Comparison of Role Demands, Relationships, and Child Functioning in Single-Mother, Single-Father, and Intact Families

Journal of Divorce & Remarriage 10/2001; 35(1):29-56. DOI: 10.1300/J087v35n01_02


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.

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Available from: Esther Devall, Jul 18, 2014
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    • "Boys tend to engage in more bullying behaviors and more proactive and reactive aggression compared to girls, although no gender differences in the prevalence rates of victimization have been reported (Mayberry and Espelage 2007; Schwartz et al. 2001; Seals and Young 2003; Solberg et al. 2007). In addition, children in single-parent families tend to score higher on behavioral problems (Hilton et al. 2001) and, according to previous findings, children exhibiting instrumental forms of aggression are more likely to have less educated parents and to come from single-parent status families (Raine et al. 2006). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Dec 2012
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    • "comportamento materno no desenvolvimento infantil. Alguns estudos indicam que, de modo geral, as famílias de mães solteiras têm sido caracterizadas como tendo maior dificuldade com os papéis parentais e maiores níveis de comportamento parental negativo do que as mães casadas, devido ao uso de práticas educativas ineficazes e a um menor envolvimento, controle e supervisão dos filhos/as (Hilton et al., 2001). Por exemplo, Bronstein, Clauson, Stoll e Abrams (1993) compararam a parentagem e o consequente ajustamento social, psicológico e acadêmico de crianças caucasianas em diversas estruturas familiares por meio de questionários e escalas sobre a efetividade e o envolvimento parental, revelando que os pais nas famílias nucleares tenderam a ser mais envolvidos com seus filhos/as, levando-os a atividades culturais e recreacionais, realizando atividades em conjunto e falando com eles sobre os seus problemas. "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010
    • "This possible gender difference might be due to the fact that single fathers often experience a smaller drop in economic resources following divorce, tend to have custody of fewer children, and have more flexible jobs (cf. Christoffersen, 1998; Clarke-Stewart & Hayward, 1996; Hilton et al., 2001; Östberg, 2001). In addition, single fathers might have fewer problems with providing discipline for difficult children, which might prevent the children's noncompliance and disagreements about rules and regulations from developing into petty bickering or full-blown conflicts (cf. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study focuses on how specific parent–child relationship variables may function as mediators of the association between two postdivorce family structures and antisocial behavior and substance use. Five parent–child relationship variables (mother/father–child conflict, parental monitoring, and mother/father–child closeness) were tested as potential mediators of the relationship between living in a single-mother or single-father household and the outcome variables in a sample of 4,117 students with modal ages of 11 to 15 years. The applied multimediating path approach proved to be a useful method for identification of the relative importance of the included mediators. As hypothesized, there was a clear tendency for mother–child conflict and parental monitoring to be the most potent mediators between residing in a divorced single-mother household and the adolescents' antisocial behavior and substance use. In the single-father household, on the other hand, only parental monitoring was a clear mediator.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Journal of Divorce & Remarriage
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