What Are Some Disadvantages of Single-Parent Families?

Disadvantages of single-parent families include financial problems, a lack of time for familial bonding, difficulties dealing with fallout from broken marriages and unrealistic expectations when comparing with two-parent families. Children in one-parent families often become overly dependent on the remaining parent.

Single parents are much more likely to live in poverty than two-parent families, according to a 2011 census. In many places, a lack of paid maternity leave, affordable childcare and viable after school programs exacerbates the problem. Most single parents are employed and face the dilemma of finding time for jobs, household chores, and taking care of and bonding with their children. Since a majority of single-parent situations come about as a result of broken marriages, parents and children must also cope with problems with visitation rights, ongoing parental discord, relationships with extended families, and the need of the single parent to date or seek out a new relationship.

The psychological trauma of a family breakup can affect a child's ability to cope with school and relationships with peers. Children may contemplate peers in two-parent situations and feel envious. Additionally, when children become overly dependent on one parent, it creates stress in the parent-child relationship. Children are also subject to a lack of supervision in single-parent situations, which can negatively impact their school and social performances.