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Children in one-parent families face more difficulties

Children who grow up with only one parent are more likely to experience emotional and behavioural difficulties, a new study suggests.

This week the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Ireland published an analysis of data gathered on 18,000 of the country’s children over a ten year span. The research was conducted in order to identify the driving factors behind inequality among Irish children.

The authors found that children of one-parent families had a higher risk of behavioural and other problems. This was found to be the case even once “differences in family characteristics such as income, maternal education, parent-child conflict and maternal depression” had been taken into account.

Co-editor James Williams is a Research Professor at the ESRI. He said that Ireland had “undoubtedly made huge strides in terms of how we think about and treat children” over the last century. However, even with the progress made in that time, inequality is still a very real problem he continued. The ESRI research shows that “children’s future prospects continue to be shaped by family circumstances” said Williams, adding that any measures to tackle inequality “must be cognisant of the powerful impact of the home environment on child wellbeing and development”.

These results support those of an American study carried out in 2014. Then the Massachusetts Family Institute suggested that children of single parent households were more likely to struggle in school, experience violence and live in poverty than those who grew up with two parents.

The study is titled Cherishing All the Children Equally? Children in Ireland 100 Years on from the Easter Rising.

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. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Aaron says:

    How many more of these studies are we going to need before the penny drops? It is clearly not in a child’s best interests to be unnecessarily deprived of valuable time with one parent in favour of a majority of their time with the other parent. But yet every day our courts are actively creating these one-parent families, causing these problems and hiding behind that meaningless ideal of “the best interests of the child” which is consistently being shown up, as here, as wrong & without proof.

  2. Andy says:

    The courts, seem,no, sorry,hide behind the what’s best for the children, so why do they not invoke equal share care but as per usual the victims are the fathers and at judges decision seem to fragment any normal contact with children..what’s best for the children is as now proven poisend by the mother as to get back at any normal life for both parties…

    And what do the courts do,,dish out what they think…
    British justice stinks..and corrupt.

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