SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGES OF SINGLE PARENT FAMILY IN IJEBU-ODE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE
The study investigated the social, economic and psychological challenges of single parent family in Ijebu-Ode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The study cross analyzed the degree of these challenges among the respondents in the study area.
The descriptive approach was adopted for the purpose data gathering. One hundred and forty seven was the sample that responded to a questionnaire. The data gathered was analysed with the statistical tool of Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Mean and Standard Deviation.
The study revealed that single parent families are vulnerable to social abuses such as being looked down upon, approached by any man, not being fit to appear at social gathering, not socially approved and do not wear a cheerful look. Again the study showed that raising up children alone could be burdensome, they could be economically unstable, face financial crises; though they tend to attract more benevolence. Findings two also showed that only a handful of them live in ghettos.
The researcher however recommended that parent should ensure that their children don’t always bear the brunt when there is separation. Single parent should not be looked down upon as they are part and parcel of the society. Laws and policies should be made and formulated forbidding any man approach women rudely.
1.1 Background to the Study
In May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle suggested that a breakdown of the nuclear family was among the causes of recent riots in Los Angeles in which over fifty people had died. “I believe the lawless social anarchy which we saw is directly related to the breakdown of family structure, personal responsibility and social order in too many areas of our society,” Quayle remarked. He went on to criticize society’s increasingly permissive attitude toward out-of-wedlock childbearing, pointing specifically to the treatment of the issue in the television sitcom Murphy Brown. “It doesn’t help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown—a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman—mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another ‘lifestyle choice.’”
Quayle’s speech, especially his reference to Murphy Brown, provoked an outpouring of commentary. Numerous Americans agreed with Quayle, expressing concern that the “traditional family” and “family values” were being undermined by a public morality that too readily condoned unwed motherhood and divorce. Many also agreed with Quayle’s argument that the media and popular culture were to blame for promoting loose sexual values and immoral lifestyles.
Others took exception to Quayle’s statements. Some, seeing his speech as a moralistic attack on single mothers, responded by insisting that most single mothers work hard to provide for their children and to raise them well. Others considered Quayle’s view of the traditional family as nostalgic and unrealistic, out of touch with the social and economic realities of life in contemporary America. The character Murphy Brown, played by actress Candice Bergen, directly responded to Quayle in a subsequent episode of the show. In words that doubtlessly resonated with many Americans, she declared, “Perhaps it’s time for the vice president to expand his definition [of family] and recognize that whether by choice or circumstance families come in all shapes and sizes. And ultimately, what really defines a family is commitment, caring and love.”
The intensity of the public reaction to Quayle’s speech suggests that his comments touched on an issue of concern to a large number of people. Indeed, many commentators have expressed alarm about the increase in single-parent families over the past four decades. In 1960, they point out; 5.8 million American children lived in single-parent families; by 1996 that number had risen to 18 million. This growth has been fueled by an increasing rate of out-of-wedlock childbearing. In 1960, 5.3 percent of American babies were born to unwed mothers; that rate has increased to 30 percent. These numbers are even higher for African Americans: As of 1992, 68 percent of African American babies were born to unmarried women. A rising divorce rate has also contributed to the growing number of single-parent families. The U.S. divorce rate rose nearly 250 percent between 1960 and 1980; it then leveled off at what is now the highest rate in the industrialized world. It is commonly noted that about half of the marriages undertaken today will end in divorce.
Much of the debate over single-parent families focuses on how these trends affect children. Many social scientists contend that children raised in single-parent homes are more likely to experience a variety of problems than are children raised in two-parent homes
Family this is seen as the social group whose members are related by ancestry, marriage or adoption and who live together, cooperate economically and care for the young (Murdock.1998).
Family is also seen as a group of individuals related by to one another by blood ties, marriage or adoption who form an economic unit, the adult members are responsible for the upbringing of children (Giddens, 1997).
Types of family relationships are always recognized within wider kinship groups. In virtually all societies we can identify what sociologists and anthropologist call the nuclear family two adults living together in a household with their own or adopted children.
