Single moms raising kids on their own are no longer unusual. New research has found that there is no significant difference between kids with solo parents as opposed to those raised by both parents. What counts, they believe, is the quality of parenting and positive parent-child relationships.
The study, spearheaded by the University of Cambridge, suggests that kids raised by single moms are generally well adjusted, and have positive views about family life. They do, however, naturally question the absence of their dad.
“At the age at which children begin to understand their family circumstances, they continue to function well.”
“Indeed,” said researcher Sophie Zadeh, “at the age at which children begin to understand their family circumstances, they continue to function well.”
The study took a closer look at 51 solo mother families and compared them—quantitatively and qualitatively—with 52 heterosexual two-parent families with at least one donor-conceived child between the ages of 4 and 9 years old.
They were grouped by age, gender, as well as other demographic factors–such as their mom’s educational level.
Find out more about the findings of the study on the next page
This study is the first to take into account children’s own perspectives at an age when they’re old enough to understand how it feels growing up without a dad.
The Cambridge University-based study, which was presented in 32nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, is the first to take into account children’s own perspectives of their experience, taking a closer look at child adjustment as well as their perspective on their family life at an age when they’re old enough to understand how it feels growing up without a dad.
After being given standardized questionnaires, researchers found that “there was no significant difference between the two family types when assessed for child adjustment according to a standardised questionnaire. However, higher levels of financial difficulties within the solo mother families, and higher levels of parenting stress, were each associated with higher levels of child adjustment problems.”
“In general, our findings seem to suggest that what matters most for children’s outcomes in solo mother families is not the absence of a father, nor donor conception, but the quality of parenting, and positive parent-child relationships,” concludes Zadeh. “These findings therefore echo much of what we already know about the determinants of children’s psychological adjustment in other family types.”
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