Do single parent homes affect happiness of the child?


In one of my previous blogs I talked about how homosexual parents impact their children. The results were inconclusive about whether they have negative or positive effects. This got me to thinking though, what about single parent homes?

In a study done by¬†NatCen Social Researc, they found they children are “no less happy” in single parent homes than in homes with a mother and a father. They found that it is the quality of the relationship rather than the quantity of them. The study was made up of 12, 877 children age 7 from three types of homes: a biological mother and father, a biological parent and step parent, and single parent home. Every child was asked “how often do you feel happy?” (Embly).

The results showed that 36% of children from single parent homes were happy all the time and the other 64% said they are happy sometimes or never (Embly). Interestingly, the exact same percentages were found in the results of children with two parents. When social class or affluence was factored in, it did not affect the results in a big way. This study says that the quality of the family’s relationships are what has the biggest impact on the child, not the family structure. This makes sense because as long as a child is loved that will impact their happiness. A child could have two parents that don’t pay much attention to them or treat them improperly.

This is inconsistent with what many previous theories¬†have said. It is thought that “broken” homes would have unhappy children. This is a large study but it does not rule out third variables or chance. There are many different things that factor into a child’s happiness other than home life. Also, even though this study says single parenting does not affect a child’s happiness, it can still affect social and other emotional problems. These results, like the homosexual parenting results, are inconclusive with this information.


Embley, Jochan. The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

4 thoughts on “Do single parent homes affect happiness of the child?

  1. ibg5025

    I understand that every household is different , which is why I am glad you noted the possible third variable. Me and my mom were on our own for the first six years of my life and I cannot say that it has had a negative effect on me, if anything it made me stronger. I learned how to be independent because of my mother raising me on her own. In my case it relied on the quality, not the quantity. The link I listed below discusses how children who come from a single parent household are not doomed.

  2. Nicole Kristen Abunassar

    This post was very interesting. I definitely believe that it is the quality of the parent/child relationship that matters versus how many parents a child has. I’m surprised that this study is still inconclusive, but I do think that a third variable in this scenario can’t be ruled out.

  3. Corey Michael Lapenna

    I find this article very interesting do to the fact that i personally do not live in a single parent home but i know multiple people who in fact due. I feel as though there is not strong enough evidence showing the correlation between the two ( single parent with unhappy children). And it is too hard to rule out third variables here whether it be poverty/affluent whatever it may be.

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