Child Development: Single Parent vs Two Parent Home
Here’s something that single parents everywhere may rejoice over: In a recent study done by an Ohio State University professor, they found no difference in school performance between children of single parents and those of two-parent homes. (Provided that the children come from stable homes.)
Providing a Stable Home is Key
The study gathers data from 5,000 families across three decades. Their findings suggest that stability in family life seems to have more correlation with children’s low stress levels, performance in school, and in low incidence of behavioral issues. A two-parent household that was mostly dysfunctional proved just as disruptive to a child’s well-being as divorce.
Marriage or remarriage of said single parent can be just as disruptive. This was stated in a University press release: “Based on this study, we can’t say for sure that marriage will be a good thing for the children of single mothers [or fathers], particularly if the marriage is unhealthy and does not last“.
The only exception in the study was found among black children, where children from two-parent homes consistently scored better in math and reading tests.
Despite the caveats, I think it’s safe to say that stability — in routine, in caregivers — as well as a loving and enriching environment is still the best way to ensure that children are happy, productive and successful in school. And most improtantly, in life.