“Growing up in a single parent family or being raised by parents who are not married does not condemn children to a life of unhappiness, underachievement and delinquency. Rather than blaming parents and labelling their life circumstances as selfish choices, it is time for social policy debates to focus on how we can effectively support parents. Irrespective of family structure, we want parents to give their children the best possible start to life,” writes Jan M Nicholson, Roberta Holmes professor for the Transition to Contemporary Parenthood Program at La Trobe University, and advisory group member to the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children in The Guardian newspaper today.
‘Growing Up In Australia – the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children’ is important new research which reflects what One Family states and knows through 42 years of experience, study and campaigning: it is not the structure of a family that has most bearing on outcomes for children, but the quality of relationships in the family, the parent or parents’ background, and the impacts of consistent poverty. In December 2013, we welcomed the launch of the report ‘Growing Up in a One-Parent Family’, a study by researchers at the University of Limerick using the ‘Growing Up in Ireland’ data, published by the Family Support Agency. A key finding of this study indicates that children from one-parent families and cohabiting families fare the same as children from married families when faced with similarly difficult conditions growing up.
‘Growing Up In Australia – the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children’ can be read/download here.
The report by the University of Limerick, ‘Growing Up in a One-Parent Family:The Influence of Family Structure on Child Outcomes’, is available to read/download here.