The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


What impact on children do the different family structures have?

There is a fair amount of evidence that children in single-parent families have more emotional, academic, and social problems than children in two-parent families. However, this data is confounded by the fact that many single-parent families have greater levels of poverty, less education, and are more likely to live in high-crime neighborhoods. What is clearly important is that parents need adequate social support, financial resources, and protection from inordinate stress in order to provide a stable and nurturing home for their children. The incidence of homosexual parents with children has also risen in recent decades. Research shows that such children do not differ from children of heterosexual parents in emotional and social adjustment. Nor do they seem to differ in sexual orientation, with the vast majority developing heterosexual orientations. However, the social environment in which children of homosexual parents are raised does make a difference; accepting environments promote positive adjustment while environments that do not accept gay families can take a huge psychological toll on children.


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