Dispelling Myths and Creating Opportunity: A Comparison of the Strengths of Single-Parent and Two-Parent Families

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Abstract

Although single-parent family life has become mainstream in many ways, knowledge about these families has been focused predominantly on the chronic problems they experience. This study describes the strengths of single-parent families, compares these strengths to those of two-parent families, and describes families' explanations of the effect of self-identified strengths on health. Although single-parent and two-parent families are different structurally, the nature and pattern of strengths are found to be more similar than different between these two groups. These findings challenge stereotypical views of single-parent families that emphasize problems and vulnerability and exclude a consideration of their strengths.

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