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Perspectives on One Parent Families

             The social problem I am drawn to explore and discuss is one parent families. Having been raised by a single mother and landing in a position now of being a single mother to twins, I have a lot of interest with this topic. One parent families are becoming more common than the nuclear family that consists of a father, mother and children. The social norms that have developed around divorce and either choosing to or having to raise children alone have come a long way in the past 50 years. A significant percentage of one parent families (with the majority of them being single mothers) have simply chosen never to marry. Henslin (2012) states that "two of every five [children] are born to single mothers this is 50% higher than it was in 1990" (p.354) It is well documented that extra hardships are more likely to be present with one parent families, especially when the various factors that contribute to how a family becomes 'one parent' is considered. These factors may instigate long-term emotional distress or include economic hardships as the sole provider for the family. Increased stress related to custody, visitation, and other legal responsibilities and could affect the quality of parenting as well. Many single parents also struggle to create quality time with children. While one parent families face additional pressures and potential problems, it is the quality of parenting that can have the greatest impact on the child. .
             Part II .
             Depending on how the situation becomes that of one parent, the perspectives on the issue for the parent differ. A spouse may have been incarcerated, as is the case with my brother. The absent parent may have never been a part of the family, as is my story with both my upbringing and my current situation. The unfortunate event of death may have led to being a single parent, as my dearest friend can relate. In any case, raising children as an only parent presents multiple obstacles that are somewhat universal.

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