Children living with a lone parent are as happy as those with 2


April 25, 2014
Brain & Behavior

Children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents, the British Sociological Association’s annual conference in Leeds heard today [Thursday 24 April].

In a major UK study on wellbeing, researchers from NatCen Social Research analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study on 12,877 children aged seven in 2008 and found no significant difference in happiness.

Whether the children lived with two biological parents, a step-parent and biological parent, or in a single parent family, made no difference to how they rated their happiness: 64% said they were happy ‘sometimes or never’, and 36% said they were ‘happy all the time’.

Even when the researchers statistically removed the effects of other factors such as parental social class so that the effects of family type were isolated, the results showed no significant differences.

Jenny Chanfreau, Senior Researcher at NatCen, told the conference that, in contrast, relationships with parents and other children were strongly linked with how likely the seven-year-olds were to be happy. For instance, factors such as getting on well with siblings and not being bullied at school were associated with being happy all the time.

Ms Chanfreau said they found a similar result when analysing another set of survey data on 2,679 children aged 11 to 15 in the UK – this also showed no significant statistical difference in the level of wellbeing among children in the three types of family when the effects of family type were studied in isolation.

Ms Chanfreau told the conference: “We found that the family type had no significant effect on the happiness of the seven-year-olds or the 11-15 year olds.

“It’s the quality of the relationships in the home that matters – not the family composition. Getting on well with siblings, having fun with the family at weekends, and having a parent who reported rarely or never shouting when the child was naughty, were all linked with a higher likelihood of being happy all the time among seven-year olds.

“Pupil relations at school are also important – being bullied at school or being ‘horrible’ to others was strongly associated with lower happiness in the seven-year-olds, for instance.”

Ms Chanfreau worked with Cheryl Lloyd, Christos Byron, Caireen Roberts, Rachel Craig and Sally McManus of NatCen Research on the analysis and report, and Danielle De Feo of the Department of Health also contributed.

Results summary:

In the Millennium Cohort Study survey, data were gathered in 2008 on 12,877 children aged seven, and their parents.

Of those children living with two biological (or adoptive) parents: 64% said they were ‘sometimes or never’ happy and 36% said they were happy ‘all the time’. The exact same percentages were found for those living with one step-parent and one biological parent, and for those living with a lone parent.

The researchers then statistically controlled for other factors, such as their parents’ class and the level of the deprivation in the area where the home was, so that the influence of the family type on the seven-year-olds could be studied in isolation.

After doing this they found that those in living with a step-parent and a biological parent, and those living with a lone parent, were marginally less likely to be in the ‘happy all the time’ category, but this result was negligible and not statistically significant, and so was discounted.

Instead, factors such as relationships with others were found to be both important and statistically valid, including getting on with their siblings, having friends, having fun with the family or not being bullied at school.

A fourth family type – those not living with either a natural or adoptive parent – was linked with reduced happiness, but there were so few children in this category (forming only 0.3% of the total) that no further statistical analysis could be carried out.

The researchers also used data from the Understanding Society Study survey, gathered from 2009-2011 on 2,679 people aged 11 to 15. After removing other factors to isolate the effect of family type, the researchers found that those living with one step-parent and one biological parent were slightly more likely to be happier than those living with two biological (or adoptive) parents, and that those living with a lone parent were slightly less likely to be as happy as those living with two biological parents; however neither result was statistically significant and both were discounted. In effect, the family type had no effect on the 11-15 year-olds’ happiness.




Children living with a lone parent are as happy as those with 2

84 Responses to Children living with a lone parent are as happy as those with 2

  1. Jim October 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    This blog is written by a liar and a scumbag and is contributing to the destruction of the modern family. I am a victim of the state, and all those who profit from the destruction of families.

    Piss off. I wish you only misery and misfortune for all your worthless life.
    You are a waste of air.

  2. kagiso May 8, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    I definitely agree with the blog,a child`s happiness depends not on whether they are raised by biological parents or not.But their happiness depends on the type of people they have as parents.You find in some instances a child with abusive biological parents or a child with non-biological parents but living a healthy happy life.

  3. u14330271 May 7, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents, a study indicates. In a major UK study on wellbeing, researchers analyzed data from 12,877 children aged seven in 2008, and found no significant difference in happiness. Whether the children lived with two biological parents, a step-parent and biological parent, or in a single parent family, made no difference to how they rated their happiness: 64% said they were happy ‘sometimes or never’, and 36% said they were ‘happy all the time’.

  4. Martin(14103312) May 5, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    I agree with this blog as some people can be bad parents and just because you’re leaving with both biological parents doesn’t necessarily guarantee overall happiness. Some parents stay together “for the children” even when the relationship is bad for them and the kids themselves. I believe that a parent that is present in their child’s lives, make for happier children. Some parents make a lot of money, but are never there for their kids, on the other hand some parents don’t make a lot of money, but are present. And so making for happier kids. However, this doesn’t mean poorer people make for better parents, some just abusive.

  5. u14330271 May 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    It actually depends on the type of parent a child live with because there are parents who can really play both roles of being a mother and a father.I totally disagree with that childrens living with lone parents tends to do more chores than that living with both parents because even if one of the parent is gone there are relatives who can help with the child.A fully responsible parent can not abuse his or her child with lot of work just because his or her spouse has passed away but that can happen to any child even those that are living with both parents

  6. 14032491 May 5, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    I disagree with this article to a certain extent while I also agree a little. It all depends on why this child is living alone with a single parent or a step parent. I lost my father when I was 15 and I am definitely not happy living with a lone parent. Surely some kids are better off with one parent, but I personally know I am not which makes me more unhappy than I am happy. Ofcourse it is a whole different story when someone has lost a parent or having an abusive parents and therefore living with only one parent. I therefore feel that this article is generalizing and not taking all situations into account. I know there are millions of unhappy kids too.

  7. u14385369 May 5, 2014 at 5:35 am #

    It all depends on the number of children the lone parent has,the number of siblings the child has,most children are affected by the children they are following or they are followed. In reality a single mom cannot take care of a maximum number of three children ,i mean in reality. and again,the happiness of that parent does matter as well, for all the children to be happy, so for the children’s sake, the mothers should just leave all the stress off their home.

  8. Nyasha May 5, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    I disagree that children that are living with one parent and a step father/mother are happy as those who lives with both biological parents. The way your parents treat you and the love they give is different from a step father/mother. There is more love that comes from your biological parents than step father/mother.

  9. betty (13411404) May 5, 2014 at 3:45 am #

    It is true that children who live with a single parent are as happy as those who live with two. All that a child needs is tender, loving and care and if a single parent can provide that then i don’t see any problem reason why the child would be unhappy. I am proud to say that I was raised by a single parent and i lead a very happy life and at times i felt no different to those that were raised by both parents. It is in the mindsets of those who disagree with the article, saying that a child can never be happy if raised by one parent

  10. Liberty.M(u14198593) May 5, 2014 at 2:53 am #

    I disagree that children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents since a child can only get maximum love from his or her biological parents and no one else. Naturally all mothers can only give their maximum love to their own children not to someone else’s child. This makes it difficult to children who have their mothers passed away because they will not experience the love mothers and in this way those children can not be compared to those with their both parents. Children with single parents turn to have many responsibilities than those with both biological parent for an example a children with a single parent turn to do more thing with were supposed to be done by a dead parent by so doing it brings more pressure to that child unlike children with both parents.

