Single Parents and Their Children
Much of the research on single parenting has focused on the implications for the children. Is family structure (e.g., whether there are two parents or one) an important predictor of outcomes such as childrenís health, well-being, educational achievement, civic behavior, or their own likelihood of becoming a single parent? Or is the quality of the parenting, and the parent-child relationship, just as important or even more important than the number of parents? What is the role of economic circumstances in shaping the life courses of single parents and their children? How important is the way in which the parents became single parentsĖi.e., did they become a parent before marrying or did they become a single parent as a consequence of divorce or the death of a spouse? This factor, along with the race and age of the parent, are all linked to different degrees of stigma. Does stigma, in turn, play a role in the life experiences of the single parents and their children? (See also the section on Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.) How many single parents really are raising their children alone and how many are in extended families or have close ties to other adults who care about their children? In how many two-parent families is just one parent doing the work of raising the children?
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