The researchers show that those children raised by a single parent have fewer problems than children raised in intact families, but this small difference is due to factors such as a higher possibility of poverty and not the fact that they have a single parent per se, Reuters Health reports.
The specialists analyzed the situation of 971 persons monitored from birth to the age of 25 years. Study participants were asked if they were raised by a single parent at one point in their life and if so, for how long.
A number of illnesses that appeared around the age of 21 to 25 were associated with exposure to a single parent, including the risk of depression and anxiety, suicide attempts, unemployment, arrest or conviction for a crime.
But when the researchers used statistical data to compare with the children raised by two parents, such as the age of the mother, the socio-economic status of the family, the sexual abuse, the parents' criminal record, the drug use by the parents, the effects of life with a single parent did not contribute in this small difference of problems.
Experts point out that most people raised by one parent do not have mental illness or other problems and that those who develop such problems are not raised by a single parent.
September 20, 2007