An Unbalanced Household Opens The Doors To An Unbalanced Life

Data from the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues.


Single parenthood is a serious and common challenge that has strong everlasting effects. The emotional impact on youth is important to consider. To show this, in an interview with Lorena Roque, a 13 year old mexican female resident of Oakland who grew up without her dad, speaks from personal experience. Roque believes that single parenthood “affects me because, like, I don’t get the full experience of being a kid and growing up because I’m missing a part of my childhood which should be there, but it’s not” (Roque). The group most affected by this challenge are youth of color. The graph above shows the percentage of youth under 18 who are raised by a single parent from the years 1970 to 2014. The race most affected by this challenge are Black youth with 54% of youth under 18 living with single parents  and with Hispanic youth following with the second highest percentage.

In order for youth who’ve grown up with a single parent to be successful, they need extra support to accommodate for that guardian they lack. This extra support could be in the form of a personal parental advisor in school that the child can become close to and see as an accommodating parent figure. However, to assure the child does acquire the chance to have a true feeling of closeness to this personal advisor, the advisor would extend their assistance outside of school and academics. The way the child can access this advisor is through school accommodations.    

Negative Effect of issue:

In her response, Roque mentions how she didn’t have the full experience of a childhood, meaning that she must feel her childhood is something sort of, not normal. This can be an extremely damaging viewpoint for youth because it creates a feeling of difference between them and their peers due to the fact they assume that their peers can’t relate to them. In fact, this feeling does exist in some youth affected by this challenge. In an article titled “What I learned From Growing Up With a Single Parent” by Taylor Markarian, she talks about her personal experience of growing up with a single mother and writes about what she learned from the experience, Markarian writes, “To a person who grew up in a two-parent household with a bunch of siblings, this may seem pretty sad. And I’m not going to lie, parts of it did make me sad, especially when I compared my home life to other kids” (Markarian). Markarian’s experience proves that youth see a difference in their life from their peers. That’s very unhealthy for the youth due to the fact that having friends and people in their life that they’re close to is important. This is especially the case since those youth don’t usually have a strong connection to their parent since that parent has to spend less time with the child and more time working to accommodate for the absence of the other parent. Because of this, the child is left without a strong parent and child relationship. The Office of Adolescent Health(OAH) discusses this same topic in an article titled “Healthy Parent-Child Relationships”, which states, “Positive parent-child relationships are associated with higher levels of adolescent self-esteem, happiness, and life satisfaction, and lower levels of emotional and physical distress” (OAH). This quote from OAH solidifies the importance of parental relationships for youth. The inclusion of a parent and child relationship is a mandatory one and something no youth should lack. Unfortunately, many youth are forced to live a life missing out on the benefits of “lower levels of emotional and physical distress” and instead having to face those issues head on.

Positive Effect of Issue:

It’s undeniable the extreme challenge single parenthood can be. However, challenges open room for possible improvement and growth. In an interview with Joe White, an elderly resident of San Francisco who is a father to two daughters and also a grandad of two grandchildren, he discusses the issue of single parenthood from personal experience of living with a single mother after his parents divorced while he was ten years of age. When asked, “How did the absence of your father after the divorce make you feel?’’, he responded with, “Well, it made me feel happy….he wasn’t a very good husband to my mother. And so I resented him for that, so we had no relationship” (White). This response provided a new perspective on this issue. It’s now apparent to see that single parenthood doesn’t always have a negative resolve. White stated, “I resented him for that”, showing  it’s possible for the absence of a parent to be beneficial in families. If White’s father would’ve stayed, his resentment may have continued to grow and possibly lead to a negative emotional effect. It must be understood that sometimes through the instances such as abuse, bad parenting, or unsupportiveness, sometimes it’s better for the youth and the family’s sake that a parent leave and stay absent from their life. Instead, it could be better to the youth to have a better parental figure in their life. A personal parental advisor would be just that. In a situation like Mr. White’s, the parental advisor would provide him with the support and care of a parent without the negative drawback of growing resentment.

In conclusion, youth challenged with the issue of single parenthood should be assigned a parental advisor. The inclusion of the parental advisor would steer the youth away from the emotional downfall caused by the absence of a parent and would keep the child on the right path in life to prosper. Just because a child may not start life with the full set of support or comfortability, doesn’t mean it must stay that way.  


Work Cited

Author, No. “Demographic Trends and Economic Well-Being.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 25 July 2016,

The article discusses the inequalities between races. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. Since they wish to inform the public it would make sense that they’d have accurate evidence.

Markarian, Taylor. “What I Learned from Growing up with a Single Parent.”, The List, 20 Mar. 2018,

This article discusses personal experience of growing up with a single parent. Taylor Markarian is a viable source because she’s speaking from her personal experience as a child of a single parent. So she has a good understanding of the topic.

