Single Parent Households and Crime Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 9 January 2017

Single Parent Households and Crime

People claimed that growing up in a fatherless or motherless home was the major cause of child poverty, delinquency, and school failure, while others denied that single parenthood had any harmful effects. And some objected even to discussing the topic for fear of stigmatizing single mothers or fathers and their children. Not talking about single parenthood is scarcely an option. More than half of the children born in 1994 will spend some or all of their childhood with only one parent, typically their mother. If current patterns hold, they will likely experience higher rates of poverty, school failure, and other problems as they grow up. The long-range consequences could have enormous implications. (Article/consequences-single-motherhood familyinequality.wordpress) But what exactly are the consequences — how large and concentrated among what groups? Do they depend on whether a single mother is widowed, divorced, or never married?

Does public support for single mothers inadvertently increase the number of women who get divorced or choose to have a baby on their own? Children who grow up with only one of their biological parents (nearly always the mother) are disadvantaged across a broad array of outcomes. They are twice as likely to drop out of high school, 2.5 times as likely to become teen mothers, and 1.4 times as likely to be idle — out of school and out of work — as children who grow up with both parents. 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. These patterns persist even after adjusting for differences in race, parents’ education, number of siblings, and residential location. (Article/consequences-single-motherhood familyinequality.wordpress)

The evidence, however, does not show that family disruption is the principal cause of high school failure, poverty, and delinquency. While 19 percent of all children drop out of high school, the dropout rate for children in two-parent families is 13 percent. Thus, the dropout rate would be only 33 percent lower if all families had two parents and the children currently living with a single parent had the same dropout rates as children living with two parents — a highly improbable assumption. (Article/consequences-single-motherhood familyinequality.wordpress ) Family disruption also undermines children’s access to community resources or what sociologist James Coleman calls social capital.

Divorce and remarriage often precipitate moves out of a community, disrupting children’s relationships with peers, teachers, and other adults. During middle childhood and early adolescence, a child in a stable family experiences, on average, 1.4 moves. The average child in a single-parent family experiences 2.7 moves; in a stepfamily, the average child experiences 3.4 moves. ( So all this information provided, I agree that children growing in a single parent household, and a child having family disruptions, does impact delinquency within in juveniles… I’m not saying it’s a 100% guarantee a child will fall into delinquency because of one parent households, I’m just agreeing that the possibility is a higher risk.

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  • University/College: University of California

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  • Date: 9 January 2017

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