  11. 14368928 May 5, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    I totally disagree with the article. Everyone has a different rating of their happiness. I feel this is total absurdity doing a survey on children aged group 11-15, they barely know what is happiness. Their definition if happiness was getting along with their siblings and not being bullied at school, which is independent of their parents. The reality is Children living with a lone parent are NOT as happy as those living with two biological parents, I’m not sure who is more happy. The survey should have been done on a much older group of children that need the support of their parents.

  12. K Hlabisa 14126886 May 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    After reading this article, I still strongly believe that children who live with both parents are very privileged. There is nothing as important as receiving unconditional love from both your parents.

    Living with a lone parent may sometimes leave you asking yourself certain questions like “How would have life turned out if my dad/mom was still around?”.Even though I’ve never been in that kind of a situation, I’m sure that no child would like to go on for days or weeks wondering, wondering what would have happened if their parent was still alive.

    To those who still have both parents around, be thankful and appreciate every single thing they provide you with because a lot of children out there would kill to bring back their parents.

  13. Vasili Moutzouris u14068992 May 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    In my opinion, children that come from single parent homes will not be able to have the same amount of happiness as those with both their parents around. Single parents inevitably are expected to work harder in order to earn enough income to provide for their children, this results in less time being spent with their children. This lack of time being spent with their children may result in social issues. Children brought up by single parents may also struggle to form proper relationships as they have not witnessed a true relationship between their parents as they only have one. Growing up with both parents will result in the child having more time being nurtured and cared for, where as growing up with a single parent, the child is forced to become independent even when their brain is not yet ready.

  14. Amir 14033021 May 4, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I feel that this article is not reliable in that the surveys done on which the entire argument is based on cannot be reliable according to me. Firstly the survey was initially done on 7 year old children who are young and naive and have no real idea of what happiness really is. I have done research and have found that children in the UK have been recorded as being the most unhappy when compared to all the other developed countries. Therefore the results obtained from the UK cannot be reliable or viable as the UK is an extreme in terms of child happiness. The survey should be carried out in a country that follows the norm in terms of child happiness or perhaps an average value of the same survey done for various countries can be obtained.

    I feel that having two parents it better than just one as you are able to receive twice the love and affection. Along with that said another factor to be considered it the sense of fulfillment. Children with one biological parent often feel as though something in their life is missing and that feeling prevents them from living their life to the fullest, thus preventing them from having true happiness.

    These are my views on the topic at hand.

  15. Olonathando Jokwana (u14156050) May 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    This article just goes to prove what I’ve always believed which is that when it comes to parents, quality is more important than quantity. Meaning, what defines a child’s happiness is not whether both parents are in the picture but rather the quality of the relationship that child has with the parents. I grew up with just my mum and was as happy as my friends who had both parents around. There were also children I attended school with who had both parents around but weren’t happy because of the type of relationships they had with their parents.

    Even though the majority of children who grow up with single or step-parents are as happy as those who grew up with both parents, there are some factors that could prevent the child from being happy and I believe that it is these factors that add to this misconception about single parents raising unhappy children. These factors include if the child is treated badly or differently by their step parent. Also, children do tend to feel a void when they are raised by a parent of the opposite sex. A parent leaving when the child is old enough to understand a lot of things also proves to be a problem, as children are often left blaming themselves.

    I feel this is a very well written article that could work towards removing the stereotypes people sometimes have about children that were raised by single parents.

  16. 14029032 May 4, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    I find this article very surprising. Surprizing, not because of the family setup and the connections between the happiness, but the importance of school and friends to children. As the article states: “factors such as getting on well with siblings and not being bullied at school were associated with being happy all the time.” You could be a perfect family, whether single parent, adopted or biological and you could have an unhappy child because of bullies at school. What intrigues me about this article is how basic children’s needs are, being loved, not being shouted at and getting along with everyone. Very interesting!

  17. kabelo 14042917 May 4, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    Personally I think it would be far better to have a child removed from an unhealthy upbringing. Living with the most suitable parent/family member can only be more settling for the young child, thus ensuring a sense of stability which I think is very important in making him/her a successful and independent young adult.

  18. r33r333r33 May 4, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Find sumthing

  19. 14253284 May 4, 2014 at 5:39 am #

    I respect the result of the research but I don’t agree with this article. I think the child who lives with single parent can get lots of love and never get shouted because that child is the only one who his/her single parent can give agape love.but they can’t have much information about true love between boys and girls. For example, most children know about relationship because they have learnt it from their house by looking at their parents but single parents’ children would not know about the love between man and girl because those children only get love from their single parent but have never seen the love between parents.
    Mostly, parents love their children but there’s a difference between single parent and both parents – single parent can be good when he/she has the same gender with his/her child because then parent knows what his/her child should need and can teach but when they have different gender, then parent cannot give the right lesson because boys and girls grow in a different way. I had a friend who was grown up from a single parent. He only had his mother, and sometimes he acted like a girl. It was a big complex for him, and he was blaming his mother. Maybe the happiness from his family could be the same, or even better than I but I don’t think it’s going to be the same in a social life. In a social life, we should try to understand everybody but someone who can’t understand about opposite gender, because they could’ve have question about opposite gender but there was no-one who can teach it, will have a little less understanding to the other people than child who was grown up from both parents.

  20. u14330271 May 4, 2014 at 4:11 am #

    Actually leaving with lone parent is very nice.When i was young i thought it is for me to live with my mom only but then now i see that nothing was unfair the thing i was just a child.I have released how much i love my mom since i have living with her alone.

  21. 14104726 May 4, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    I think it doesn’t matter if the child is living with a biological parent, whether it is only one or both, or a step parent, as long as the child is in a healthy environment, being raised by a loving family. The one raising the child doesn’t necessarily have to be the biological- or step parent. It is not uncommon to hear of a child being raised by the child’s grandparents, distant family, or someone who has no familial relation to the child whatsoever. The point being made here that the relation of the one raising the child makes no difference in the child’s overall happiness. If the child grows up in a home where the child is neglected, abused or made to feel less worthy, then the child won’t be “happy all the time”, as mentioned in the article above. If the child grows up in a healthy environment, is given the needed attention and love, the child will grow up to be happier than the child mentioned in the previous example. Therefore it can be concluded that the child’s happiness is not dependent on the number of parents or the familial relation between the child and the one raising the child, but rather the way in which the child is being raised.

  22. 14330271 May 4, 2014 at 2:57 am #

    I also thought that living with both Biological parents is much better than living with one but that is not true.I actually grew up with a single parent and i thought it was unfair but than now i see i wasn’t because iam like other kids who grew up with both.Even my mom had to work very hard to fill both spaces

  23. 14330271 May 4, 2014 at 2:54 am #

    I also thought that living with both Biological parents is much better than living with one but that is not true.I actually grew up with a single parent and i thought it was unfair but than now i see i wasn’t because iam like other kids who grew up with both.

  24. u14266092 May 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    I had always believed that having both biological parents is better than having one parent or step-parents. This is a very common stereotype, but it is clear now that it is really the quality of the relationship that has an effect on the child. Single parents thought tend to work harder as to fill in the gap of the missing parent, but when one considers the children’s age, it is still quite young and they tend to care less about social issues.

