Does single parenting influence teen sex?

The difficult issues of parenting are even more challenging in single parent families. Adolescence is a transitional period, a time when teens put up barriers and don't always involve parents in their social life and emotional state. The difficulties that related to raising a child alone are impacted by the reasons behind the single parenting. Underlying emotions that stem from divorce, death, adoption, or other issues that single parents have to deal with, also affect the children. Single parents have to deal with a greater financial burden, which correspondingly means less time with their children as they are growing up, and having to face parenting issues and decisions alone.

The responsibilities that single parents face are complex. Single parents work, and they often work long hours. The time they can spend with their children is more limited. The decision-making process in teens, including those decisions involving sexual relations, is influenced by family and peers. Social factors play a huge role in every element of adolescence. Close relationships with parents will influence teens' choices; parents who have an open line of communication with their children and a warm relationship can encourage their teens to ask questions about relationships and sex that will ultimately influence their decisions. Teens in single-parent households may feel that they lack affection or closeness with their parent, and the family structure may affect a teen's attitude toward sex.

There is a higher rate of risk factors for children growing up in single-parent families. Adolescents from single-parent families are more likely to have sex at an earlier age and are at a higher risk for teenage pregnancy. If the household is in a transitional period when the child enters adolescence, the anger and loneliness that the transition may mean for the adult in the family is also felt by the teen, leading to risk-related behaviors.




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