It can get very difficult to raise a child as a single parent. It is a stressful process. But a recent study has proven that a financially stable single mother and her children have a greater social support network with siblings, parents, friends and neighbour than nuclear families. While comparing the well-being of children being brought up by single-mother-by-choice and heterosexual two-parent families, the researchers found no difference in terms of parent-child relationship or child development. Investigator Mathilde Brewaeys from VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam said that children brought up by single mother are doing as well as any other normal child.
"Single-mothers-by-choice and their children benefit from a good social support network and this should be emphasised in the counselling of women who want to have and raise a child without a partner," Brewaeys added.
Most of the European countries have fertility treatment of single women and it is becoming increasingly popular among single women who want to have a child without a partner.
"The assumption that growing up in a family without a father is not good for the child is based mainly on research into children whose parents are divorced and who thus have experienced parental conflict," explained Ms Brewaeys.
"A strong social network is of crucial importance," said Ms Brewaeys. "So I would recommend that all women considering single motherhood by choice make sure of a strong social network - brothers, sisters, parents, friends of neighbours. And to never be afraid to ask for help."
However, it seems likely that any negative influence on child development depends more on a troubled parent-child relationship and not on the absence of a father, the researchers noted.Single-mothers-by-choice knowingly make the decision to raise their child alone, in contrast to unintended single mothers.
They analysed 69 single-mothers-by-choice (who had knowingly chosen to raise their child alone) and 59 mothers from heterosexual two-parent families with a child between the ages of 1.5 and six years.The parent-child relationships, mothers' social support network and children's well-being were compared.
The single mothers by choice showed substantially higher scores on the social support they received, but also needing more social support. Most women involved with the study were financially stable and had received a higher education and meaningful partner relationships in their past.
The research would be presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of ESHRE in Geneva.
(With ANI Inputs)
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