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The Struggles Of Single Parent Households Essay

1798 words - 7 pages

At the core of every marriage is family, family structure, and family values. These values are passed down from generation to generation. However in recent years the standard North American family has shifted. One of the most striking changes in family structure over the last twenty years has been the increase in single-parent families. With the increase in children being born out of marriage, teen parenting, and other social dilemmas, more children are being raised in single parent household. Single mothers are prevalent in minority groups, especially in the African American community. The African American youth has a stigma of high cases of teen pregnancy, high cases of sexually transmitted diseases, and are more likely to participate in risky behavior when compared to their White counterparts. Studies have shown that children born into single parent households tend to live less healthy lives, participate in risky behavior, and demonstrate behavior problems in the class room.
In the article “Single Mothers’ Self- Efficacy, Parenting in the Home Environment…” by Aurora Jackson and Richard Scheines, is a two wave study were researchers interviewed 178 single black mothers and their young children. The study is meant to examine the links between low wage income mothers and their self-efficiency and how that self- efficiency is linked to other psychological wellbeing, parenting styles, and the quality of their parenting styles. The authors argue that depression and other mental and emotional problems that children face are directly linked with the non-residential father and the work load that the mother takes on because of the lack financial support are less likely to be in the household as well. Equally the researchers argue that the relationship that the mother and non-residential father has plays a great role in a child’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. Conversely because mothers’ are more self-efficient, they are less likely to experience depression and other mental and emotional distress. The mother’s emotional wellbeing is very important because it is a direct link into the way and the effectiveness of a mother’s parenting style and the quality of parenting a child receives from his or her mother.
The results yield from the research is explained in the social cognitive theory and the 1996 welfare reform law. The social cognitive theory argues that individual knowledge is acquired and directly relates to the observing of others within a given social context, social interaction, experiences, and through media (Jackson and Scheines, 2005, 8). By using the social cognitive theory to understand the results from the study, shows how much social context can influences a child’s developmental wellbeing. Due to the fact that most single parent households in United States live at or below the poverty line, examining the results from the context of the 1996 welfare reform act shows how these single families live and their economic struggles....

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