Extended family may include grand parents, brothers and their wives, sisters and their husbands, aunts and nephews.
Single parent families can be defined as families where a parent lives with dependent children, either alone or in a larger household, without a spouse or partner. There was a rapid and drastic increase in the number of single-parent families in the latter half of the twentieth century. This change has been used by some to argue that we are witnessing the breakdown of the family (defined as a married couple residing with their dependent offspring) with negative effects for children, families, and society (Popenoe 1996).
Types of single parent families are generally categorized by the sex of the custodial parent (mother-only or father-only families).
Mother-only families include widows, divorced and separated women, and never-married mothers. In the case of divorce, mothers are usually given custody in the United States and other developed countries. In Italy, in 1997, for example, 90 percent of children whose parents divorced went into the custody of their mothers. Since the vast majority of single parents are mothers, most of the research focuses on female-headed families. However, regardless of sex, single parents share similar problems and challenges (Grief 1985).
Father- only families formed as a result of widowhood, desertion by the mother, or wives refusing custody. The increase in father-only families is due, in part, to the efforts of fathers to obtain custody of their children. Factors supporting their transition into primary parenthood include financial security, prior involvement in housework and child care during the marriage, satisfaction with child-care arrangements, and a shared sense of responsibility for the marital breakup (Grief 1985).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is to find out the most urgent problem that now faces the single parent families. These problems which include social, psychological, Economic and financial problems.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study will specifically examine the challenges facing the single parent families in terms of social, Economic and psychological needs.
1.4 Research question:
These following questions will be tackled in the process of this research
- What are the social challenges of single parent family?
- What are the economic challenges of single parent family?
- What are the psychological challenges facing single parent family?
- Is there any significant difference in the challenges of single parent as perceived by the respondent based on their age group, academic qualification and occupation?
1.5 Significance of the study
The essence of this research is to know the parent and children’s standard of living in single parent families in ijebu-ode local government.
1.6 Definitions of terms
Family: The social group, whose members are related by ancestry, Blood, Marriage, or and who live together, cooperate economically and care for the young once.
Single parent: A parent lives with dependent children, either alone or in a larger household, without a spouse or partner.
Nuclear family: Two adults living together in a household with their own or Adopted children.
Extended family: These are grand parents, brothers and their wives, sisters And their\husbands, aunts and nephews.
Mothers only families: The widows divorced and separated women, and Never-Married mothers.
Fathers only families: Widowhood, desertion by the mother, or wives refusing custody.
Becker, B. S. & Landes, E. M. (2007) “An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability” Journal of Political Economy, London press. 85, 1141-1187.
Brecher, E. & the Editors of Consumer Reports Books. (2004) Love, Sex, and Aging: A Consumers Union Report. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.
Broderick, C. B. (2000) (head of USC Department of Sociology), quoted by David Larsen in “Late Finale: When Long Marriages End,” Los Angeles Times: E 9.
Cox, Frank D. (2007) Human Intimacy, Marriage, the Family and its Meaning. 4th edition. West Publishers,
Einstein, E. (2006) Strengthening Stepfamilies. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service. Oxford University Press. 546-578
Ganong, L. & Coleman, M. (2007) “An Evaluation of the Stepfamily Self-help Literature for Children and Adolescents.” Family Relations Publishers 36 61-65.
Ganong, L. & Coleman, M. (2009) “Preparing for Remarriage: Anticipating the Issues, Seeking Solutions.” Family Relations Publishers, 28-33.
Glick, P C. (2009) “Remarried Families, Stepfamilies, and Stepchildren: A Brief Demographic Profile.” Family Relations Publishers , 24-27.
Gruber-Baldini, A. & Schaie, K. W. (2006) “Longitudinal-Sequential Studies of Marital Assortativity.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Chicago, November 21, 2006.
Harkins, E. (2006) “Effects of Empty Nest Transition on Self-Report of Psychological and Physical Well-Being.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, Cambridge University Press, 549-556.