  25. 14243467 May 3, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    From what I know, parents are not the only entities that can affect one’s happiness. There are many other factors that should also be taken into account. Some of these factors, including the few mentioned in the article, are: school, bullying, friends, relationship between parents, family type etc.

    But there are other factors that cannot exactly be tested that affects one’s happiness. For example the situation at home, whether the/a parent is an alcoholic, drug and/or gambling addict… A child may have grown up with this kind of behavior or living situation and have never known to feel differently about such a thing at such a young age because they have always known how to cope with the particular events. The child may be happy, not because of the situation at home, but even just to be surrounded by a lot of friends or to be doing well at school, thus feeling indifferently about whatever happens or whatever the parents, or parent does at home.
    With the above example, the situation and outcome may apply to ALL family types despite whether the parents are divorced or not.

    Some children may not know what to feel when it comes to parents and happiness. I say this because some children do end up taking care of their own parents because they are incapable, bedridden, disabled, unemployed or poor, and the child feels obliged to help them. This could then lead to some sort of depression, but on the other hand the child could also be happy just to be with the parent. This situation also could be part of any family type.

    Say for instance on the day the experiments and surveys were performed as mentioned in the above article, a child got into a fight with his/her parents at home, who are happily married and have little to no issues at home, would that child have still said that he/she was happy with his parents and the living situation at home? Of course the child would have said that he/she is not happy simple because they were in a bad mood because of the fight, when actually, the child probably is happy at home.

    The same kind of event could apply, but in the opposite sense, where the child stays in a completely unstable home and is unhappy on most days. But for some reason on one day the child’s parent/ parents do something unusually nice for them, which makes the child happy for that one day of school that the experiments and surveys were run. The child would then be inclined to say that they are happy at home just because one day his/her parents were nice to them, where in actual fact, the child should have said that they were unhappy with the living situation or family type at home.

    Basically from what I have mentioned, I don’t fully agree with the article and the experiments that were run, because I believe that happiness is like a shifting scale which is constantly changing, and it can be different for everyone despite the family type or living situation at home.

  26. Kgothatso (14129133) May 3, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Judging from my background, growing up living with only 1 biological parent i can say that i agree 100% with this statement. You don’t need to have both parents for you to be happy, this happiness comes from how your parents treat you, the attention they give you, and the kind if relationship you have between you and your parents,as mentioned in the article. you may have both parents and feel incomplete and unhappy because you don’t have a good relationship, it all boils down to the type of relationship between child and parent(s).

  27. moila makoma 14080951 May 3, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    I agree with that the happiness of children is not determined by the composition of the parents but the quality of relationship granted by the parents.How do you expect a child to be happy if he/she is not made comfortable by the parent regardless of a lone parent or not?

  28. Zaleekhah Dawood (u14002532) May 3, 2014 at 4:05 am #

    As someone who grew up with one biological parent and in later years one step-parent, I can confidently agree with the article that children living with one parent are indeed just as happy as those living with two. I have personally experienced numerous occasions where close friends have been less happy in their two-parent homes then I was in my single-parent one. The only conclusion this can lead me to is that the quality of happiness in the home is not dependent directly upon the number of biological parents present but rather on the state of the relationship between the parent and child. Growing up with only one biological parent and later on having to include a step-parent into the equation had no effect on correlated effect on my happiness despite my being old enough to understand the circumstances of the situation. The happiness of a child is largely dependent upon their ability to relate to the people around them as well as those people’s understanding towards the child. However, many children brought up in one-parent homes are taught responsibility much earlier on than those from two-parent homes which could factor into their given unhappiness in the home. In conclusion, I can only assume that those children unhappy in their one=parent homes experience this as a result of lack of attention and understanding, both of which would not necessarily increase given two-parents.

  29. Anneke Viljoen (14028647) May 3, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    I believe that living with both parents is the best kind of happiness any child can have. There are unfortunately cases where children grew up with only one parent. I am not saying that these children are not happy but there will always be something/someone missing. If you are use to having both your parents then suddenly losing one can take all your happiness away because you will always miss the other parent. But if you have always known just your one parent you will not know how it feels to have both with you everyday. In both cases the child can be as happy as can be but what can make you happier than having both parents for advise, love and care?

  30. A.T. - 14127475 May 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    The statistics found in this study are truly fascinating and exceptionally important to changing stereotypes about single parents, step parents or adoptive parents. Many people still look down upon single parents and their ability to raise a happy, well-adjusted child, and this study helps to break down the stereotype that parents, step-parents, or adoptive parents cannot raise a child as well as two biological parents. At the end of the day, the child is happy due to his relationship with those around him, such as siblings and friends, as well as the quality of the relationship with his parental figure(s), and other external factors.

    I believe that more studies like this, as well as studies done on the happiness and well-being of children being raised by same-sex couples, such as the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, where the early results show that children from same-sex families develop well, despite discrimination, should be made more public so that slowly but surely, the stereotypes surrounding parents who do not fit society’s traditional idea can be removed.

  31. u14028647 May 2, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    I believe that living with both your parents is the best kind of happiness any child can have. There are unfortunately cases where children grew up with only one parent. I am not saying that this children are not happy but there will always be something missing. If you are use to having both your parents and then suddenly losing one can take all your happiness away because you will always miss the other parent. But if you have always known just your one parent you will not know how it feels to have both with you everyday. In both cases the child can be as happy as can be but what can make you happier than having both your parents for advice, love and care?

  32. Derrick J. Brak May 2, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    (u14005957)
    This is quite an interesting article. The natural assumption is that children with both biological parents would be happier, so these results are intriguing.
    It does make sense that happiness in a family would be related to parent-child relationships, irrespective of who the parent is. Relationships are developed over time, so given an entire childhood, any parent willing to put in effort should be able to form a solid relationship.
    Something I didn’t pick up from the article was whether this study included families affected by divorce or death while the child was old enough to be affected, or if it is only children raised by a specific parent or parents from a very young age?
    If I had to find a problem, I would say that there may be a design flaw in the research. Happiness is too subjective to accurately measure. How would one even go about asking, or answering, such a question? If someone answers “Happy some of the time” because they are not always unhappy, it is a significant difference from someone who answers the same because they are happy most of the time. There is too much uncertainty for the study to be as accurate as one might like, but at the same time, it provides an interesting conclusion.

  33. m Usi u14217733 May 2, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Children need both parents while their are growing up,but that does not mean that those who have single parent cannot be happy.There is a certain stage where a child need both parents especially at the adolecence stage a child need support from both parents as they are undergoing several change.I also grow up with a single parent,I cannot say I was not happy but sometimes I felt left out when my friends talk about their parent and that usually reminds me that I do not have both parent. having single parent can also prevent the child to know their origin and their culture.good environment and how families intereact with each other also contribute to children,s happiness.parents must treat their children equally and same as those who are not their biological children so that they can all be happy.

  34. u14147531 May 2, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    As I have previously stated, I do not entirely disagree with the article, but there are a few factors in the study that I think are inaccurate. As many of you have mentioned above, the age-group used in the study is far too young. Children at that age are’nt able to express themselves entirely, they are not yet emotionally intelligent enough to be aware of the depth to which “happiness” can be determined. They don’t even necessarily know the true meaning of happiness… Who does..? Another loophole in the study is how being raised by both parents or only a single parent affects that child when he becomes an adolescent and even an adult. I have witnessed vaious cases where a child seemed happy with his situation of having an absent parent, but in later years is very negatively affected by that when the realisation of perhaps rejection finally strucks.
    Also the study focussed on the “happiness” – positive emotional state – of the children, but did they consider how sucessful the child was for example academically or in sports? And how does single parenting affect the childs relationship with other children and process of making friends?

