A Comparison of Children Living in Single-Mother and Single-Father Families
ABSTRACT Research comparing children living in single-mother and single-father families has become important due to the increase in the number of parents contesting custody in divorce cases and as the number of single custodial fathers increases. The present study was designed to investigate a number of characteristics relating to children living in single-father families (SFFs) and in single-mother families (SMFs). Previous research has suggested that in the case of separation and/or divorce the mother is the more competent parent to raise the children. However, recent studies have provided some support for the idea that single fathers can be effective single parents. The subject sample included 42 single divorced custodial parents (21 single mothers and 21 single fathers) and their 62 (6- to 16-year-old) children. The measures employed were The Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC; Harter, 1985) and The Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Edelbrock, 1983). One-way MANCOVA and ANCOVA procedures were performed and it was found that the overall scores of children from single-father families (SFFs) did not differ significantly from children in single-mother families (SMFs) on the SPPC and the CBCL. The implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
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ABSTRACT: Numerous studies have examined the impact of divorce on parents and children, but most of these studies have been restricted to single-mother families. This study compared differences in role demands, relationships, and child functioning using the responses of parents and children in 30 single-mother, 30 single-father, and 30 intact families. Single fathers had better resources than single mothers, more positive parenting than married fathers, and relied more on friends than the married parents. Single mothers had less education, less prestigious jobs, lower incomes, and more economic strain than the other parents. They also had fewer social resources and more difficulty than married parents with the parenting role. Despite these disadvantages of single mother families, children in these families were no different than children in other families on most measures of well-being. The only problem that was identified in the functioning of children from single-parent families was with their behavior. These findings can be used to develop strategies to reduce risks and enhance the existing resources and strengths of single-parent families.Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 01/2001; 35(1-2):29-56.
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ABSTRACT: The well-being of the children is a central argument in custody decisions, therefore the effects of the sex of the custodial parent on three indicators of the well-being of adolescents in Belgium (N = 713) are examined. By using stepwise analyses of variance (with MCA) the differences are tested between adolescents (boys and girls) in mother or father custodial arrangements with regard to three dimensions of well-being, other family characteristics being equal. In terms of locus of control and self-esteem, there is no difference. But there is a significant difference in terms of hopelessness. Additionally, the difference in perceived appreciation and maturity is controlled for; but these cannot explain the difference in hopelessness. Important is that the lesser perceived appreciation in father households has no percussions on the analyzed dimensions of well-being.Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 01/2004; 41(3-4):143-163.
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ABSTRACT: A model integrating prevailing perspectives on children's functioning following divorce was used to predict children's behavior problems. The data were collected from 30 custodial mothers, 30 custodial fathers, and 30 married parents with children 6 to 10 years of age, using face-to-face interviews and standardized questionnaires. Results using path analysis indicated that marital status and parental control had significant direct effects on children's behavior problems. Sex of parent, economic strain, co-parental conflict, coping with roles, and parenting indirectly influenced children's behavior through parental control. The findings suggest that the pressures inherent in raising a child alone, combined with too few resources for coping with role demands, are disruptive to both parenting and parental control, and that children in single-parent families appear to respond to these deficits with disruptive behaviors. Implications for family practice and policy are discussed.Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 01/2002; 37:13-36.