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Statement of Problem

Over the past few years, the researcher has observed that there has been a surge in the number of

social ill present in Charlestown, the most prevalent one being the presence of single parent

families within the area. Many of these families in the community struggle to make ends meet

and are unable to provide stable support in their households. As a result of this, their homes

become broken and their child/children are unable to function properly as they are left

unattended.

Therefore, this research will be based on the effects of a child being in a single parent family.
Aims

To evaluate the factors that contribute to being a single parent.


To evaluate the effects of being in a single parent family.

Objectives

To educate the neighbourhood that single parent families are prevalent in the community.
To raise awareness to families that the child/children is/are being greatly affected by

living in a single parent family.


Introduction

The family is one of the oldest social institutions. Murdock (1949) defined it as a social group

characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction.

A family should be presented like a circle which is composed of a mother, a father and children

living together. It should be one in which affection is showered daily and where peace and

harmony is prevailed.

In the Charlestown, many persons cannot attest to having the ideal family or even a family of

that sort. Single parent families have erupted throughout the community over the years and as a

result, these families are unable to provide stable financial support in their households.

Without the existence of single parent families, a family would be one which can be described as

one of a strong bond, one where commitment and communication exists. Therefore, the main

ingredient love and affection would not be lacking. This would therefore occur, if the family

is not a broken one due to the absence of one parent.

As such, the purpose of this study is to explore the effects of being a child in a soingle parent

family in Charlestown.
Sociological Perspective

The researcher used Quantitative method. Quantitative data allowed the researcher to utilize the

theory of Positivism which suggests that the study of human behavior would be possible by

using natural science like observations. The Functionalist perspective on the family states that

the family has certain prescribed functions which are necessary for society to operate efficiently.

However with a social issue like the presence of single parent families, society cannot function

efficiently.The use of this research gave the researcher objectives about the findings of the

research,

Thus, the researcher was able to understand the effects of being a child in a single parent family.
Research Design
The researcher used the quantitative method in order to establish the effects of being a child in a

single parent family. The researcher made use of questionnaires which were distributed to Fifteen

(15) persons of the Charlestown community. Questionnaires were used because data can be

collected in a short period of time, it is cheaper to use and the responds from respondents are

confidential. These respondents were chosen because they were sought to have experience the

feeling of being in a single parent family and as such, more accurate information couldve been

gathered from them. These questionnaires were distribute on November 23, 2016 and were

collected one day later. After the questionnaires were returned, the data was analyzed and the

researcher presented them in the form of charts and tables.

After all necessary data were collected, the researcher further analyzed them in order to complete

the study.

Analysis of Findings
During the period 1996-2012, it has been reported by the minister of Human Services, Volda

Lawrence that in Guyana persons divorce, separate and experience teenage pregnancy. As a

result, a plight of single parent families have emerge and this study aims to determine the effects

of a child being in a single parent family

During the period 1994 2014 it was noted that the causes of single parent families may include

separation, divorce, migration, and death. Firstly, figure 1 indicates the causes of becoming a

single parent in Charlestown. It can be seen that sixty percent (60%) of the respondents stated

that the leading cause of becoming a single parent is by Separation, twenty percent (20%) stated
that divorce is another cause while five percent (5%) indicated that migration and death are also

causes.

Figure 2 highlights the effects of being a child in a single parent family. Forty percent (40%) of

the respondents stated that the child may have a low esteem, thirty percent (30%) stated that they

may show behavioral problems, twenty percent (20%) stated that they may have limited time

spent with the parent while 10% percent stated that some might become school dropouts.

Figure 3 shows how the community can assist single parent families in need. Twenty percent

(20%) stated that the community can support them financially, ten percent (10%) stated that they

can establish night care facilities for parents working at nights, fifty percent (50%) stated that

they can distribute hampers while twenty - five percent (25%) stated that they can have

mentorship service.

Therefore, the conclusion which can be drawn is that a child is indeed affected as a result of

being in a single parent family.

Discussion of Findings and Conclusion

It can be noted that any persons in the community are exposed to different factors of becoming a

single parent. The aims and objectives were achieved as the questionnaires were completed by

the respondents and analyzed. The results proved that a child being in a single parent family is

vastly affected.
There are many reasons leading up to an individual becoming a single parent, namely separation,

divorce, migration or even death Separation may be due to a number of factors such as infidelity

and or financial problems etc. One parent may migrate to another country, losing contact with the

other parent and in some instances one parent may die due to some unfortunate circumstances

leaving the other parent behind to struggle in order to make ends meet.

A child growing up in a single parent family maybe affected in several ways. Firstly, a child may

have a low esteem. Most children feel unappreciated and blame themselves for the parent

situation. According to a study done in the United States by Beckford (2010) children from

single parent families are almost five times likely to develop emotional problems.

Secondly, the child may become a school dropout due to being in a single parent family. A single

parent may find it hard to provide the basic needs for their child to attend school and as such the

child may lack these basic needs and may eventually become a school dropout.

There are many approaches that the community can take in order to assist single parent families.

The community can distribute hampers to the families. These hampers may consist of some of

the basic needs like food, clothing etc. which can aid in the survival of the family. They can also

establish night care facilities for parents who work at night. These facilities can help to take care

of children who have not reach the age to take care of themselves and they can also be given the

basic needs at these facilities. With the communitys contribution, members would be aware of

the prevalence of single parent families within the neighborhood.

In order to educate the community about the presence of single parent families in the area, flyers

and posters can be placed around the neighborhood highlighting the problems the family face
and the effects it has on the child. In addition, in order to raise awareness to family members

about their affected child, counselling sessions maybe established

Based on this research, it can be said that a child is indeed affected