  35. 14028663 May 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    It is indeed the quality of the relationship that matters. Many relationships are built through a good interaction between the two. It doesn’t matter whether you have biological parents or adopted parents but what matters is the quality of the relationship you have with them. The kind of environment you grow in is what makes you happy or sad, this includes the friends you have, the basic education you get, the food you eat and the kind of people who are around you. Some kids do grow up with their biological parents some do not but however they tend to both live a happy healthy life because of the relationship they have built with their loved ones.

  36. u14078687 May 1, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Although there might be a greater chance for children living with both parents to be much more happier than those with single or no parents,I agree with what most of you are saying that if both parents are happily married and together then the children will grow up knowing what happiness is and how to express love to other people.Unfortunately not every child is lucky enough to experience that.Sometimes it is not by choice but circumstances and challenges occur in life.This is what we cannot control.
    I personally commend single parents for ensuring that their children receive as much love and happiness that they can offer.It still depends on these two factors among the others.Most children with lone parents are as happy as those with both living parents.

  37. Meshack Kekana (14034388) May 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    I agree with the article because I also grew up with a single parent, my Mother. I believe that the only thing more difficult than raising a kid on your own, is raising three boys on your own. When growing up, there was never a moment whereby my two brothers I felt that we lacked another parent just to feel complete because my Mother’s love always made sure that we were as happy as we could ever be!

  38. sam May 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    that is so true

  39. Tiisetso Moasi 14081246 May 1, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    I believe that a child needs to have both parents while growing up. The child’s might be happy for now but I still think the real effect will occur when they reach adulthood. Having a single parent still seems like the child will not have a rigid development through life. Parents should always be hands-on with their children and not let a single parent take most of the responsibility.

  40. 14262691 (Swart S) May 1, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    This is a very interesting subject. Looking at the statistics it is believable that the children happiness would not be significantly different. The children were between the ages of 11 to 15, which is a relatively young age, therefor I think that the children might not be used to any other circumstances therefor their happiness will not be significantly different. I don’t fully agree with the study being done on 11-15 year olds. These young children are very impressionable and it can’t actually be proven that their ratings of their happiness are 100% accurate. Also how is it possible to rate your own happiness. This is a difficult concept to grasp. Some studies show that children from 17 years and older are more mature and I feel that the age group between 17 to 19 years of age would have been a better group to study. The site http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/26/2/549.full gives very interesting correlation between different living conditions and mental and physical health of children. This concept is actually very interesting because can you imagine yourself in a different circumstances then what you are now? Would you feel different than now?

  41. u14004951 May 1, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    When I first read this article I was not only intrigued by the studies, but also lured by the strongly opinionated comments and the platform of debate that had been posted on this blog.

    Although I found the article highly interesting I have to agree with u14080542 with regards to the fact that there are more studies proving that children who live with both parents do tend to live happier and more successful lives. This does not condone children with single parents or no parents at all. It merely means that there is a greater chance that children who do have both parents, specifically parents who are in healthy marriages, will in actual fact lead a happier and successful life. (Parke, “Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?”http://www.clasp.org/).

    How so? Although, many children will deny it – their parents play an integral role in their up-bringing. Both mother and father influence their children in what may be seemingly small, yet a very significant manner. Although a child may seem happy and say they are happy at the age of 7 or 16, they very often imply and relate to their circumstantial happiness (Dr Cloud, 2011). This implies that they are not bullied, have a couple of good relationships and have all the material goods that they may need… But does this imply that they are genuinely happy? Very often these children are in actual fact happy, but end up lacking in self confidence and often end up having broken families themselves as they never had the correct and adequate support from stable parents who simply laid strong foundations.

    I am a strong believer that happiness is choice. Thus I do believe that children with single parents can have a successful and happy life, however, due to desirable circumstances children with both parents have been proven to have a happier and successful life.

    The ultimate question regarding the controversial topic “happiness” does come forth though – What is HAPPINESS really mean to you?

  42. 14262691 (Swart S) May 1, 2014 at 12:46 am #

    This is a very interesting subject. Looking at the statistics it is believable that the children happiness would not be significantly different. The children were between the ages of 11 to 15, which is a relatively young age, therefor I think that the children might not be used to any other circumstances therefor their happiness will not be significantly different. I don’t fully agree with the study being done on 11-15 year olds. These young children are very impressionable and it can’t actually be proven that their ratings of their happiness are 100% accurate. Also how is it possible to rate your own happiness. This is a difficult concept to grasp. Some studies show that children from 17 years and older are more mature and I feel that the age group between 17 to 19 years of age would have been a better group to study. This concept is actually very interesting because can you imagine yourself in a different circumstances then what you are now? Would you feel different than now?

  43. 14059500 - Andre May 1, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    I was raised under the pretext that a child LIVES what he/she learns. If a child is raised in an inharmonious environment i.e. disgruntled parents, domestic violence etc they will be more susceptible in practicing that life style once they are older. However, having said that it could also have the opposite effect on them by ensuring that they do not live what they have learnt.

    Personally I think it would be far better to have a child removed from an unhealthy upbringing. Living with the most suitable parent/family member can only be more settling for the young child, thus ensuring a sense of stability which I think is very important in making him/her a successful and independent young adult.

  44. u14080542 April 30, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    This is a very interesting article, but unfortunately I cannot agree with it. I have read of other studies done, proving otherwise, thus that children growing up in a household with two parents are happier and more likely to succeed in life than those with a single parent. (“Why Marriage Matters: 26 Conclusions from the Social Sciences,” Bradford Wilcox, Institute for American Values, http://www.americanvalues.org/html/r-wmm.html) Of course your happiness also compiles if the life choices you make as an individual, but naturally growing up with two parents should be a healthier environment for a child to grow up in, considering that there is twice the amount of love and guiding a child can receive. These children also receive gender specific support which is of great importance. Most children grow up in single parent households because of divorce, studies also showed that children of so called “good divorces” fared worse emotionally than children who grew up in an unhappy but “low-conflict’” marriage. (“Ten Findings from a National Study on the Moral and Spiritual Lives of Children of Divorce,” Elizabeth Marquardt, http://www.betweentwoworlds.org)
    Yet this is only my opinion based on investigation done by other people, but it is the results I choose to believe more, just like someone else might take these findings more to heart.

  45. 14074657 April 30, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    I agree 110% with this article! Coming from a broken home and living with one parent has made me realize that having two parents living with you doesn’t equal happiness. A bond between a parent and child is very important, especially when the child is being faced with “your family is different”. For me, happiness is not how many parents you have, how much money is in the bank or if you are getting good grades – happiness is taking advantage of the moment and loving those close to you.

