Chil­dren from bro­ken homes ‘earn less’

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - VICTORIA ALLEN

CHIL­DREN of one-par­ent fam­i­lies earn less, have fewer friends and are more likely to be sin­gle, a study shows.

Adults who were born into a sin­gle-par­ent home earn 27% less than those whose par­ents stayed to­gether, a re­port by the Univer­sity of War­wick re­veals.

Hav­ing grown up with­out see­ing their two par­ents to­gether, they are also 9% less likely to be in a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship them­selves and are more of­ten di­vorced.

Al­most a quar­ter of Bri­tish chil­dren are be­ing raised in one-par­ent homes, the vast ma­jor­ity by sin­gle moth­ers.

Co-au­thor Dr Sakari Le­mola said: “The way our par­ents in­ter­acted in their re­la­tion­ship when we were chil­dren has an in­flu­ence on how we in­ter­act with our part­ner when we are adult.

“There is ev­i­dence that we at least partly learn our so-called ‘at­tach­ment style’ from our par­ents.”

His study, with the Ger­man In­sti­tute for Eco­nomic Re­search, took data from 641 peo­ple who spent their en­tire child­hood with a sin­gle mother.

They were com­pared with 21 943 peo­ple who grew up with both par­ents and 1 539 who had both par­ents but lost one to sep­a­ra­tion or di­vorce be­fore the age of 15.

Re­sults show chil­dren of two par­ents can ex­pect to earn an av­er­age of £983.22 (R17 000) a month, com­pared to £709.94 (R12 000) for peo­ple with a sin­gle par­ent from birth.

The pay gap is more than £150 (R2 550) a month for chil­dren who spent some, but not all, of their child­hood with one par­ent.

“These find­ings sug­gest that both par­ents still pro­vide im­por­tant re­sources, even when chil­dren have al­ready grown up and left their par­ents’ home,” said Dr Le­mola.

“Dur­ing young adult­hood, these re­sources may in­clude fi­nan­cial sup­port as well as ac­cess to so­cial net­works, which are im­por­tant to find a good job.”

The find­ings, re­ported in the jour­nal PLOS One, also re­veals that chil­dren with a sin­gle par­ent from birth have only 4.08 friends on av­er­age, com­pared to 4.62 for those whose par­ents stayed to­gether.

Among peo­ple who grew up with both par­ents, close to twothirds were in a re­la­tion­ship in adult­hood, while for those who grew up with a sin­gle par­ent for their en­tire child­hood the fig­ure was 55%.

Nor­man Wells, of the Fam­ily Ed­u­ca­tion Trust, said: “Study af­ter study con­firms that chil­dren thrive on the sta­bil­ity that comes from hav­ing two par­ents who are com­mit­ted both to each other and to their chil­dren for life.

“The idea that all fam­ily forms are to be equally cel­e­brated flies in the face of the ev­i­dence.” – Daily Mail

FAM­ILY: An un­named sin­gle fa­ther with his daugh­ter. A study shows that the chil­dren of one-par­ent fam­i­lies earn less, have fewer friends and are more likely to be sin­gle.

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