For many years there was a stigma attached to single parenthood. Countless studies in single parenting research highlight the negative effects single parenting can have on children and society as a whole.
Single parenting has been blamed for violence, drug abuse, and poverty, to name a few. That trend is beginning to change however with new single parenting research that emphasizes the positive effects that single parenting can have on children and families in general. According to this new research, single mothers have been unfairly blamed for a number of society’s problems and the single parenting research highlighting the negative results of single parenthood are exaggerated.
Changing Opinions in Single Parenting Research
In May of 1992, former vice president Dan Quayle blamed the breakdown of the nuclear family as the cause of all the social unrest leading to the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. He criticized the increasing incidence of childbearing out-of-wedlock, citing the popular sitcom Murphy Brown. The main character in this sitcom was a successful, high-paid career woman who chose to have a child on her own. According to Quayle, the sitcom was mocking the importance of fathers.
According to single parenting research, around 40 percent of children live in fatherless households. Some researchers have said that the role that fathers play is incredibly important and the lack of a male adult role model in a child’s life could have disastrous consequences. Furthermore, previous single parenting research focused on the emotional damage that divorce caused for children. It even led to conclusions that single parenting would lead to the breakdown of society.
The argument is that children who live in single parent households are not provided with a sufficient amount of emotional support and that they are raised without values. It is also presumed that children in single parent families are uneducated because they generally face more economic hardship. Single parents have a harder time affording the necessary school supplies and playing an active role in their child’s lives by encouraging them to excel in school.
In spite of the bad rap single parenting has, there is new single parenting research that takes a more optimistic approach. According to this research, there is little conclusive evidence that single parent families are harmful. Most of the problems single parents are blamed for are societal issues completely out of their control. Single parenting research today highlights that even single parents are capable of raising emotionally healthy, responsible adults as long as they provide them the emotional support they need when they are children.
So there you have it. Single parenting research has taken a turn in the last few years. Bashing single mothers and blaming single parenting for all of society’s ills used to be common but now single parenting research is moving beyond that trend. New research has found that single parenting is indeed a challenge but with proper care and attention, single parents are capable of raising their children into responsible adults like any mother and father team are.