I am a college Sociology student in level of study at university. I have been personal and academic a very close study on the family patterns of the modern worlds and wondering where we are headed to with high number of single parenthood. Actually, my concern is on the kind of future generation that awaits our society if nothing is done to counter this pandemic.
I have been curiously following turns that single parenthood is taking in our societies. There is a high rise in single parenthood caused by divorce, separation or death of one of the parents. In this regard, I do not only plan to write a book on the impacts of single-parent homes on adolescents but also be an eye opener on the challenges that single parenthood poses for adolescents.
The contents of this book are collective exploring the nature of this problem. The book will start by addressing the root causes of single parenthood to how it impacts on the adolescent youths. The period of adolescence is accompanied by several challenging physical and behavioral changes in both boys and girls. These changes require a lot of from parent supervision to help eliminate bad character that might crop out of this stage.
My approach to this topic is a very unique and my book aims at producing a very selective and exhaustive discussion. I have also designed this book in such a way that it will not only discuss the problems that adolescents face in single parent families but also provide solutions and recommendations. For instance, some of these single parent homes have offered their adolescents good and high quality education that even two parent households cannot afford. (Yarber and Sharp 235)
Most research materials either pay little attention on the impacts of single parent homes on adolescents or ignore it completely. My book will narrow down on the effects that these family set-ups pose for the adolescents. I am writing this book after taking very kin look into most of the negative behaviors that adolescents develop in single parent families. Just but to mention a few cases, deviance among adolescents is purely lack moderation on their character development especially during this crucial stage.
Oxford Advance Learners’ Dictionary defines defiance as an open refusal to obey and follow somebody or something. This has become a problem in many families especially the single parent families or homes. Good family structure is very fundamental in fostering a solid model of nurturing adolescents’ character development. However, when families go through changes that rip them apart, a single parent finds it difficult to carry on with this task. Studies have revealed that these adolescents ignore the social norms and values due to lack of full parenthood.
As a new author, I expect criticism from various professionals. However, I expect these criticisms to help improve the quality of my book. I am also urging the society to take advantage of this book and apply its contents into a real world situation. You as the publisher for my book will benefit from the publication of this book. So together we have something to gain from its publication. Above all, book will of greater use to the single parents who perhaps have faced these challenges or are yet to handle adolescents.
The main aim of this micro-sociological paper is to explore how adolescence stage in human growth and development is associated with a lot of abnormal behavior. This behavior can easily go out of hand if the parents do not combine efforts to put things right at the right time. Many researchers have found out that adolescent deviant behavior is much common in single parent homes especially ones headed by single mothers than two parents households. Some of the reasons behind these abnormal behaviors include financial constraints, peer pressure and social isolation. Chapter 11 of John Shepard’s book shows that single parent homes contributes a lot to the development of defiant behavior among adolescent children. He emphasizes that deviant behavior such as truancy, drug and substance abuse and arrests are more prevalent in adolescents living ether with single parents or step parents. (Shepard 323)
Presence of two parents in any family plays a very important role in nurturing good character in the adolescent youths. Even before doing anything or saying a word, adolescents view their two parents as a jury that they cannot beat in case of any summons for mischievous behavior. In single parenthood however, there is lack of effective and constant parent-child communication. As mentioned earlier, adolescents are very vulnerable and that they require constant regular guidance and monitoring. As one parent exits the family, there is weakening of the family bond between the adolescents and their parents. Many researchers reiterate that financial constraints are to blame for this. A single parent is the sole bread winner in a single parent household and thus spends much of his or her time working extra hard to fend for the family. This indeed, leaves little space for guidance and monitoring. In other words, these adolescents end up spending a lot of their time alone and act mostly on their own decisions.
Single mothers mostly find it a bit hard to monitor the companionship of their children. Owing to the vulnerability of the adolescents, their companionship and the way in which they form and break from friendship should be put under check. As the saying goes that bad company spoils good morals, letting young adolescents to mingle with their peers whose behavior is questionable is disastrous. In other words, the absence of parental guidance creates a very humble environment for the development of bad characters such as truancy, stealing, being deceitful among others.
One of the key influences of peer pressure is drug/substance abuse. Siegel and Welsh in their in their Juvenile Delinquency asserts that drug use is very common in low income households and poor families. With reference to the economic constraints that single parent families and homes go through, adolescents hailing from such homes and families are thus very vulnerable to these vices. For instance, the adolescents from these families may wish to relieve the stress they face from their single families through taking such drugs. This they may also achieve through the advice of their peers after sharing their problems. Their peers may make them understand and believe that the drugs would make them more relaxed and improve their situation. In essence, this would just be an illusion that would end up concealing the truth from them.
