Effect of Single Parenting Family on Child Development

2001 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). Families living in poverty are much more likely to be headed by single parents (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan, 1997 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). The effects of poverty have an impact on single parent families, because a lot of time parent are absent in their kids’ life because they must go to work to make ends meet.

Early exposure to poverty has a huge impact on children HPA system. The HPA system is a stress-sensitive system that is relevant to children’s reactivity to challenge and stress and produces the hormone cortisol (Gunnar, 1994; Gunnar & Quevedo, 2007 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). Children living in poverty is most likely to experience chronic and pervasive strain and most likely to demonstrate a blunted diurnal pattern. One study examines preschoolers from low income families from urban Mexico found these had lower baseline cortisol levels (Fernald, Burke, Gunnar, 2008 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control).

Another study found that financial strain was related to blunted basal cortisol levels in preschool children (Badanes, Watamura & Hankin, 2011 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). Both poverty and single parent status have been shown to relate to disruptions in parenting, which shown to account for their effects on children’s adjustment problems (Middlemiss, 2003; Scaramella et al., 2008 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control).

Single mothers with little education themselves often feel intellectually and emotionally helpless when trying to help out their children regarding school work (Kanoute, 2003, 2006 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). Their own level of education is one of the determining factors regarding the poor academic performance of their children (Jensen, 2012 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control). The children of poor single-parent families tend to have less education than other children and are more likely to drop out of school (Jensen, 2012; Rothman, 2007 as cited in Poverty and Single Parenting: Relations with Preschoolers’ Cortisol and Effortful Control).

In a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics results showed that children in single- parent families are two to three times as likely as children in two parent families to have emotional and behavioral problems (The effect of single parent and both parent’s family on emotional and behavior). After the separation the children usually experience moderate or severe depression. Statistics reveal young men and women demonstrate signs of being troubled, drifting, and low performance in schools due to growing up and seeing their parents not being together and not being accustomed to a loving environment. Fifteen years later after their parents’ divorce when the children are adult, they struggle to establish a strong bond with their love partner (The effects of single parent and both parent’s family on emotional and behavior).