How Does Single Parenting Affect Children?

4 mins read

Research shows that single parenting affects both the parent and the children, and the effects can last long after the children become adults. Single parenting is when there is only one parent in the home taking care of the children. Most single-parent families are run by mothers with the exception of a few run by fathers.

Unlike in the past, most single parents nowadays choose to live this way because of personal reasons or unavoidable circumstances. Recently, there has been a huge drop in negative single-parenting cases because some children from single-parent families have beat the odds and made great breakthroughs in their lives.

Effects of Single Parenting on Child Behavior

Single parents tend to work extra hard to provide for their children in every aspect, such as education, health care, and basic necessities. Consequently, the children may have fewer advantages compared to their counterparts from two-parent homes. The effects tend to last longer and may affect their lives as adults.

  1. Effects on academics. Since single parents normally have to work harder and longer to make ends meet, they tend to pay less attention to their children and may fail to guide them through their education. As a result, the children may not perform as well academically compared to their counterparts.
  2. Emotional effects. With only one parent to support them, children from single-parent families are prone to poverty. As a result, children may suffer from frustration, low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, and feelings of abandonment. They also have difficulty connecting properly with others and end up developing violent or aggressive behavior. The children also have a higher risk of alcohol and substance abuse.
  3. Social and psychological effects. Children of single parents are often unable to sustain proper relationships in the future, and they may also end up as single parents themselves, especially if they were raised by single parents in order to escape violence or neglect. They may opt to be single parents themselves to avoid unsafe relationships.

Positive Effects of Single Parenting

Since children of single parents tend to take on more responsibility at home, most children from single-parent families tend to be more responsible, independent, and self-reliant as adults. Some children are motivated to work extra hard in school in order to beat the odds and help their parents with some of the responsibilities. Others are determined to sustain meaningful relationships to avoid the negative effects of single parenting.

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Single parenting is hard, but with consistency and encouragement, parents can raise reliable and successful individuals. Proper planning and wise budgeting can see them through. With social support, single parenting can be less hectic, and single parents can receive the help they need to raise upright kids. After all, the effects of single parenting are not always negative, as illustrated in this study.


Gringlas, Marcy, and Marsha Weinraub. “The More Things Change… Single Parenting Revisited.” Journal of Family Issues 16, no. 1 (1995): 29–52. Retrieved from

Ardelt, Monika, and Jacquelynne S. Eccles. “Effects of Mothers’ Parental Efficacy Beliefs and Promotive Parenting Strategies on Inner-City Youth.” Journal of Family Issues 22, no. 8 (2001): 944–972. Retrieved from

1 Comment

  1. […] families often have trouble making friends and developing healthy relationships with adults. They often struggle with depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, which can lead to substance […]

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