The Social Problem of Single Parenting

This problem has been an issue and has continued to grow ever since it has began according to Single-Parent Families they explain that:

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Since 1950, the number of one-parent families has increased substantially. In 1970, about 11 percent of children lived in single-parent families. During the 1970s, divorce became much more common, and the number of families headed by one parent increased rapidly. The number peaked in the 1980s and then declined slightly in the 1990s. By 1996, 31 percent of children lived in single-parent families. In 2002, the number was 28 percent. Many other children have lived in single-parent families for a time before their biological parent remarried, when they moved into a two-parent family with one biological parent and one step parent (Single-Parent Families).

This meaning that from the 1950’s single parenting has been an issue and overtime our world and our society has easily evolved this situation into an everyday habit. When being a single parent there are many reasons to why parents will become single and this to has changed overtime. At first most single parents became single from the loss of their spouse, but now things have gotten more complicated. Parents separate from either it be divorce or simply never marrying in the first place. The reasons are all very complicated and I personally believe that this is a personal subject to most people because some chose to be single parents and sadly others didn’t. When we think of single-parents ideally it is not typical for it to be a single father, but a single mother. From the same source, Single-Parent Families, they also mention that, The most common type of single-parent family is one that consists of a mother and her biological children. In 2002, 16.5 million or 23 percent of all children were living with their single mother. This group included 48 percent of all African-American children, 16 percent of all non-Hispanic white children, 13 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander children, and 25 percent of children of Hispanic origin (Single-Parent Families). I can relate to this statistic because from the age of four years old I was raised by my mother and I am apart of the 25 percent Hispanic statistic as well. As we notice the word single in single parent we automatically think of the state of being alone or solo which shouldn’t be the case, especially when being a parent. The Single Swan expresses that, I don’t like the single mother label at all. Single conveys the sense of being alone. I guess I am lucky, but I don’t feel alone at all. I am very connected to my parents, to my siblings and to friends, in fact possibly more connected than I would be were I married or in a couple (TheSingleSwan:2017). The article continues on with explaining that the anonymous writer is fortunate because she isn’t the only one raising her son, she includes that she has help from her parents, friends, and others all around her. This is simply the positive attitude to being a single parent, and I realize this person talks about being a mother, but I believe this fits into both gender roles.

This social issue has an impact on the community that affects every aspect including: economically, environmentally, biologically, psychologically, and socially. The main impact that suffers is economically. According to Marripedia.org they state that, Single-mother families possess significantly less net worth than married parents, stepfamilies, and single fathers. Twenty-five percent of single-mother families have wealth exceeding $3,500 and 50 percent have either no wealth or negative wealth (Marripedia.org). This statistic is saddening and frightening especially with being a young women who seeks success in her future family. The site also includes that being a teen mom can worsen not only her child’s life, but sadly her own due to the fact that she might have to drop out of school to support her family financially. In 2002 a statistic from Single-Parent Families explained that, twice as many single-parent families earned less than $30,000 per year compared to families with two parents present (Single-Parent Families). With not being financially stable this not only does harm to the child’s future, but it takes a major toll on the parents as well. Financial stability ensures that the parent provides for a child’s basic needs like food, education and clothing. Single-Parents will do almost whatever it takes to assure safety for their family; therefore, they will sacrifice their life for their children’s. Also, as children grow up to become the legal age to start working most will drop-out of highschool to support their family financially as much as possible.

Another important aspect that is affected is psychologically and socially. Family structure is one of the factors that contribute to social problems meaning that two-parent families play a huge role in promoting the social well-being of the society. There are many pros and cons that play into psychological effects on both the parent and child. One reason that can be considered a pro and con is the child having to mature faster emotionally and mentally. James Rolan from Livestrong explains that, Children tend to assume responsibilities at home and learn to appreciate the sacrifices and effort made by the single parent with whom they live. Kids may at times resent having to grow up a little faster, which means it’s especially important for their single parents to make sure their children still enjoy some of the typical parts of childhood (Roland: 2015). I can personally relate to this statement because from a young age I was always told I was very mature for my age and if it wasn’t for my height they would think that I was much older than I actually am. Showing responsibility at a young age is something all kids do when they want to act just like adults and help their parents, but with single-parent households this role becomes more realistic rather than just for fun as other kids might see it. Education can fall into the psychological and social category by creating a lifestyle that isn’t suitable for their situation at home. As mentioned before kids will drop out of highschool because they feel that their family will benefit financially if they get a full-time job to support their family. From The Consequences of Single Motherhood, author Sara Mclanahan clarifies that, Children in one-parent families also have lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer attendance records. As adults, they have higher rates of divorce (Mclanahan: 1994). This creates a lower success in having an idealistic lifestyle compared to others who continue with school or have a more successful marriage in the future. Personally I am not one to say that because I was raised by a single-parent I will end up divorced and not be as successful as others, but this just means I will need to work a little bit harder to get the nicer things in life.

