Challenge of Youth With Single Parents by Joseph

January 8, 2019


Challenge of Youth With Single Parents


  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.