Single-parent families are defined as a family that is formed as a result of marital dissolution and non-marital child bearing (about.com). Single-parent households are something that is very commonly seen today in the United States. Since the year 1970 “there has been a 300 percent increase in single-parent households headed by mothers and a 500 percent increase in those headed by fathers. Today, 26 percent of white families are headed by one-parent, as are 61 percent of black families and 34 percent of Hispanic families.” (Seccombe, 2008, pg. 18). There are many sources available for single-parents. Ranging from the media to various government institutions one can learn about the services offered to single-parent households.
Currently it is very common to see single-parent household shows on television. The media has found various ways to portray the lifestyle single-parenting. Television shows such Full House or Two and a Half Men portray the life of single-parent dads. In addition, the light that media gave single-parent households brought to life the various hardships that single parents endure, but it also idolized this lifestyle and could portray a false image of single parent households.
From the media to real life their can be a great amount of contrast from this fairy tale life. In the year 2006, the United States census found that there were approximately 12.9 million families in the U.S. that were headed by a single parent. Furthermore the census found that 10.4 million were single-mother families and 2.5 million were single-father families (U.S. Census Bureau). In conducted research, it was found that approximately 21.2 million children in the United States come from single parent homes. Furthermore, at least 44 percent of the single-women households are divorced or separated, while 33 percent have never been married. In reference to single-men households about 57 percent are divorced, while 18 percent have never been married (about.com).
In conclusion, through out this week we will talk about the hardships that single-parents endure. Furthermore, we will look at the various ways that the media portrays single-parent households in contrast to reality. In addition, we will talk about the various ways that that single-parents can receive help through various institutions. We hope that you enjoy it.
Questions for discussion:
What is your perception of a single-parent home?
What are your feelings about the statistics of single-parent homes?
How do you think media portrays single-parent homes and do you think it is accurate?
Bergman, M. (3/27/07). Single-Parent Households Showed Little Variation Since 1994,
Census Bureau Reports. http://www.census.gov/PressRelease/www/releases/archives/families_households/009842.html
Seccombe, K. (2008). Families and their social worlds. Boston: Pearson, Allyn and Bacon.
Single-Parents. (2009) http://singleparents.about.com/od/legalissues/p/portrait.htm