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Single Parenting - Essay Example

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The meaning of single parenting is vital in developing an opinion about this phenomenon. A single parent family might be described as a family living together in a home where only one parent is present. This family, obviously, has one or more children and either the parents or any one of them is responsible for the kid(s)…
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Single Parenting
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Single Parenting

Download file to see previous pages... This situation can be reached with divorce, separation or break up after the relation without marriage.
Though single parent families started originating in the early 1950's, they were at their peak somewhere around the late 1980's and 1990's. The main cause of a complete family being broken down into a single parent family was the death of a partner. However, the trend changed, and the main cause turned towards the divorce between partners. It is this addition of several new causes, especially divorce, that the single parent family form is the fastest growing form of family in the North America.
The first surprising fact about single parenting is that this phenomenon has been defined in two different ways. The following definition of single parents is distinct by only a single feature.
Single parenting is a situation where the sole parent is responsible for the upbringing of the child. The sole parent does not receive any form of assistance from the other parent due to circumstances such as death, abandonment, etc. There can be several other reasons beside a few listed.
According to this definition, some single parents might not be entitled to hold the status of being a single parent. However, as discussed earlier, the changing trend brought with it, changes in the causes of becoming a single parent.
However, the second half of this decade saw a general decline in the rise of single parent families. The rise of single parent families that dominated the US culture for 4 decades, ended 1996 onwards (Statistics). Reports in 1960 suggested that only 9 percent of the total children’s' population in the US was living in single parent families. This rose to a staggering 25% in 1990 and to 28% in the year 2000 (Simmons and ’Neill). It is interesting to note how these changes came about in statistical terms. Three separate trends of the family culture can be identified. Between 1996 – 2000, the share of children living with a never married parent rose to 11.0 percent from 10.6 percent. However, this first trend was offset by the second trend. The percentage of children living with a divorced parent dropped to 15.6 percent from 17.3 percent. The third trend, children living with a widowed parent, maintained a constant percentage of 1.2 percent. These figures depict that the number of children living with a never married parent increased by 400,000 whereas the number of children living with a divorced parent decreased by 1 million (Statistics). The US Census from the year 2000 shows us that 12.2% of all households are female single parent households whereas 4.2% of all households are male single parent households. According to these statistics there are a total number of 17,294,115 single parent families in the US alone (Weiss). The trend in the United Kingdom has been similar. Over a quarter (26%) of the families in Britain are single parent families. In numbers, there are over 2 million parents in Britain today, though this number has remained more or less constant since the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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