  46. Britney.S 14089328 April 30, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    I am incredibly pleased that this subject has finally been broached and that science has proven what I’ve known all along. The stereotype that children need two parents when growing up to become a ‘whole person’ is an absolute myth.The fact that society is moving away from this opinion is even better. If you look back 40 or so years ago,couples would stay together for the sake of the child so they would not be ‘scared’ of not growing up with married parents. The eventual situation would be that the child would grow up in sad home witnessing a dysfunctional marriage,leaving the child bitter with resentment toward their parents. That is more damaging than experiencing two separate and happy parents. If you grow up in a positive environment, you’ll be a more joyful person,no matter what the external circumstances are.

  47. danai muyambi (13323840) April 30, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    It is agreeable that the happiness of a child is not dependent on the number of parents the child has but it depends on the quality of the parenthood offered to the child. Children that are raised by single parents have the same capabilities as those that have both parents but the reports on these are one sided, i.e. a child that is raised by the mother may not behave the same way as a child that is raised by a father and thus their happiness may not be the same.

  48. EO Mathibela (u14093767) April 30, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    I fully agree with the article and S.Heuer(u14233802)’s comment. A child having a single parent and the one having both parents may share the same happiness provided that there is there is sufficient love and love, but there will be a minor differences in behavior. I have observed that girls who were raised by single mothers tend to have a slightly different view of men than those raised by both parents. Those raised by single mothers often either try to please other males(in an unapropriate manner) due to their lack of having a male role model who shows them love and how to behave around males. Others tend to be reluctant to the male species. Being raised by a lone parent does not affect one’s overall happiness if there is enough love and support from both the parent and entire family.

  49. 14098352 April 30, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Where there is love, there is happiness and joy. it does not matter whether you are raised by a single parent or both parents, what matters mostly is how tight your bond is with your parent/s and how you have been brought up.

  50. S.Heuer(u14233802) April 30, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    This article is exceedingly relevant in today’s society, seeing as there are many factors which can contribute to there being just one parent bringing up a child or children. Divorce, car accidents, robberies, fatalities can be prevalent and no one knows if or when something could happen. Yet, it is a choice, decision, consequence and outcome that people have to live with every day.

    Being raised by one parent definitely doesn’t make you less happy than if you had both parents. Happiness is made up of many pieces. Physical things like a house, food and money do play a slight role, as without these things it is quite difficult to just focus on the positive things in life when there is a constant worry about where you’re going to sleep tonight or when you’re going to eat next. But these things don’t make up the bulk of your emotional wellbeing and happiness. Family, be it immediate or distant or even a foster family, friends and the known feeling of being loved and appreciated will give you happiness. Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, an explicit decision to make the best of any situation. So it doesn’t matter if you have 1 parent or 2 parents, every person has the divine decision of wanting to be happy and making their happiness come true.

    A child is taught through lessons when being brought up. Certain lessons are taught by each parent, and if a parent is absent, each child reacts differently. For example: Generally a boy reacts differently to the absence of his father than a girl would. So in this case, the mother would have to show and teach the boy what she could and this doesn’t mean the boy will HAVE to be unhappy because the mother had to “teach” him, but he could make the decision to see it in a positive light and decide to be happy with his situation. And he mother could have helped the child to have a nature like this through quality parenting and how she has raised her child to give him/her perspective on happiness in their lives.

    The only comment on this article that I do not totally agree with was that the age group they choose to question, was extremely limited and they were all young. If the age group could have been more children from other age groups as the ones just chosen here generally have higher levels of fluctuating happiness from day to day in the form of how they are feeling on that day rather than an overall “bigger picture” feeling of happiness, encompassing all aspects of their life and not just for example what they had for breakfast or whether or not they got the toy they wanted.

    Overall this article makes valid points and highlights many aspects for people to think about especially in today’s social standings.

  51. Matuma(14078687) April 30, 2014 at 3:18 am #

    As I go through this article and the comments that are coming through,i notice almost all of us agree on one point,that it doesn’t matter if you’re living with both parents or not.
    Sometimes you may find that when living with both of these parents or step-parents,children are not as happy.You may find that parents are constantly fighting,calling each other names.This does of course have a negative impact on a child’s life,You may find that these children are growing to be arrogant,aggressive and often bully.This is just to emphasise the fact that it all depends on the responsibility,the love and care that you receive from your parent(s).

  52. MP Kobe(14175062) April 30, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    From my point of view I believe that family type does not have any effect on the happiness of a child.The happiness of a child is instead determined by the the type of treatment from any individual they living with and the tender loving care from those individuals.Weather the parent are biological or lone If they do not give the child love or treat the child well he/she will never be happy.How can one be happy without love?We all know that love is the root of happiness ,therefore everyone need love to be happy.

    In other words a child’s happiness is determined by the kind of love and treatment they get from the people surrounding them.Children can be happy with both biological and lone parent(s) as long as they get right treatment and the love they need.

  53. Rebecca(14013909) April 30, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    I also agree with the findings of the article in the level where they say that there are many factors contributing to the child’s happiness because I personally think that a child’s happiness is influenced by whether she/he get attention from the people around him/her,whether they are well-taken care of,whether they feel comfortable and safe in the environment they live in and whether they are allowed to explore the world rather than being denied many opportunities that children enjoy.And as longs as children have all of these then they will be happy regardless of whether they actually get these from both parents,adoptive parents or single parents.I also agree with what has been said about the comparison between children from a ‘family’ and those from an orphanage homes

  54. Priscilla Mukwevho (13375335) April 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    When I saw this article I couldn’t be more happier or either agree more with it. I personally think that children living with lone parent are happy as those with two parents.

    I think that being happy is not really influenced by whether you are raised by one parent or either two, but yet it is actually influenced by the relationship one has with the people around him or her. I mean if you have a parent or parents who love and support you, then obviously you are going to be more happy, especially because you have a great relationship with them and all you need.

    If a child is raised by a lone parent or parents who loves them, provide much support, care and provide that particular child with all that he or she need that other children wish to have, and mostly listen to that child when talking then I really don’t see why that particular child won’t be happy.

    The are many children out there who were raised by lone parent and they are much more happy like I am, because of the love they got from them. I think that despite being raised by one or two parents as long as they are willing to go an extra mile for you in order to have anything then you will remain forever happy.

    I was raised by two parents and I have a friend who was raised by a lone parent and we are both happy and no one can tell who was raised by who. So children who were raised by lone parents are much more happy like those raised by lone parents.

  55. A Bester (u14005922) April 29, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Although I believe it is better to have both your parents to take care of you (especially later in a child’s teenage life) there are cases where the amount of parents cannot be helped.

    Most of the comments are by students who can relate to the article and agree to with it. Having grown up with both my parents, I cannot think about life without one of them. They each had a different role to play in my life that would have been impossible for the other one play.

    Either way, I think each person is responsible for his/her own happiness. Do you have a positive outlook on life? Do you stand up for yourself when others trample on you? Do you care for your relationships with the people around you? These are all things that have an influence on one’s happiness.

    At the age seven, children won’t know these things yet and their happiness is determined by whether they are loved at home. But later in life children with both single and 2 parents will determine their own happiness because it’s the life they were given and the only life they know and have. Make the best of it.

