of a broken family:
A broken family consists of a biological family
that has separated for specific reasons that
may result in single-parent families, stepfamilies,
or blended families.
are many effects on children in broken homes.....
behavior & learning problems
behavior problems at school with teachers, acting out against peers,
and generally not wanting to cooperate with any assignments or
instructions, and they also may have diffifulties concentrating and
understanding assignments. Children might lean toward the negative side
to peer pressure. At home, children may act out against siblings, their
biological parent and a possible stepparent. It was found
that adolexcents had fewer behavior problems if there is a positive
relationship not ony with biological parents, but if stepparents are
involved, specailly a strong relationship with stepfathers (White
& Gilbreth, 2001, as cited in Santrock, 2005, p. 336).
tend to have a hard time dealing with change. When a parent
leaves the family, a stepparent joins the family, or the child doesn't
feel like their emotional needs are being met by their mother, they may
express feelings of anger, resentment, confusion and jealousy.
This can bring on loneliness, isolation, depression and low self-esteem
if children don't know how to express their feelings properly (Bigner,
levels of parent-child disagreements
children are confused with different things going on in the family
school and they have feelings of frustration, more disagreements
occur. Behavior problems tend to increase for boys when a
step-father is introduced to the family (Muzi, 2000).
levels of parent-child interactions
single family homes, children develop greater autonomy where they
spend more time alone or with peers. It was found that sons are
likely to resist directives and rules, where as daughters typically
closer relationship to their mother (Freeman, 2002). However, if
inappropriately discuss financial matters with their children
express a negative feeling toward their ex-spouse, it can decrease the
desire for the child to spend tine with the parent due to increase
confusion about the whole situation (Bigner, 2002).
adjusting issues that children may have
include academic problems,
internalizing and externalixing problems, low self esteem, and early
in sexual activities (Anderson & others, 1999, as cited in
2005, p. 336).
A great resource on different problems and issues can be found on
The Allen Group homepage
families and coping with stepfamiy issues....
for distress in the child.
»Notice if the child prefers to be alone to cope -vs-
taking about the issue.
»Watch for the child expressing feelings of anger and
»Don't push the issue of bonding with a stepparent...
it may take awhile, especially where areas of
discipline are concerned. The biological
should have the main authority role to ease
transition (Santrock, 2005).
»Have open communication with all family members.
»Respect boundaries and have patience with everyone
»Understand that it's natural for everyone to have
feelings of anxiety, fear and guilt (Muzi, 2000).
on these can be found at How to make it
in families and coping with single parent family issues....
»Prioritize between work,
school, events and family.
»Get support and spend time with your children as much as possible.
»Don't go overboard on discipline. Some things children do are a
normal part of their development and some parents
jump on their children making more rules/restrictions,
which only worsen the problem.
»If possible, try to keep the other parent involved, or an adult
figure of the opposite sex, to provide more stability.
Model a healthy, positive relationship so all the
responsibility isn't on one person.
Some basic statistics....
in three Americans is a member of a
Half of America's youth are
or will be
involved in one or more
during their lifespan.
Of children under 18 years of age living with 2
parents, 76.1% are living with both biological
parents, 10.3 % are living with their biological
mother and a stepfather, .6% are living with
their biological father and a stepmother, and the
other 10% have other living situtions.
Of American children under 18 years of
age living in single parent homes, the
majority live with their biological mother
versus their biological father.
Additional resources for single
parents and tips to aid in coping can be found at
For resources on adjusting to stepfamilies, go to...
For resources on effective parenting go to...
Other references used...
Bigner, J. (2002). Parent-Child
Relations: An Intoduction to Parenting. (6th ed).
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill
Freeman, H. S. Family transitions during the adolescent transition:
for parenting. Adolescence.
Fall 2002. Retrieved September 27, 2004 online via
Muzi, M. J. (2000). The experience
of Parenting. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.