No, Young Kids Don't Need a Father

No difference in well-being of kids of single moms by choice, heterosexual couples: study
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2017 9:45 AM CDT
Good News for Moms Who Opt to Raise Kids Alone
A single mother poses with her sons in Dallas on Feb. 10, 2017.   (Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Ladies considering becoming single mothers may get a confidence boost from a new study out of the Netherlands, which has found no difference in the well-being of young children raised by women who chose to become pregnant without a partner and those from more traditional households. With fertility treatments for single women becoming increasingly common, Mathilde Brewaeys of the VU University Medical Center chose to study how children raised by 69 single mothers "by choice" differed from those raised by 59 mothers in heterosexual partnerships. But while there is an "assumption that growing up in a family without a father is not good for the child," Brewaeys found no evidence that is the case, according to a release.

Brewaeys says the assumption comes from research on kids of divorce, "who thus have experienced parental conflict. 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." That's based on questionnaires answered by moms—each with a child between 18 months and 6 years old—revealing no difference in child development, parent-child relationships, or parental stress based on family structure, per Romper. However, single mothers reported wanting and having a greater support network. Interestingly, a study out last month found children of single parents had lower levels of well-being and life satisfaction as adults. (This single mom dressed up like a dad.)

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