Some topic ideas for a research paper on single-parent families include the impact of a parent's divorce or separation on their children, healthy single-parenting methods and the role of government policy in the welfare of single-parent families. Some studies in the past have also looked at the absence or presence of the father more specifically, examining the effect on children.
Research into single-parent families might serve to inform a range of groups and individuals, from single parents themselves to policymakers and social workers. Research intended to serve as a resource for the single parents themselves might focus on strategies for helping children to adapt to family life after parental divorce, as well as for maintaining successful and healthy joint-custody arrangements. Such research papers may also be useful for social workers.
Research into single-parent families may be qualitative or quantitative, or else a combination of both. A research paper into the mental well-being of single mothers, published in the "Journal of Happiness Studies," for instance, cross-referenced thorough, qualitative interviews with quantitative analysis of survey data. Combining research methodologies in this way allowed the team to gain a much richer insight, concluding that while childbirth is a major event in the average unmarried woman's life, it is not generally one that is detrimental to her happiness.