  56. Leah u14014689 April 29, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    I completely agree with the research as I have grown up in a lone parent environment myself and I can safely say I am a happy person . A child’s happiness does not depend on who is around but on how much love , affection and attention they get from whoever is around. That is why , I believe children who have grown up in orphanages are more likely to be unhappy . They do not receive a lot of love and affection as there are just to many of them in most of those orphanages. However such children tend to be happier after they are adopted as they now receive a lot of the attention and love that generally constitutes to a child’s happiness. I agree with the above comments as they all support my opinion that happiness does not depend on who the child has around.
    However 14035279 does make an excellent point in stating that sometimes there is a gap that is created when a biological parent is replaced by a step parent or an adoptive parent . In this case there is a bond that has been created between parent and child and that parent not being there creates a void that may lead to unhappiness.

  57. Matuma(14078687) April 29, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    I totally agree with the fact that you don’t need a house full of a thousand people in order to be happy.It all depends on the kind of love and happiness you receive from those taking care of you.I lived with both parents until I was ten years old when they got divorced.I must say,I’m much more happier right now living my mother as a lone parent.Single parents are capable of ensuring that there is a hundred percent happiness in the house.

  58. Matuma(14078687) April 29, 2014 at 5:26 am #

    I totally agree with the fact that it doesn’t really matter if you’re living in a house full of a thousand people,what matters is the kind of love and happiness you receive from those taking care of you.I lived with both parents,until i was ten years old when they got divorced.I must say,I’m much more happier right now living with a lone parent,my mother.Single parents are capable of bringing a 100% happiness in the house.

  59. Letlotlo (u14065012) April 29, 2014 at 4:49 am #

    I totally agree with most of the findings in this articles because I believe that a child’s happiness does not depend on the number of parents he/she has but what type of relationship he/she has with the parents that are there in his/her life. What I like about this article is that it eliminates the believe that most people have that a child must have both biological parents in his/her life to be happy. There are many households today where children are raised by single or adoptive parents and they are living very happy lives and also households where both biological parents are presents but the children’s level of happiness is very low.

  60. smangele malema(14125316) April 29, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    although the golden standard tradition in communities is that a child is happier with both parents,i totally disagree with the norm.i was interested in reading this article because i can relate to it. my dad has never been around but that never stopped my siblings and i,from waking up each day with a big smile on our faces. there were struggles,especially financially but by the grace of God my mother was the woman and the man of the house. in fact,based on the latest census Burea statistics,there are over 14 million single parent households with children under the age of 18. that is a lot of people and it gives me a reason to celebrate. at the end of the day,what matters is the quality of the relationship among the family,and not the composition of the family. if there is love,caring,sharing and laughter,then the family type has no significant effect on the happiness of the child. good article indeed,i like it!

  61. E. Manhanga(u14182964) April 29, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    I agree with the views expressed in the article as well as the above comments. From my personal experience being raised by a single mother, I am no different from my peers. The quality of the relationships between guardians and their children determines the level of happiness within the home, not the quantity. A happy parent makes a happy child and in turn a happy home.

  62. Nokwanda(14112966) April 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    I think the article is very insightful and for me personally, confirms something that has been apparent in my life. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had a stepfather and times where my mother was single and in both those situations, my levels of happiness didn’t change. I think that’s because my mother didn’t change or started treating me differently in both those situations,so it made the changes much easier to adapt to and also my step-dad was a decent person. The quality of the relationships is what makes one happy,not just in a family situation but also in friendships,romantic relationships etc. I think that if everything that happens in the family is properly explained to the,there will be reduced levels of unhappiness for the child,in any type of family.

  63. A Bester (u14005922) April 28, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    There are very insightful comments on this article. I agree with most of them. The article isn’t accurate enough since it doesn’t take the role that the gender of the parent plays in the later years of the child’s life into consideration. Especially if it is a father and a teenage daughter.

    For example: how will a teenage daughter be able to discuss topics like the physical and emotional changes she is going through with her father? How can a teenage boy look at his mother as a rollmodel as to “what it is to be a man”?
    The gender of the parents play a large role in the emotional growth of a child’s life. At the age of seven it doesn’t matter that much yet.
    But in the later phase of child’s life he/she will need both the gender’s as rollmodels.

  64. zandile(14035279) April 28, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    I fully agree with the findings on the forth family-type. I believe the presence of biological parents and their contributions in the up-bringing of a child is of utmost importance in fulfilling the ideal amounts of happiness a child must have. Adoptive parents and other guardians do not fully close the biological parent’s gap, as most of them never really love the children like their biological parents would have, the same goes for treatment.

  65. C Marais 14071046 April 28, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    In this century it is more often seen that children will not grow up with both their biological parents and yet these children grow up perfectly normal. There are still a lot of people that believe that children from broken homes tend to be resentful and resemble anger towards the people raising them. Children are actually very easily adaptable to change in circumstances; all they want is a save environment and love and affection and they will be happy thus I agree with this research.

    A lot of children live daily within a “broken home” and yet they do not tend to suicide thoughts because they are unhappy with their care givers. There are some cases where children do not accept their step-parent but this is sorely because of abuse by this person. If a teenager is involved it might be because of rebellion. In almost all of the cases where a child does not get raised by both his/her biological parents he/she will adapt to their new circumstances. Children needs stability and stability is not only provided by living with both biological parents.

    I know a lot of people who grew up successfully despite not living with both biological parents and this research only confirms that if you grow up in a loving home it does not matter how that family is synthesized.

  66. C Marais April 28, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    In this century it is more often seen that children will not grow up with both their biological parents and yet these children grow up perfectly normal. There are still a lot of people that believe that children from broken homes tend to be resentful and resemble anger towards the people raising them. Children are actually very easily adaptable to change in circumstances; all they want is a save environment and love and affection and they will be happy thus I agree with this research.

    A lot of children live daily within a “broken home” and yet they do not tend to suicide thoughts because they are unhappy with their care givers. There are some cases where children do not accept their step-parent but this is sorely because of abuse by this person. If a teenager is involved it might be because of rebellion. In almost all of the cases where a child does not get raised by both his/her biological parents he/she will adapt to their new circumstances. Children needs stability and stability is not only provided by living with both biological parents.

    I know a lot of people who grew up successfully despite not living with both biological parents and this research only confirms that if you grow up in a loving home it does not matter how that family is synthesized.

  67. Favian(14016053) April 28, 2014 at 6:45 am #

    I agree to an extent with some of the points brought forward by the article, still feel though that there are a few factors that researches can look at.

    For example, yes children of a young age who only have one parent figure are ok and happy at the moment, but i feel that is because they don’t have a real understanding of what has just happened. so testing it on children between 7 and 15 is all good and well but what about kids who are now 18 and over, what if they only start feeling the emotional effects, caused by growing up with one or no parent at all, now?

    Another thing is that we, especially children, are easily made happy, so to test whether children are effected by growing up with a single parent is not accurately shown by whether they are happy or not. Researches should have a look at other things that are effected by unstable emotions.

    A good article. Feel it is just the beginning though at looking at how kids are effected by growing up with a single or no parent at all.

  68. Tasneem Khan (14002478) April 28, 2014 at 5:14 am #

    Quite an interesting read as I too am as happy as a teenager can be given the fact that I have been raised by both my biological parents. The romanticism associated with having to grow up with different families does at times beckon especially when my points of view are challenged or not supported when raised. This melodrama is I suppose associated with most teenage whims.

    Michael does however shed an interesting perspective, supportive of my own family experiences associated with not having to grow up with one’s own biological parents. Case in point; the passing of my aunt during childbirth and the rearing of my baby cousin by my gran over the years, demonstrates the point that in the absence of a single parent, happiness is directly related to the amount of love and encouragement a child will receive.