Drug and substance abuse is associated with very many side effects that add into the problems that these families already go through. Healths wise, most if not all of these drugs are harmful to crucial body organs such as the liver, the kidney, the lungs and unfortunately the brain. Diseases like the lung cancer and the kidney stone are hard and expensive to treat to treat
Teenage sex is a problem that is rarely escaped by adolescents from single parent homes. As mentioned earlier, this stage is accompanied by several physical and emotional behaviors. One of the physical behaviors here is the maturity of the sexual organs. This maturity brings with it a lot of anxiety that demands for immediate attention. The parents must therefore be ready to provide relevant answers and explanations to their teenagers’ endless questions regarding these changes. In this regard, lack of this close guidance may expose these disparate adolescents to seek the answers to these questions through their peers. This automatically leads to experimentation hence teenage sex. Besides, adolescence is characterized by high sexual activity that at times is difficult to control.
What accompanies teenage sex if mass loss of safety that leads to sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies. Some of these adolescents who are not lucky enough may end up getting infected by the HIV/AIDS which is not curable. This implies that what these adolescents started as an exploration can end them up into very terrible situations. It is very pathetic that what parents would have joined efforts to prevent eventually becomes a very big problem.
Emotional maturity is also a mark of adolescent period. This is the transitional stage at which girls and boy’s tendencies and actions become comparable to those of adults. Emotions guide and define everyday activities of an individual. Development of good emotional maturity highly depends on and individual’s environment. This puts into question the viability of good emotional development among the adolescent youths living in single parent homes. Proper nourishment is therefore a fundamental requirement for a smooth transition of the process. Single parenthood arising from divorce, death or separation of parents impacts heavily on the behavior of the adolescents. Some of the factors which can impede good emotional development include anger, bitterness, shame, deep hurt and a feeling of inferiority. Research done by Srivastava (2005) shows that adolescent child from single-parent families is a victim of emotional resentment and depression. These children develop and hide fear, sadness and negative feelings of depression. These hidden emotional developments are never shared but only leads into more problems and tension. The end result of these developments is emotional malformation in adolescent children hailing from single parent homes. This is a very big adolescent problem. (Srivastava 84)
On chapter 7 of their “Delinquency in Society” textbook, Regoli and Hewitt clearly examine the correlations between single parent families and adolescent delinquencies. They emphasize that this is a very big problem that calls for immediate intervention. Research in their work reveals that children brought up by single parent stands a higher risk of developing delinquency traits that those raised up from two parent families. Most of the social and psychological researchers in this field emphasize that over 70% of children criminal cases involve adolescents from single families. Their analysis identifies some of the key causes of high prevalence of adolescent delinquencies as less effective supervision from the single parent, rapid growth rates and the priorities that single mothers give to their children.
All these deviant behaviors are very detrimental to the professional orientation of these adolescents. They end up performing poorly in schools since they may spend a lot of their time on worthless activities. Worse still, they may become highly in-disciplined at the school and look down upon the school authorities, school rules and regulations. First and foremost, single parent homes and families especially those headed by single mothers have little access to quality education. This is disadvantageous to the adolescents who require good schooling so as to build their academic foundations. It is very pathetic that these as single parent families are economically struggling to provide enough food, clothing and shelter, these challenges caused by erroneous behavior of their adolescents add to their problems.
It is very clear that single parenthood impacts negatively on the lives of adolescents. Single parent are not always available to offer very clear and streamlined guidance to their children who are facing this important stage of transition. I also realize that not all parents are just unable to do so voluntarily but under the pressure working extra hard to fend for their families. Generally, single mother and poor families are most exposed to these problems as they face very strong financial constraints and hence cannot adequately provide for the diverse needs of their children.
Annice D. Yarber, Paul M. Sharp. Focus on Single-Parent Families: Past, Present, and Future.
California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.
Robert M. Regoli, John Hewitt, Matt DeLisi. Delinquency in Society. revised. USA: Jones &
Bartlett Learning, 2011.
Shepard, Jon M. Sociology. 10. USA: Cengage Learning, 2009.
Srivastava, Surya Kumar. Applied And Community Psychology. Vol. 2. New Dehli: Sarup &
Walters, Glenn D. Drugs, Crime, and Their Relationship: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.
USA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2013.