This particular branch focuses on the mind and behavior of children from prenatal development through adolescence. Child psychology deals not only with how children grow physically, but with their mental, emotional, and social development as well. Look for the consistent traits. Historically, children were often viewed simply as smaller versions of adults.
For positive aspects of parenting as assessed by interview, there was no difference between the two family types, with mothers and their children in both the solo mother and two-parent families showing high levels warmth and interaction.
Neither was there a difference in the quality of mother—child interaction as assessed through observation. There was a difference, however, for negative aspects of parenting as assessed by interview, with a lower frequency of conflict between mothers and their children in solo mother than in two-parent families.
This finding remained when the analysis was repeated without covariates, suggesting that this represents a genuine difference between the two family types. Although divorced and unmarried single mothers have been shown to experience raised levels of psychological problems, this was not found to be the case in the present study of single mothers by choice.
The solo mothers did not differ from the partnered mothers in terms of anxiety, depression, or stress associated with parenting. In addition, the assessment of the presence of psychiatric disorder by a child psychiatrist showed no difference between family types in the proportion of children rated as having a psychiatric disorder.
When the four children with a marked psychiatric disorder were removed from the sample, the findings did not change for any of the parenting or child adjustment variables.
The finding that stress associated with parenting was associated with child adjustment problems in the solo mother families is consistent not only with previous research on single mothers by choice Chan et al. It is important to emphasize, however, that the solo mother families did not differ from the two-parent families in the association between financial hardship, parenting stress, and child adjustment problems, indicating that these risk factors were operating in a similar fashion in both family types.
A potential risk factor for the children of single mothers by choice that does not exist for children from other types of single-mother family is their donor conception. As a result, the children grow up unaware of the identity of their biological father.
The low level of psychological problems among the children of single mothers by choice in the present study suggests that lack of knowledge of the identity of their biological father does not have a negative impact on their psychological wellbeing.
This suggests that the children of single mothers by choice may similarly become more interested in their biological father at adolescence and the absence of information about his identity may produce challenges at that time. In a qualitative study of solo mothers with 3—year-old donor-conceived children in Israel, Weissenberg and Landau reported that all of the children expressed a wish for a father.
A potential difficulty with the study is that differences between the solo mother and two-parent families may not have been identified due to the modest sample sizes. However, it would have been possible to detect a d standardized difference between means as small as 0. Thus, to the extent that significant differences between family types may not have been detected due to insufficient power, these differences would have been small.
For the regression analysis which involved families, 2 predictors in step one and 13 predictors in Step 3, it was possible to detect effects sizes as small as 0. Indeed, an effect size of 0. Although larger samples would have been desirable, this is the first controlled, in-depth study to focus on school-age children born to heterosexual single mothers by choice and thus sheds light on the functioning of this new family form.
However, the coding of the interview variables that did not reach this threshold two variables included in the positive parenting factor involved the use of nonverbal cues such as facial expression and gestures that were not available to the second rater.
Thus the interrater reliabilities of these interview variables may be underestimates. When the positive parenting factor was reanalyzed with these two variables removed, the finding did not change.
For reasons of confidentiality, selection of the families was carried out by the clinic rather than the researchers and it was not possible to match the two groups on variables other than the age and gender of the child.
As solo mothers tend to be older than partnered mothers when they embark upon donor insemination and have fewer children, the samples reflected these demographic differences. When these variables were found to correlate with a dependent variable they were entered into the analysis as covariates.
In fact, the correlation of 0. Thus, there did not appear to be a bias toward higher levels of adjustment among the children whose teachers completed questionnaires.
A particular advantage of the study was that the children in the comparison group of two-parent families had also been conceived by donor insemination thus controlling for the use of donor conception by the single mothers by choice. A further advantage of the study was the multimethod interview, observation, and questionnairemulti-informant mother, child, and teacher design as single mothers by choice may play down difficulties and tend to present their families in a favorable light due to the negative attitudes they experience from others and because of their own concerns about providing a positive family environment for their children.
The finding that the children of solo mothers showed positive psychological functioning and did not differ from their counterparts in two-parent families suggests that single motherhood, in itself, does not have negative psychological consequences for children.
Interestingly, when the group comparisons of parenting and child adjustment were conducted without covariates, the findings were identical, indicating that differences between solo mother and two-parent families were not being masked by the inclusion of covariates in the analyses. The fact that the solo mothers made an active decision to parent alone rather than finding themselves in this situation unintentionally may have contributed to the positive outcomes for these families; children born by donor insemination to single mothers by choice are extremely wanted children whose mothers went to great lengths to conceive them whereas divorced single mothers and unmarried single mothers who had unplanned pregnancies did not set out to parent alone.
Thus, it is conceivable that the intention to be a single parent contributes to positive mother—child relationships and, consequently, to positive child outcomes.
In contrast, more negative mother—child relationships and child outcomes may result from parenting alone when single motherhood had not been planned or desired. The findings of the present study of solo mother families add to the growing body of evidence from studies of other types of single-mother family Chan et al.
Parenting Stress Index Test manual. The consequences of divorce for adults and children. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, — Children of divorce in the s: An update of the Amato and Keith As your child grows, their unique personality will develop!
Understanding child psychology will help you build stronger bonds and know them better. As your child grows, their unique personality will develop! If you are a single parent or have an only child, occasionally invite family or friends over to play.
Having only one child also allows the parent to be more attuned to the individual emotional needs of the single child because there isn’t another child whose needs take the parent away from the other child.
The fact that the parents of only children have more time and energy to become and stay attuned to the child shouldn’t be overlooked, because .
In a Psychology Today blog from January , author and social psychologist Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., points out that research indicates that kids fare better academically and socially in a single-parent home than in a two-parent home where there is a lot of timberdesignmag.comd: Jun 17, Single parenting and today's family Over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called "nuclear family" consisting of a mother, father and children.
Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren. As your child grows, their unique personality will develop!
Understanding child psychology will help you build stronger bonds and know them better. As your child grows, their unique personality will develop!
If you are a single parent or have an only child, occasionally invite family or friends over to play. Effects vary from child to child, however, and the individual parenting style of the single parent is also a big influence on the child’s development.
Positive Effects Single parenting can have positive effects on children as well, depending on other factors such as personality types and parenting timberdesignmag.comd: Jun 17,