Child development in single family homes and dual family homes

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There are various factors and issues that affect child development. However, those who raise the children and have close relationships with them determines how they grow and thrive in life. At their earlier stages in life, parents happen to be the most important people in the lives of children. While some are lucky to have both parents, some are born and raised in single family homes. Being in single or dual family homes affects the development of the children in significant ways.

The primary audience of is my course mates and the tutor in charge. Also, anyone interested in children development and learning how different environments affect children can read the paper. I am sure my academic peers would be interested in learning some of the factors that will affect their children. As potential parents of the future, the paper will inform them about the possibilities of raising their children in single or dual family households. While some may have grown up in dual family households, the paper will make understand how it is like to be raised by single parents. My reason for choosing my peers as audience is simply out of personal interest. As I present my views, I would be eager to hear their responses and views. I believe that I would also learn something about from the topic. Any personal experiences that they might share will also expand my knowledge and understanding of the topic.

The journey of parenthood poses numerous concerns and questions. The presence and support of both the father and mother plays a crucial role in the development of a child. The type and number of parents in a family, and how the parents relate is significantly linked to the well-being of a child. The paper will explore some of the primary similarities and differences of child development in single and dual family homes. However, I believe growing up or being raised by a single parent is associated with numerous negative outcomes. Single parents are likely to experience financial problems that can have cognitive and social impacts on children. Children from single family homes are also at higher risk of developing undesirable behaviors and have poor education outcomes than those brought up by both parents.

Understanding the differences between single and dual parent households is crucial to the community today. There are people in the community that prefer either of the sides, but the most important thing is to understand the effect of either household on the life of the child. The first aspect is the economic difference. Dual parents contribute a higher income to the society than a single parent. Single parents are easily affected by financial hardships. Two parents work together to provide for the family. Hence, there is no much struggle in meeting the needs of the family (Henz, 2010). For instance, in the United States, the number of children that receive welfare from the various programs is higher in single parent households than those from the dual parenthood. Besides, it is only a small percentage of families with dual parents that live below the level of poverty. The dual families can, therefore, meet all the needs of children which facilitates their development.

Secondly, there are implications on social and cognitive factors. Children having both parents are not susceptible to psychological and social issues. Dual parenthood strives to maintain a good standard of living whereby there are not many stressful conditions (Nelson, 2010).  Besides, children that have witnessed divorce of their parents tend to have a negative attitude towards marriage from a young age as they grow. However, there is an outstanding advantage of the single parenthood; children develop the sense of becoming independent and responsible at a young age.

The third difference focuses on the long-term effects. There are high chances that parents from a single homestead never graduated from high school; this will maximize the likelihood of the children not graduating. The children have a high probability of marrying when they are teenagers. Other kids engage in sexual behaviors outside wedlock and get children; this is a large contributor to single parenthood. On the other hand, dual parenthood does not increase chances of children becoming single parents in the future. Children mostly have the habit of looking at what their parents do; these are their first role models. The lack of proper direction or guidance leads to children making wrong decisions. Another significant effect is in the education of a child (Battle, 1998). Parents that have undergone divorce affect the performance of a child adversely. In such a case, the children fail to concentrate in their class activities because they are disturbed by the fact that they have a single parent to take care of them. The children can also have emotional problems because of the change in their lives. The stressful conditions to a divorce of parents lead to a lack of happiness in the family. There are also chances of affecting peer relationship in school; they feel isolated and not like the others in school. Children from single household find it hard to acknowledge their parents need to move on and engage in new relationships; this also affects their performance in school (Nelson, 2006).

The fourth difference is the teaching on the significance of a home life. Dual parents have the ability to support children physically, emotionally and psychologically (Henz, 2010). The family structure affects the lifestyle of a child. The children learn the significance of respect, participation and being truthful; these virtues can only be provided to children where the parents are leading by example.

Although there are more negative impacts of raising a child in a single family than in dual family homes, there are some similarities of child development in both situations. For instance, children from both single and dual parent homes are likely to have similar school achievement. According to Amato et al. (2015), single-parent households do not have an impact on the educational achievement of their children. Based on the results of a study done to assess the reading and mathematical skills of children from single-parent households, the authors established that being raised by a single parent had no impact on their aggregate test scores. That shows children from both single and dual family homes are likely to have the same education outcomes (Amato et al., 2015). Therefore, there are no privileges enjoyed by children from dual families which would favor them when it comes to academic work.

In considering the economic status of families, children raised in either single or dual family homes are not expected to have any significant differences. Berger (2009) argues that children raised in less well-off families are at higher risk of developing behavioral and cognitive problems than those from wealthy families. However, there are instances when a single parent is financially well-up and has an income comparable to that of a household comprising of both parents. In such cases, the single parent can afford everything the child that requires. The child from a single parent gets everything another child from a wealthy family is getting. In such conditions, both children would have access to similar resources and that would affect their development in the same way. Also, it is possible for single and dual family households to be low-income earners. Due to unavailability of resources, children from such families are likely to experience similar development.

As discussed above, it is evident that there are mixed outcomes of child development in single and dual parent family homes. Various authors and studies present similar and differing views and results about the topic. In single-parent homes, children are prone to the impacts of low-income. Dual homes are likely to be stable because of the combined income of both parents. A high income means that all or most the needs of a child can be met. In a similar way, dual parenthood is associated with a few or no negative social and cognitive implications on children development. The parents can monitor the behaviors of the children and prevent them engaging in drug abuse and early sex. They can guide children until they complete education and teach the importance of virtues such as respect and honesty. In contrast, children from single-parent homes can have poor educational outcomes, emotional and social problems, and develop adverse behaviors. Therefore, I believe it is preferable to raise children in dual parenthood homes than in households ran by singe parents.

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  1. Amato, P. R., Patterson, S., & Beattie, B. (2015). Single-parent households and children’s educational achievement: A state-level analysis. Social Science Research, 53,
  2. Battle, J. J. (1998). What beats having two parents?: Educational outcomes for african american students in single-versus dual-parent families. Journal of Black Studies, 28(6), 783-801.
  3. Berger, L., Paxson, C., & Waldfogel, J. (2009). Income and Child Development. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(9), 978-989.
  4. Henz, U. (2010). Parent care as unpaid family labor: How do spouses share? Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(1), 148-164.
  5. Nelson, M. K. (2006). Single mothers “do” family. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68(4), 781-795.
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