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Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0674364080 ISBN-10: 0674364082 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: What Hurts, What Helps
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (January 31, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674364082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674364080
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Based on careful analysis of data from various national surveys...[this book is] the first systematic attempt to disentangle the effects of poverty from family breakdown across a range of problems afflicting children...By using sophisticated statistical techniques to control for such background characteristics as income and race, McLanahan and Sandefur show that, although growing up poor is very damaging to children, single parenthood is in itself severely injurious...The very richness of its analysis makes the book a powerful tool for social policy. (Douglas J. Besharov Washington Post)

This clearly written and remarkably jargon-free monograph is highly recommended to all practicing physicians. (Leon Eisenberg, MD New England Journal of Medicine)

[This book] posits a view embedded in the authors' stated belief that 'children who grow up in two-parent families will do better, on average, than children who grow up with only one parent'...The strongest aspect of this book is the excellent job the authors do of sorting through theories and existing data in an attempt to explain why additional research is needed on single parenthood. Unlike some other earlier research accounts of the effect of family structure on child well-being, McLanahan and Sandefur clearly document the role of income, parenting styles, and the contribution of non-resident fathers as well as stepfathers to the child's social capital as explanations for children in one-parent families doing less well than children in two-parent families. The reader is not left wondering exactly how or why the authors take the position they present...Scholarly, thoughtful...[this book] includes information that is both important and timely given the welfare reform debate at the state and local level. (Edwin P. Gordon Social Policy)

This book is a must read for concerned parents and policymakers. It reaffirms what the National Commission on Children said: the best way to help our children is to strengthen families. In addition to presenting compelling evidence about the challenges single parents and their children face, the authors include solid recommendations on ways to truly help children. (Senator Jay Rockefeller)

The concluding chapter of this short, clearly written book suggests sensible policy directions for the support of single-parent families by noncustodial parents, governments, and communities. A strength of this book is the clarity of the analysis...Highly recommended. (Choice)

[This] is essentially a text which reports the findings of the authors' analyses of American survey data on the achievements of children from 'disrupted' families. As such it will be primarily of interest to researchers. Nevertheless, it is written in a style which undergraduate students will find very accessible. Moreover, data presentation is refreshingly clear; effective bar charts and simple tables appear in the main text, whilst more complex data displays are located in an appendix, along with a description of methodology. (Jane Pilcher Reviewing Sociology)

Other authors have shown that a child growing up with a single parent suffers disadvantage at school. McLanahan and Sandefur, in this careful empirical analysis, demonstrate how this disadvantage occurs, particularly emphasizing the role of income and social capital. Moreover, they show what can be done about it--both by parents and by government. This book is a recipe for action. (James S. Coleman, University of Chicago)

Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur are addressing the single most important issue in American life: the effect of a family breakdown on children's well-being. Growing Up with a Single Parent puts the debate on an entirely new plane. (Justice Richard Neely, Supreme Court of Appeals, West Virginia)

This book is by far the most comprehensive, balanced investigation of the effects of growing up in a single-parent family available today. It is certain to be a crucial resource in the continuing debates about the consequences of family change for children's well-being. (Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University)

Review

This book is a must read for concerned parents and policymakers. It reaffirms what the National Commission on Children said: the best way to help our children is to strengthen families. In addition to presenting compelling evidence about the challenges single parents and their children face, the authors include solid recommendations on ways to truly help children. (Senator Jay Rockefeller) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jazi Zilber on February 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Forget all myths you were told, and concentrate on reality.

Here you have a collection of various kinds of experiments and correlations regarding children that grow up with a single mother.

A striking finding claims that children that grow up with single mothers are indeed less successful, but not because they grow up without a father. Just:

1) Genetic heritage. The same genes that cause the parents to divorce have on average some effect on children's personality etc.

2) Socioeconomic status. Single mothers are usually poorer.

3) Lake of stability. Single mothers move from neiborhood to another more often than married couples. This is damaging the children social relationships etc.

There are other interesting finding there.

I am not the last word in "approving" the conclusion. But they look convincing. And one should certainly give them a thought.

There is a lot of value in thinking our assumptions from the beginning, and trying to give up our prejudices.
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