A growing number of children are struggling with hunger, lack of medical care, and homelessness. These challenges often go hand in hand, and single mothers and fathers in particular are often the hardest-hit groups. More than half of all families with children under the age of five fall below basic income levels, as are nearly 60 percent of two-parent households. And despite the economic climate, these families still face many hardships.
Single mothers and single fathers are most likely to experience hardships
Studies show that single fathers are generally better off than single mothers, although stigmas can still exist. A 2015 review of the literature revealed that men aren’t as capable of parenting alone as women. It is generally assumed that women will remain at home with their children and care for them. As a result, single fathers face additional challenges. These challenges may be less apparent if they have a partner to share the parenting responsibilities with.
Men make up a growing percentage of the population, and in the US, they are more educated and older than single mothers. According to a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, 56% of single fathers are white, compared to 33% of non-white single mothers. They are also less likely to live below the poverty line and are more likely to be married.
Substance abuse and neglectful parents
These children are victims of the vicious cycle of substance abuse and neglect. Adverse parenting is not uncommon among parents who have substance abuse problems, but it can also occur when parents are financially unable to provide for their children. The consequences of such a cycle can be far more serious than those of physical abuse. Child abuse and neglect often run in families, and it can lead to the demise of a child.
Child neglect can be classified as emotional, physical, or educational neglect. Physical neglect occurs when a parent fails to provide for a child’s physical needs, lacks supervision, or engages in violent behavior. It can also include sexual abuse, which damages a child’s self-esteem. Other forms of child neglect include not providing adequate food and shelter, and not teaching them how to develop emotionally.
Substance abuse is common among substance abusers
Substance abuse is a serious health problem. Substance abusers often experience physical and mental health problems. Substance abuse can lead to risky behavior, which increases the risk of legal consequences. Women who use drugs are at a higher risk for pregnancy complications, childbirth defects, miscarriage, and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Sadly, many of these individuals have no idea that they are causing a lot of damage to their families and communities.
While men are more likely than women to use illicit drugs, alcohol, and other substances, women are twice as likely to be hospitalized for overdoses. Men are also more likely to experience a hangover after consuming substances, resulting in missed work and increased risk of injury. Men and women have different bodies and the effects of substances are often similar, but women have more extreme symptoms and are more likely to be arrested for drug abuse.
Child neglect is common among substance abusers
Substance abuse is a significant risk factor for child neglect. Children of drug and alcohol abusers are twice as likely to experience physical abuse and neglect. One study found that 57 percent of families with substance abuse problems had neglected children. Alcohol abuse is the most common substance used by drug and alcohol abusers, and it is linked with physical abuse in most cases. Alcohol abuse is also the most common cause of family violence, although the male partner is more likely to commit the violent acts.
Children of substance abusers often experience developmental problems. Some substance abuse can even lead to birth defects. Newborns born to parents who use drugs or alcohol may have abnormalities in their development, including attachment problems. The effects of substance abuse on children can be serious and irreversible. Many parents fail to provide proper supervision for their children, leaving them at risk for injury and neglect. Children in this situation have a difficult time relating to their parents, and may have difficulty communicating their feelings or thinking clearly.