One-parent families singled out by society, report claims

One-parent families have been unfairly “scapegoated” by society, according to a new report into the impact of family structure on child development.

The Growing Up in a One-Parent Family report says children from lone-parent families fare similarly to those in married families - if faced with the same conditions growing up.

It has found that the apparent benefits of marriage on child are more to do with background characteristics, like education and wealth, rather than marriage itself.

Research lead Dr Carmel Hannan of the University of Limerick said it is clear that one-parent homes have been unfairly singled out.

"They were an easy group to target at times," she said. "They were blamed for the moral collapse of British society, whereas any collapse in society is related to poor education [and] lack of employment opportunities."

"We noticed that lone parents are much more likely to have chronic illness or depression before the birth of their child."

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