Parental Cohabitation Effects

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Ultimately, raising children without being married can affect the child’s well-being. Infants would not know whether their parents are married or not, but they can sense their parents when they are in a bad mood. For example, infants will reveal their negative emotions such as crying and yelling (if yelling is seen in bickering of adults). Parent’s behaviors toward their child or children is important because their behaviors will reflect how a child will behave in their future. However, when children are old enough to go to school such as a child enters preschool for the first time, he or she might compare themselves to the other children in their class. Children talks to each other about random event that is going on in their home, and one…show more content…
For instance, “some children are born to cohabiting couples; about 40% of all births to single mothers are actually to unmarried cohabiting parents” (Bumpass & Lu, 2000). When we say parents are cohabitating, they are living together without being married. Single parents tend to find another partner to live with especially when they have a child. Now, studies have considered that there are effects of parental cohabitation on children’s development and well-being. The effects of parental cohabitation can have the risk of outcomes including poor school performance, behavioral problems, and psychological distress. It is proven that “children’s poor academic performance and high level of behavior problems are least partially related to lower levels of parental support and involvement” (Thomson et al., 1994). The reason being is because children tend to worry about their parent’s happiness and if there are arguments involved, it is likely that children’s emotional development will increase. Children are worried about their parents’ well-being and this could affect their childhood…show more content…
As I mention above, there are many parents cohabitating with another partner whether they are divorced, or not. McLanahan and Osborne (2007) writes that “according to social stress theory, even “positive” events, such as getting married, forming a new partnership, or ending a bad relationship may lead to increases in stress”. Because stress may come from “positive” events in their parents’ lives, it is likely for children to show negative outcomes. If parents are not married, but they are raising a child together, it is called partnership instability. “Aside from stress, there are two alternative hypotheses for why partnership instability might be associated with children’s behavior problems” (McLanahan and Osborne, 2007). The first hypothesis is the selection hypothesis which place both partnership and instability and the child behavior problems together. For instance, a parent can have psychological problems and find it difficult for him/her to maintain it, and his/her child can display more behavior problems. The second hypothesis is the reverse causality, and this is when parents have a child who has a serious behavior problem that can cause more partnership instability. In addition to this, parents raising a child without being married is similar to parents who are divorced. The effect of a child’s well-being shows negative outcomes. Amato (2000) pointed out that “the largest
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