Towards the mid-to-late 20th century, changes to family structure and stability have changed drastically, particularly the increase of single-parent families. For example, factors leading to single-parents are caused by divorce,.. The number of children living with a single parent has doubled from 6.4% in 1961 to 15.25 in 1991 (Statistics Canada, 2017). The consequences of raising children by a single-parent can be grueling, considering the economic, social, physical, and mental complications that come along from lone nurturing. How do the challenges of single parent’s effect the outcome of children? It is imperative to examine the effects family structure and how the relationships between
Raising up children from birth until they reach the age of an adult by two parents is hard, let alone a single parent. In a study of single mothers (Jackson, Brooks-Gunn, Huang, & Glassman) where the mothers faced situations of financial instability, received little or no monetary support from fathers, had low wage jobs and had secondary school as their highest level of education (as cited in Hill, 2011). The study led by Jackson, demonstrates the burden of economic hardships placed upon a single mother, which further develops financial strain. This in turn leads to depressive symptoms that affect parenting skills, and is a determinant in children’s cognitive and social development (Jackson et al.) (as cited Hill, 2011). In fact, Hofferth, et al argued that low-income parents are so financially insecure that they are unable to invest in their children’s growth with things such as books, educational activities, toys, and other advantages that children from two parent families could normally afford (as cited in Hill, 2011). Father’s choosing not to be an active part of their children’s life contribute to low socioeconomic status, ultimately lead to more grave consequences for a single mother and eventually children.
Family structure whether it’s one or two parent families demonstrate its correlation to children’s educational achievement. Based on data from The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) – an internationally standardized test given every three years since 2000 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) – students from single-parent families perform significantly lower in math than students from two-parent families in virtually all countries (Woessmann, 2015).