Office of Adolescent Health. “Healthy Parent-Child Relationships.”, US Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Mar. 2018,

This article discussed the importance of healthy parent and child relationships. The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) is dedicated to improving the health and healthy development of adolescent. So it would be in their best interest for their evidence to be accurate.

Roque, Lorena. “Interview with Lorena Roque.” 10 Dec. 2018.

We discussed the effects of single parenthood. Lorena Roque is a young Oakland resident that grew up with a single mother. So she has great experience on the issue of single parenthood.

White, Joe. “Interview With Joe White.” 18 Dec. 2018.

The interview  discussed the issue of single parenthood. He’s credible because Joe White is an elderly San Francisco resident that grew up with a single mother due to divorce. So he’s speaking from personal experience.


CC BY-SA 4.0 Challenge of Youth With Single Parents by Joseph is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. […] Challenge of Youth With Single Parents […]

  2. Tristan Butch Miranda 8 months ago

    Dear Joseph,

    Your post really enlightened me about the possible implications that single parenting has on the overall development of a child or adolescent especially that you touched on the outcomes associated with one’s socio-emotional domain. The said outcomes, as you’ve mentioned can be as detrimental to the well-being of an individual considering the interrelationships of different domains of development with one another. On a positive note, one could look at single parenting on the bright side of things as this can also bring freedom from restraint or abuse coming from deleterious parental figures thus stressing the need for the presence of a personal advisor who can act as a role model and a support system at the same time. Overall, various experiences by people you have spoken to moved me in a way that I have been aware of the hardships that both single parents and their children face especially with the fact that parents do not have a choice but to put on extra effort to provide and support their children at the same time which explains why they oftentimes are not able to spend quality time as a family.
    Thank you for this wonderful insight! Exemplary writing by the way!

    All the best!

    SJSU Undergrad student

  3. Daisy 8 months ago

    Dear Joseph,

    Thank you for tackling such an important, yet delicate issue. Your interviews with people really bring insight on how negative effects of growing up in single parent household impact not only the children, but the single parent as well. While a parent may be able to do the best they can to provide and teach their child(children) all they can to be contributing humans in today’s society, there are just certain life skills and advice that a single parent cannot provide to their young ones. #SJSU

  4. Ariana 10 months ago

    Hello Joseph,
    I found your article to be very impressive. Including statics, scholarly articles, interviews and both views on the topic of single parents was very informative. I wasn’t aware of the increased rate of single parents within Communities of Color therefore, thank you for informing all of us this crucial information that should be addressed more. However, can you expand more about this personal or parental advisor? I’m aware this advisor would provide assistance inside and outside of school but what assistance would they be providing outside of school? In addition, is the advisor going to be doing this for free or where would the money be coming from? And will the school and district approve of this? I suggest expanding more into your recommendation in having these parental advisors. Overall, you made a lot of key points and arguments. Keep it up!

    • Author
      Joseph 10 months ago

      Dear Ariana,

      I’m pleased to know that you have great interest in my idea of a parental advisor. And when it comes down to more details on the parental advisor, I have to assume that they would take place in a “perfect world.” And in that world I believe that the government would fund for the advisors so their job can sustain them effectively. And when it comes to how the advisor would support the child I think of taking the child on trips, teaching them new things, guiding them on what they want to be in the future, that kind of support is what I think of. I’m still not completely sure on how the advisor would work yet. I’d love if you could reply and tell me your opinion on how the parental advisor idea should function. I look forward to your insightful opinions.

      Joseph Thornton

  5. Lenny Ledbetter 10 months ago


    As someone who has grown up with a mixed family I found your post extremely touching and very uplifting. I think that involving students in a program like the one you described would do leaps and bounds for them. I would love to hear more about this area in the future.

  6. Diego 11 months ago

    Dear Joseph,

    I find this blog to be amazing and very informative. I believe that this is one of the best blogs i have ever read in my life. I like how you interviewed people with personal experience to make this blog better. I also like how you gave reasons of how it can affect positively and negatively.keep up the great work.

    Sincerely, your buddy diego rivera

    • Author
      Joseph 11 months ago

      Dear Diego,

      Thanks so much for commenting on my blog post. It’s very motivating to me that work has drawn enough interest for you to leave me such words. I’m glad that you appreciated the inclusion of the interviews in my blog, they were easily the most interesting part of the process of making the blog. I’d like to know form you what evidence you found more convincing, the fact of single parenthood being negative or having positive effects? Reply when you can, thanks.

      Joseph Thornton

  7. Brian 11 months ago

    Dear joseph

    I am surprise by your article because the number keeps growing and how is hard for people that are single parents.

    One sentences you wrote that stand out for me is that the number of single parents keeps increasing more and more and i think this a good piece of evidences bc it shows how it keeps increasing.This is shocking to me because I really don’t know how it feel to have single parent.

    A question I have is why did you write about this do you know somebody that deals with this.

    Thanks for your article and explain how single parents sometimes struggle and for the graph that shows how it keeps increasing.

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