    Case in point: The untimely passing of my dad’s own father in his childhood shows also that with a traumatic experience, given appropriate time to readjust one can find happiness in ways contrary to the norm. By this I mean that in the conservative background in which my dad was grown up in, he says that his misfortune allowed him ways to express his emotions through mechanisms not appreciated by his peers and those within his family circle. In the absence of a father he sought to find a father figure or role model in strong influences he encountered in his early years. Anyone from an uncle to even a favorite superhero or a strong personality like the late Bruce Lee would influence his psyche. This is evident in his love for the martial arts and appreciation for the European Arts; paintings and the like as well as his passion for the great classics by Thomas Hardy and comparative religion.

    The happiness of the child can be tempered through mutual respect and love which the guardian exposes the child to, and the key is to be supportive and conscious to not only the well-being of the child but to channel all energies towards the stimulus and direction in which the talents and interests of the child gravitates.

  69. C Ludick u14201829 April 28, 2014 at 1:36 am #

    This article immediately caught my attention as I was also raised by a single parent. I agree with the article that the fact that a child is being raised by a single parent does not have an influence on a child’s happiness. A child’s happiness depends on the quality of the parenting. If you have just one parent, that is a good parent, a child will still be very happy. I also have to add that I do feel the absence of one parent does have an influence on a child’s development in the long run. But being raised by a single parent definitely does not mean you will be less happy than those children with two parents.

  70. Nevanya 14068398 April 27, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    This article is very interesting when considering the dynamics of family and how it affects people.
    The surveys that were conducted on children aged 7, and children aged 11-15, on whether or not the number of parents as well as whether the parents were biological or adoptive showed interesting statistics. The components that made up a family were less important than the relationships between the family and members of the society.

    Happiness does not necessarily depend on the number of parents you have, as I have seen many kids raised by one parent appear happier than those raised by two. Happiness is something that not only depends on your wellbeing but also on the wellbeing of critical family members like parents and siblings. Relationships are a huge factor when considering happiness, not only with family but with members of the society as well.

    Relationships form the basis of any child’s support system, helping them develop, ensuring they grow up to be the best they can be. A child’s happiness doesn’t depend on the amount of parents, but on how the child is raised and what that child experiences that adds to his perspective of what happiness is.

    I personally think that relationships with siblings and especially parents have a huge affect on a child’s happiness. Spending time with family, having good relationships and having good relationships with school mates and your society influences how happy you are. My happiness certainly depended on my relationship and support from my parents. they provided me with everything I needed to be successful thus far and I am grateful every day.

  71. A Bester(u14005922) April 27, 2014 at 6:59 am #

    This is an interesting article. I agree that the number of parents a child has or whether it the biological parents won’t have a influence on the child’s happiness at the age of seven. I feel that the factor that determines the happiness of a child at the age of seven isn’t the quantity of parents but rather the quality in wich this child has been raised. At seven years, a happy child is one who knows that he or she is loved and accepted. A happy child at the age of seven is one who knows he or she belongs somewhere and that he/she has someone who is taking care of him/her. The care taker doesn’t even have to be a biological parent. A happy child is one who knows he/she is loved.

  72. Ngcobo 13317033 April 27, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    After reading this article, I must say that I am pleased with the results obtained from the studies that took place. Personally, I had a much happier childhood being raised by a single parent since I was not being exposed to a toxic environment at home. I think that people, and especially parents, need to let go of this idea that not raising a child with both parents living under the same roof will ruin the child’s happiness. Being raised by a single parent should not be seen as a disadvantage. People need to stop looking at the child being raised by a single parent with pity or saying that the girl being raised without a father has “daddy issues”.
    I have friends who grew up with both their parents and I had the same opportunities that they had, in fact, some of those friends were unhappy at home even though they had both parents there.I am glad that this article validates what I have always believed, that being raised by one or both parents does not determine how happy you are as a child.

  73. Kelsey(u14053749) April 27, 2014 at 2:56 am #

    This article has indeed shed some light on many household situations.I agree with the study in the fact that children with one parent are just as happy as children with both biological parents.I think in many cases children become unhappy in these cases when they are constantly made aware that thy may be disadvantaged in some way,however if children are in an environment where they are taught that they are not at all disadvantaged by having one parent ,I believe they will be equally happy.As people are known to behave according to what they have been taught or told.Although I agree largely with the study I do think that the study should be carried out on older children as well.As older children are more likely to display and interpret their true feelings on a certain matter and produce more accurate results for the study.

  74. u14052564 April 27, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    I found this article to be one which I could quite easily relate to due to personal experience. My parents divorced when i was thirteen years old and i have ever since lived with my mum. I am proud to say that i am more than 100% happy living entirely with one parent only! i have absolutely no contact my father and prefer to keep it that way. Personal experience has taught me that it is entirely upon a person of what they make of their circumstances.
    Being a happy person does not entail having both your parents. Although it may be influenced by various factors such as your relationships happiness is also dependent upon factors such as stability and support and if this is offered by one parent only, it is all that a child needs.
    Now that I am at varsity, I find it difficult to live without my mum as she has been the one offered me the support when I needed it the most. This article was truly an inspiring one, one which was easy to relate to and most certainly brought a smile to my face!

  75. Jeremy (14082935) April 27, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    I agree with this blog, as i am one of those children that have been living with a single parent for majority of my life. I must say for these years I was not a depressed, sad or even a child that will retaliate impulsively. I was brought up correctly with a lovable mother, who cared and did the most that she could do. However because my mother was not the bread winner in my earlier years, When my father left we had to soon adapt to the changes, and this is the part where many separated families can struggle and where the child will become a rebel and would start disliking the mother because he will retaliate by saying, “its all your fault”. In some instances the child may even think its their fault that their parents divorced and thus may live with depression. This could also effect the child’s later years as he/she would not have had a proper upbringing as the father would not have been their as a role model.

    However this was not my case as I was inspired by what my mom was doing to turn her life around and i was glad that I could do it with her as it strengthened our relationship, but at the same time I was not going to leave my Father as it was a time where he also needed support and therefore I saw him regularly and also the father and son bond was strengthened. And now I am as happy as I could be.

    Therefore I would just like to say to those who are or who have been in this same situation that all you need is patience and to give your parents the support they need.

  76. Michael Ridge April 27, 2014 at 12:50 am #

    While this article does have a certain degree of merit to it, i feel that it is flawed. I feel the study was not in depth enough.
    I have had experience in this regard myself as my parents were both killed when I was very young. i have subsequently lived with two different families. From my own experience, i am happy, possibly as happy as i would have been had my parents still been alive, but i have always felt that there was a part of my life missing. One’s surroundings are in essence what makes one happy or unhappy, but this does not mean that having one’s biological parents or not makes no difference. Additionally, I feel that the studies were done on an children that were too young. When one is 7, one often doesn’t comprehend much about family and family dynamics. From experience, as i got older – specifically in teenage years – I started longing for my parents. When i was younger, the reality that i would never know my parents or see them again had not quite registered in my mind. While this does not necessarily make me feel more or less happy, i feel that it does influence my life. I feel that when one has both one’s biological parents, there will always be a sense of belonging – whether conscious or subconscious. When one stays with parents other than one’s biological parents, one feels that there is always something missing from one’s life.
    I feel that this study should be redone on children who are older, who can give a more mature emotional response.
    14029350

  77. M Mkhombo 14065356 April 26, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    This article is quite relevant in this advanced era of social reliability; where social satisfaction doesn’t originate from our paternity but rather from the world around us, being our siblings, friends, hobbies, school etc.

