Single parent issues

Sigmund, Carl and Alfred has an article from Psychology today entitled “Will Companies Discriminate Against Children of Single Parents?”

Based on aggregate data from large numbers of people, the general tendency is that children of single parents do worse than others at a great many things. These differences range from their being more likely to commit a crime or have a substance abuse problem, to having lower grades in math and being less likely to go to college. Whether we look at social relationships, behavioral problems, or achievement in school and work, the weight of the data go against the offspring of single parents. Based on these findings that pull together data from large numbers of people, the odds are, then, that the child of the single parent might just perform worse in some way at your job. Should you use that general fact as a basis for hiring the person who had two parents?

Odds are just that. But if you are an employer, you might bet that way.

Although research can use broad categories such as children from two-parent families versus children from single-parent families, it is important to note that, scientifically, the boundary lines are not clear, nor are the groups necessarily homogeneous. Some people may grow up in a single-parent household because one of the parents (or both, for that matter) was a drug addict or criminal. Another may do so because a parent died serving his country in war or as a police officer or firefighter.

These mixtures of categories become more complex and relevant as we try to say just why children from single parent households do worse. The two main types of explanation would be environmental and genetic. The last time I tried to figure out which was more important in accounting for the effects on children, there were weak signs in both directions, and the mass of data was utterly inconclusive.

Go to the source to read the whole thing.