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Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

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The study is on sociological examination of single parenthood. In the cause of the study, four research objectives were raised which are; to identify the causes of single parenthood, to ascertain the effect of single parenthood on a child, to compare the attitude of a single parent child to that of a parents child, to ascertain the relationship between single parenthood and the psychological behavior of a child. In line with these objectives, four research hypotheses were formulated and four null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents in Makurdi, Benue state was selected randomly. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up single mothers, single fathers, teachers and university students were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.






1.1 Background of the study

Parents are the first point of contact of children. When both parents are present, it implies that the child would derive most care (Ortese, 1998). However, when one of the parent is absent in a child’s life, a gap is created as the child would lose the support that would have emanated from that parent. Ortese (1998) and Salami and Alawode (2000) asserted that single parenting result from divorce, separation of various kinds, having children from wedlock or death of one spouse which leaves the roles in the hands of a single parent. Whether divorced, or one of the parents is dead or parental separation or single never married mothers or fathers are all single parents.  Research has shown that children trained within single parenthood settings usually meet with several unpleasant values. According to Mclanahan and Sandefur (1994), children from single parent homes are more likely to experience low academic achievement and aspirations. Observations and some studies have shown that children from single parent homes are faced with many problems such as increased psychological distress, health and behavior problems, deviant activities and high rate of poverty in the society. Finance is the major challenge of many single parents, without the second parent either mother or father around to help and do his or her own part, the family may be faced with many problems. Children living in single parent’s families start school late and leave school earlier than children that are from two parent family (the intact family). Ambert and Saucier (1984) and Mclanahan (1995) explained the effects of broken homes and divorce to modify family income and spending on the children, which further affects amount of time spent with the children. These barriers affect educational achievement of a learner. As an implication, a girl learner may be stressed up and would not mind getting married at a very early age with a lower educational status than daughters of intact family parents. Following the findings of Conley and Glauber (2005), a family faced with prolonged financial inadequacies is not to have many children that cannot be properly cared for in the schools. This is because such situation will affect the children`s educational achievement. The budgets of single mothers are usually very tight and single mothers have to take second jobs to cover house hold expenses, day-care bills and debt repayments, transport for children to school especially when the children are many. Some research reports such as Onzima (2011), explained that single parent or step-parent children have the tendency of not finishing up their studies at the high school and college levels, have less parental care, parent monitoring of school work and have less social supervision. Ferreira (1994) and Zangqa (1994) add that such parents are not always available for the children. According to Sigle-Rushton and MchLanahan (2004), father-absent children graduate from high school and attend college at a lower rate and are more likely to use drugs than children from father-present homes. A father occupies a position that is in line with God`s plan in the scriptures of the bible, such that the father being present at home will do so much in the life of children. There is no doubt that children fear their father and there are times they will be scared about some actions they want to exhibit when their father is around them. A child that has control at home must surely be controlled outside, even in the school and this will no doubt positively affect his or her academic achievement. These results have really shown that the percentage of father-present children who have high school qualifications and attend college is higher than that of single fatherless children. This implies that there is gap in their educational achievement; it shows they are lacking the presence of father that would have affected their education in so many ways. Study shows that having a single parent has certain effects on a child. Of course, some effects are good but some are also bad. Since a lot of single parents are dealing with their children by themselves. You will be the only one they will look up to and you will have their undivided unconditional love. You will also be the only authority they will look up to. You will be able to have all of their respect and love, making it easy for you to make rules and also for them to follow. In your family, there will be no pairing up or partnership between members. Your family will be very close and the single parent will be in full control. It is on this back drop that the researcher wants to investigate the sociological examination of single parenthood.


Social capital has become a central concept in the social sciences. It has been used to explain many different kinds of social behaviors, from civic engagement to educational outcomes to adolescent development (Coleman, 1988; Furstenberg & Hughes, 1995; Putnam, 2000). On the individual level, social capital refers to one’s access to resources through reciprocal social networks. Whether divorced, or deceased of a partner or through divorce or single never married mothers or fathers are all single parents, which in the long run poses a great challenge to both the parent and the children. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate the sociological examination of single motherhood.


The main objective of this study is sociological examination of single parenthood.  But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;

  1. To identify the causes of single parenthood
  2. To ascertain the effect of single parenthood on a child
  3. To compare the attitude of a single parent child to that of a parents child
  4. To ascertain the relationship between single parenthood and the psychological behavior of a child



For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: single parenthood has no effect on a child

H1: single parenthood has effect on a child

H02: there is no significant relationship between single parenthood and the psychological behavior of a child

H2there is a significant relationship between single parenthood and the psychological behavior of a child


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the single parents and children. The study will help educate the general public the effect of single parenthood on a child. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.


The scope of the study covers the sociological examination of single parenthood. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
  3. c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


SOCIOLOGICAL: The study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society.


EXAMINATION: A formal test of a person’s knowledge or proficiency in a subject or skill.

SINGLE PARENTHOOD: A person who has a dependent child or dependent children and who is widowed, divorced, or unmarried. (As modifier): a single-parent family also called (NZ) solo parent


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.



Account Number: 0709546102

Access Bank: Savings
Account Name: Emmanuel Idorenyin Samuel.

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