A new research study that has been done indicates that children who live with a single parent are as happy as those living with both parents.
The study monitored 12,000 seven-year-olds and discovered the quality of the relationships was far more important than the family structure.
These results will question the widely believed theory that it is better if parents remain together for the sake of their children.
The NatCen Research Institute researchers questioned three groups of children – those living with both biological parents, those with one biological parent and a step-parent, and those living with one parent – on their level of happiness.
Each category indicated that 36% of the children were happy all the time, while the balance of 64% stated that they were never happy or were happy sometimes.
The biggest effects on the children’s happiness was parents who shout, sibling arguments and school bullies.
The results of the research are to be presented to the British Sociological Association’s conference due to take place in Leeds.
A senior researcher at NatCen, Jenny Chanfreau, stated that the family relationship is of more importance than the type of family. She said that staying together for the children’s sake, but arguing all the time and shouting at the children, not making time to sit down to eat dinner, not having any fun times together is not the best method to make the children happy.
She said that the results indicated that the type of family had no impact on the happiness of the seven-year-olds or even on that of the 11 to 15-year-olds. She further stated that relationships at school are also important as being bullied at school was a source of unhappiness for most seven-year-olds.
Her opinion is that if the child feels secure in the home, it does not matter if there is one parent or more present.
Image Credit: Laity Lodge Family Camp