strong evidence that children following a loss of a parent after divorce, separation or death of a parent are associated with high school noncomplete. This is one of the many negative factors associated with children growing in single-parent families. Biblarz and Gottainer (2000) Studied the effects of family structure with a children of 16 years of age on various measures of educational attainment using the date set from1972 to 1996 of the General Social Surveys (Smith, Marsden, & Hout, 2011). The study controlled for race, sex, and mother’s educational level. The study concludes’ that children coming from single mother household the chance for completing high school education and graduating were lower as compared to children intact household. However, the study also indicated that children come from single- mother household following the death of a spouse were least likely to complete high school. Finally, the study showed no difference in college outcomes.A similar finding was observed in at study Great Britain. The study indicated a difference in the educational outcome of children coming from a single-parent household post a divorce and death of a parent. A study by Kiernan (1992) assessed educational attainment at the age of 23 and function of family structure was examined at age 16 using 1958 cohort of The National Child Development Study. The study concludes that children from single?mother households as a result of divorce were most likely to leave school by the age of 16 which is the likely to leave school at the age of 16 minimum legal age that a child can leave school in Great Britain and begin working. However, there was no difference seen between children coming from two?parent households and single?mother households caused by death. Another study by Strohschein, Roos, and Brownell (2009) indicated that children experienced at least one major chance such as parental divorce or parental death were less likely to graduate from high school within 6 years.