Family Structure And Single Parenting In The Caribbean

Most single parenting informational sites are based on information found in the United States, Britain, or Australia. However, single parenting impacts are different depending on your region or country.

This research was conducted to find out family structural and single parenting information in the Caribbean. General Information On Caribbean Family Structure The key to understanding the Caribbean research on the impact of single parenting is knowing what the basic family structures are like in the Caribbean.

The Caribbean family structure includes strong patters of grandmother dominated households, absent fathers, common law unions as opposed to marriage and frequent termination of these unions, and even child shifting. Child shifting is where children are sent to relatives to live with them because the parents migrated or remarried or began a common law union with another spouse.

While the fathers that are present are expected to be the driving economical force in the family, they are typically emotionally unavailable and have weak social ties to their children. One thing that the Caribbean research on the impact of single parenting showed is that due to these trends, young boys grow up viewing matriarchal households, absent fathers, and adultery as norms and tend to continue these trends as adults when they themselves have families.

Caribbean Single Parenting It is said that forty two percent of parents in the Caribbean are single parents. This is partially due to the family structures found in the Caribbean. The Caribbean research on the impact of single parenting showed that there are four types of family structure in the Caribbean that affect the child’s rearing, lifestyles, and values. These are the marital union, the common law union, the visiting union, and the single parent family.

The first two are self explanatory, as well as the single parent family. The visiting union, however, is not as self explanatory. This union is one where the mother of the child still lives in her parent’s home. Most of the unions in the Caribbean begin as such, eventually change to common law and finally culminate in a marital union.

Because the norm is to begin being a parent without the protection of marriage, single parenting is far more common according to Caribbean research on the impact of single parenting. The Caribbean research on the impact of single parenting also found that when children were born later in the cycle (such as in the common law stage or the marital union), they were more likely to grow up in a two parent home.

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