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Transcript of Non-Traditional Families:
Successful or not?
Can non-traditional families raise children as successfully as traditional families?
What is a non-traditional family?
What factors affect raising a successful child?
The types of non-traditional families we focus on in this presentation include same-sex parent families, adoptive/foster families, single parent, and then non-parent relatives.
Children raised in same-sex families have equal or better success levels within peer groups, in school, and in life. A common misconception is that the kids are not as accomplished, but in truth, this is a myth.
A major part of our society today is the growing number of divorces and children growing up in single parent homes. The statistics and evaluations show that these families, and children growing up in these situations, are often subject to tougher times while growing up, but they are capable of becoming just as successful.
Many media stories and made-for-TV movies present adopted children as alienated, unhappy, or even criminal. The truth is, however, most adopted children grow up to be normal adults who blend in with everyone else.
According to the 2010 Census, there were 11.7 million families in the United States that were headed by a single parent. Of these, the vast majority were single mothers.
Almost 80 percent of single mothers are employed, and only 27 percent live in poverty. The Census information shows that only 23.5 percent of single mothers get food stamps.
And it's not all unwed teenage mothers, because 39.1 percent of single mothers are 40 years or older.
According to the 2012 U.S. Census, there were approximately 10 million single mothers in 2011. Generally, the children growing up in single-parent families started out poorer, got less schooling, and ended up with lower income as adults. However, this was not the case with all single parent families.
Children growing up in single parent families can be just as successful in life and are just as intellectually and physically capable. They often receive a generous amount of personal attention, and thus have very close bonds with the parent. They may be motivated and empowered by their experiences growing up, and can be more willing to work and learn.
- The US foster system was made to get children out of harmful, unsafe situations
-Not necessarily tailored to the emotional development of children.
- Sometimes children in the foster system are not put in good situations, but temporary ones.
- Constant transitions and lack of early attachment can cause Reactive Attachment Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood
In fact, the adopted teens in the study scored better than their nonadopted siblings or a sample of their peers in …..
For the children in foster care on September 30, 2005, the average amount of time they had been in the system was 28.6 months. Half of those leaving care that year had been away from home for a year or longer. 54% of the young people leaving the system were reunified with their birth parents or primary caregivers.
• Connectedness—having three or more friends and having access to two or more nonparent adults for advice.
• Caring—placing a high value on helping other people.
• Social competency—friendship-making and assertiveness skills
In 1994, the Search Institute in Minneapolis released the results of “Growing Up Adopted,” a four-year study of 881 adopted adolescents, 1,262 adoptive parents, and 78 nonadopted siblings. The study found that the majority of the adopted teens were strongly attached to their families and psychologically healthy.
Adopted teens also scored higher than nonadopted adolescents in …
• School achievement—having a B average or better and aspiring to higher education.
• Optimism—expecting to be happy in 10 years and expecting to be successful as an adult.
• Support—having a high level of support from parents and from school.
581,000 children in foster care in the United States. Around 22% are up for adoption.
In Peer Groups....
Children of same-sex couples typically attend schools with other children with heterosexual parents, allowing the students to be diffused in the school environments and common peer groups.
"The results show that children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of other family structures."
Grade retention shows a child's readiness for school reflecting the parenting practices.
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"Image015.jpg." Single Families Tripod. 12 Sept. 2013 <http://danoperson.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/image015.jpg>.
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"News for parents: 1 in 4 kids raised by single parent." The Orange County Register. 12 Sept. 2013 <http://www.ocregister.com/articles/single-299008-percent-parent.html>.
"Svf04a_fig3.jpg." National Center for Children in Poverty. 12 Sept. 2013 <http://www.nccp.org/publications/images/svf04a_fig3.jpg>.
"ADOPTION INSTITUTE: FOSTER CARE FACTS." ADOPTION INSTITUTE: FOSTER CARE FACTS. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, 2000. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. <http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/FactOverview/foster.html>.
Foster Care Facts and Statistics. Foster Care Alumni of America, 2005. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. <http://www.fostercarealumni.org/resources/foster_care_facts_and_statistics.htm>.
"More U.S. Children Raised by Grandparents." More U.S. Children Raised by Grandparents. 12 Sept. 2013 <http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2012/US-children-grandparents.aspx>.
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Negative effects later in life are associated with low levels of grade retention.
"Heterosexual married couples are the family type whose children have the lowest rates of grade retention" while children with same gender parents earn high rates.
Non-traditional families are not at a disadvantage because of their composition, but due to their economic and social situation. A child can be raised to be successful under any well-equipped guardian, but non-traditional families like single parentage and foster care are normally economically disadvantaged, which affects the progress of the child.
A growing number of children are growing up under the care of their grandparents. In 2010, about one in 14 U.S. children (7 percent) lived in a household headed by a grandparent.
Over the past 40 years, the share of U.S. children living in a grandparent's household has climbed steadily, more than doubling from 3 percent in 1970 to 7 percent in 2010. The numbers of children with grandparents as their main care providers grew from 2.5 million in 2005 to 2.9 million in 2010, a 16 percent increase over the decade.
Often, difficult family circumstances lead to custodial grandparent care, and custodial grandchildren have higher levels of emotional and behavioral problems than children in the overall U.S. population, according to a study from the National Institute of Mental Health.
For kids growing up under the care of their grandparents, they often go through more difficult times because of the reality that they have either been disregarded or unable to be cared for by their biological parents. While the grandparents or aunt/uncle/other relatives can provide just as sufficient care, they may not have as intimate of a relationship with the child and the child may not feel as comfortable or loved.
"Children of heterosexual married couples had the lowest implied rate of grade retention: 6.8%. Children of lesbian mothers and gay fathers had grade retention rates of 9.5% and 9.7%, respectively."