Demographic features and psychosocial problems in single-parent families: 1985 to 1995.
ABSTRACT Single-parent families and children seen in Hacettepe University's Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 1985 and 1995 were evaluated. Divorce was the most frequent reason for single parenthood. Children of divorced families experienced a higher number and severity of symptoms, and a longer delay before applying for medical help. Oppositional defiant behavior was at equal frequency in all groups, but suicide attempts, school failure due to psychological causes, conduct disorder, and somatoform disorders were more frequent in divorced families. Divorced mothers were more likely to have a higher level of education and were more likely to work. From 1985 to 1995, mothers' age and educational level increased; the number and age of children decreased. Studies on such families are indicated to determine risk factors for psychosocial problems and to develop preventive measures.