The Single Parents Advocate is an organization that is meant for single-parent families. There mission statement is Empowering single parents with support and networking to better lives. and the Founder & President is Stacie Poythress (Martin). The organization structure includes Stacie Poythress as the Founder and President, Dave Smith as the Treasurer, Steve Poythress as the Information and Technology Committee Chair, and Susan Hummel as the Marketing and Public Relations Committee Chair. The organization consists of the following four staff members and include volunteers at events, fundraising campaigns, committees, and many other ways. From the singleparentsadvocate site they state that, Single Parent Advocate, a local 501(c) 3 non-profit organization providing resource connections, growth-based training, and support for single parent families, based in Dallas Texas. Additionally Single Parent Advocate corresponds with families from all over the United States and consults nonprofits, churches, and businesses on how to build a program for success in serving and engaging single parents within their respective organizations. When asked via email What there organization has done and will be doing for the community? and What services are being provided to help the community and those around you? there response was:

Single Parent Advocate is committed to breaking this cycle and to help build resource connections for families that help them to become more productive, more resourceful and more informed on how to be the best parent they can be for their children. Single Parent Advocate and it’s growing community has already provided auto repair, school supplies, food, toys, beds, family portraits, computer assistance, and hope to families that are in the gap now, and the organization vows to continue making a profound difference in the lives of single parents and their families in the years to come.

With further research I found reviews from the organization, for example, an anonymous person wrote that, Single Parent Advocate (SPA) has helped the Dallas/Ft. Worth community in so many ways. They have helped with Back to School and giving Turkey Dinner giveaways. SPA has also uplifted and honored those single parents on Mother and Father’s day. another anonymous volunteer stated that, This is an amazing gift from God. As a single mom of 2 boys with no child support , this foundation provided a wealth of knowledge to get me through the hard times. There are events, and ways to make friends. They help so many and do it with eagerness. I wish more people knew about the founders cause for Single Parent Advocate. They move mountains already, they could do even more support.I love helping this group simply because I love where their heart is. Love you SPA!!!!!. These are just a few of the happy people who benefited from this organization and all of its well doing.

For the community member that I interviewed I chose my mother, Kathleen Huape. I chose her because she simply fits as a good candidate to interview to gain some personal understanding on what it’s like to be a single parent. For Kathleen I asked How were you affected as a single parent?. Her initial response was that from the very beginning it was a bit of a struggle because I had just gotten out of highschool, but when I had gotten divorced it became much worse. I had to always think of my kids first and that is the same thought I have to this day. I didn’t receive as much help from my parents or other relatives because I wasn’t the type to ask for help. Over the years things got much better to handle because I got used to living a different lifestyle than others. Overall, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life because I got the best thing out of it, which were my kids. I also asked Do you believe that this issue has gotten worse or will get worse in time? her response was, This is issue is so common that no one realizes how unusual this used to be back when I was young. The only way things can get worse is if our resources are cut from government funding and other organizations. As single parents, we should not see all the negatives with this life, but simply see all the positives that are yet to come!.

As of today, our only solutions to this problem are to simply take advantage of the resources that are out there. The Single Parent Advocate offers many resources such as: Education, Food, Finance, Careers and Employment, Government, Health, and Shelter. A problem with this solution is that people are afraid of being seen as weak minded or just weak in general, but this is not the case because these sources are out there for a reason and you aren’t alone in this. If you know someone who is a single parent or if you are a single parent do not be afraid to talk about these things because there are people across the world who got your back. The sources are meant to build your family, not weaken them!

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The Social Problem of Single Parenting. (2019, Jun 26). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from
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