    Single and Step Parented families and Adoption have become a typical social norm in our times, such that being raised or parented by your two biological parents has seized being a factor in determining how happy or a well-grown individual you grow to become.

    Children’s happiness comes from the attention, security and love they receive from the environment around them regardless of how how they are parented.

    Thank You.

  78. T Khoali (u14154715) April 26, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    This article is very relevant to a lot of people in our generation as there are more divorces than marriages.

    To a certain extent I agree with this article, a child can be happy whether they have both their parents or just one present in their lives. I have done some community service and have been to orphanages and I have seen how even the children without parents can be happy. I believe that all a child needs to experience happiness is love and obviously the essentials that a human being needs. When a child feel that they are loved and cared for there is a certain happiness that they feel. Having both their parents or just one present does not influence their level of happiness. there are other factors that influence a child’s happiness as mentioned in this article.

    I have a lot of friends who grew up in single-parent homes and they sometimes even seem happier than those who live with both their parents. Happiness is a state of mind, it is a choice that one makes.

    There are other factors that may influence a child’s happiness later on in their life but like I said before it is a choice one makes. The way that child was brought up is the ultimate decider of their mindset, which will make them decide whether to be happy or not.

  79. Craigh(14050791) April 26, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    A very interesting article in regarding to todays times as it seems that more parents are divorced leaving children with single mothers- or fathers raising the question if these children grow up as happy as their friends with both parents together.

    The research provided indicates that there are more factors than just parents which could influence a childs’ happiness. I agree with this as your environment plays a key role in happiness. I was for example raised only by my dad and I did not find any difficulties in being happy, but I did go to a private school, was raised in a well-off part of town and my dad also never neglected me, he raised me with good values and was my hero.

    The only part which I don’t agree 100% with is that the statistics were based on childrens’ answer, this for me is not very reliable as a child could easily be influenced or feel happy today and forget everything that happened yesterday.

    In a short summary I think the way you are raised and where you are raised can have an effect on how happy you are, thus parents should try and be the best parents they can be (single, married or even not biological) and make sure that the kids are not exposed to bad surroundings.

  80. Bianca Surike Jacobs April 26, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    I don’t entirely agree with this study that children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents. There are a few reasons why I have this view. Nowhere in the study is it mentioned that the research distinguish between the effects gender differences between children and the single parent might have. And how will boys opposed to girls experience life in all its aspects with the support and guidance of merely a single parent? As the existence of a child can only occur with the combination of a female and male’s cells, the education, support and upbringing of a child by a mother and a father are equally essential.

    In 2011, psychologists Sarah E. Hill and Danielle J. DelPriore, both at Texas Christian University, took note of the subtle fact about Tennessee that nearly one in four households was headed by a single mother. Researchers have revealed a robust association between father absence—both physical and psychological—and accelerated reproductive development and sexual risk-taking in daughters. when I first read the article “Where’s dad” I couldn’t believe how the change in a girl’s environment—the departure of her father—influence something as central to biology as her reproductive development?
    The results of Hill’s study brought the following results: “When Dad is absent, it basically provides young girls with a cue about what the future holds in terms of the mating system they are born into. When a girl’s family is disrupted, and her father leaves or is not close to her, she sees her future: men don’t stay for long, and her partner might not stick around either. So finding a man requires quick action. The sooner she is ready to have children, the better. She cannot consciously decide to enter puberty earlier, but her biology takes over, subconsciously. The conclusion was that growing up with emotionally or physically distant fathers in early to middle childhood could be “a key life transition” that alters sexual development. “This would help facilitate what we call, in evolutionary sciences, a faster reproductive strategy,” Hill said.
    Thus a girl raised in the absence of a father constantly lives in a fear of rejection or loneliness and therefore couldn’t possibly be as happy as a girl raised in the presence of both her mother and father (providing the absence of abuse or any other negative household influences).
    The other question I have is doen’t boys react differently to the absence of a father than girls? Have someone considered this view?

  81. A van Zyl (14003482) April 26, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    I found this article very interesting as I have experienced two of the different family types in my short eighteen years of life. My parents got divorced when I was two years old so for my early childhood years I lived mainly with my mother and saw my father every second weekend. As the studies suggest, this did not hinder my happiness in any way as I knew no different. I grew up with the mind set that my situation was normal and thought nothing of the fact that my parents were not living together. I had many friends at school as well as in the complex I was living in and so I was never lonely, despite being an only child.

    When my parents reconciled, I was eight years old and therefore had the mental capacity to understand how this would change my life. However, I adapted very well and was grateful to have our little family together again. My parents are still happily married today.

    I agree with the study as it implies that a child’s happiness will not be negatively affected as long as certain factors are present, such as stability, support and love. In hindsight, I recognise that these factors were present in my life and for this reason I could be happy.

  82. Ryan Walton(14060168) April 26, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    This article caught my attention as I have many family members and friends with lone parents or step-parents. I have generally, yet ignorantly, believed that one would always be happier with two biological parents. I am delighted to see some facts for a change! It is now clearer to me that there are many strong lone parents out there and that factors such as health and school make the difference between happiness and unhappiness. I understand that a child with step parents can live a perfectly happy life; my question is: a child growing up with a lone parent, do they receive all the roles and life lessons learnt by that of a child with two parents? For me, there are different lessons learnt from a mother and a father. What I have learnt today is that happiness is only enhanced by a parent, be it a biological parent, a lone parent or a step parent. I am fortunate in my circumstances and also pleased to hear that there are truly inspirational parents out there who make there lives for their children so special! Thank you for the factual research.

  83. Simoné Richter April 26, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    This article immediately caught my attention. Although I am now in university and in a hostel, I used to live with only my mother. Therefor I found this article very interesting.

    It is most certainly true that a person’s happiness is influenced by several factors. Still I would agree with the article and say that a single parent is not a factor that influences happiness. Due to my personal experiences, I believe that a single parent can provide the same amount of happiness as two biological parents or even a step-parent can provide.

    I am now eighteen years old and I am still happy with my life and my family. My mother gave me just as much reasons, if not more, to by as happy as a child with two biological parents. Happiness is a choice and your parent or parents can only enhance you to make the choice of being happy. Therefor you would not be less happy with one parent or step-parents.

    The way you are raised by your parent or parents is the factor that may influence your happiness. Thus if you are a child of a single parent, know that you may be just as happy!

  84. C Grobler April 25, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    This article truly brought a smile to my face when I read it as I have personal experience with friends and family who only live with one biological parent. I always felt sorry for these people as I could not think of my life without one of my parents. I always believed your parents help form you into the person you will be in your life and I wondered if this would effect my friends and their future, but to read this really brought a sense of relieve now knowing there is scientific evidence that proves the state of your family does not alter the sense of happiness we experience at home with our parents. I still believe that not having a specific parent in your childhood will have an impact on how you develop and handle specific situations and will effect your personality in later stages of your life. I am blessed with wonderful parents, but it is really good to hear that children with only one parent are also happy and enjoys their childhood just like I do. u14063329

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