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Children of single parent homes more likely to struggle, report claims

Children who grow up in single parent homes are more likely to struggle in later life, and experience both poverty and violence, a US think tank has claimed.

More than 30 cent of children in the northeastern state of Massachusetts now live in single parent homes, the report, from the Massachusetts Family Institute, claims. This is equivalent to around 435,000 children: an increase of ten per cent over the last 45 years.

Such children are more likely to get into trouble at school, live in poverty, be exposed to crime or violence, and become teenage parents, the report concludes.

In some urban areas of the state more than half of all children are raised by single parents, it claims. The report contrasts the poverty rate for the children of married parents (five per cent) with that of youngsters who live with a divorced or separated mother (26 per cent), and that of children who live with mothers who were never married to their children’s fathers (51 per cent).

Children who live in single parent households are also nine times more likely to witness violence than youngsters who live with both their parents, the report claims.

Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith said:

“It’s no wonder that marriage is increasingly being recognized as a uniquely powerfully tool for fighting poverty and improving the lives of children.”

Read the report, entitled Fatherlessness in Massachusetts, here.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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    Comments(3)

    1. Children’s health ‘worse’ if staying with one parent – ‘better’ if custody shared | FAMILY LAW says:

      […] Researchers from Sweden examined data from almost 150,000 children who were either 12 or 15 years old. Sixty-nine per cent of them lived with married parents, 19 per cent spent time living with both parents and 13 per cent lived in a single parent household. […]

    2. Deborah Pearson says:

      Disappointed in the conclusion of the report that we should be pushing “traditional heterosexual family models” as best for children. It’s very heteronormative and completely disregards LGBTQ Families. Also studied conducted in America with its huge inequalities, much greater than ours in the UK, are perhaps not the best models. People become single parents for many reasons and sometimes beyond their control.

    3. Children’s health ‘worse’ if staying with one parent – ‘better’ if custody shared | STOUT LAW FIRM says:

      […] Researchers from Sweden examined data from almost 150,000 children who were either 12 or 15 years old. Sixty-nine per cent of them lived with married parents, 19 per cent spent time living with both parents and 13 per cent lived in a single parent household. […]

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