definition of single parent family

The concept of family is very broad and can be studied from different perspectives: its historical evolution, as an institution of society, analyzing its functions within society or dividing families into their different typologies. If we focus on the different types of family, it is possible to make the following classification: traditional family, single-parent family and other models.

What is a single parent family and its different modalities

It is that family unit in which a mother or father lives with their children. In other words, there is a head of the family who is responsible for the children. This modality can happen for very different reasons: due to the death of one of the parents, because it is a single mother, due to the separation of the parents, when a single man decides to adopt a child, a situation in which one parent becomes He is forced to emigrate leaving his children in the care of the other parent or in those cases in which a father legally loses custody of his children.

The aforementioned examples of a single parent family remind us of a reality, that the traditional family model (father, mother and children living on the same roof) is coexisting with other forms of family organization.

Some circumstances associated with single-parent families

The fact that a parent is the head of the family has a number of social, economic and emotional implications. From a social point of view, in some cases single mothers are unprotected in their personal and work environment. The single parent family usually means a lower income. From an emotional point of view, there need be no problem, but a child may miss the father or mother figure. These circumstances mean that in some countries economic and social aid is promoted for these families. And for the aid to be effective, the legal recognition of a single parent family is necessary.

Regarding the type of aid, they can be diverse: tax deductions, economic benefit to support the children or aid for birth or adoption.

There are some aids but the most relevant is the recognition of a series of rights in the field of work or social rights.

From a quantitative point of view, the percentage of single-parent families is growing in most countries. For example, two out of every five children under the age of 18 in the United States live without a biological parent. This data has, logically, complex implications, which are analyzed by sociologists. There are sociological studies that maintain that the absence of a parent is a risk factor for adolescents. Other studies analyze the relationship between single-parent families and academic results.

Photos: iStock - Geber86 / simonkr

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