A Comparative Analysis of Anxiety in Traditional Parent and Single-Parent Families

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Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting almost 40 million people in the United States age 18 and older. Somebody with anxiety can have depression as well the symptoms are somewhat different but the same in some cases. Although you can have one without another it is not unusual for somebody to have both. According to (Fergusson, 2007) There has been a great deal of research and in sights on the impact of growing up in a single-parent household vs a two-parent household. The associations between exposure to single parenthood in childhood and outcomes in young adulthood may be explained by the social and contextual factors that are associated with exposure to single parenthood. I believe that while both suffer from unexpected and expected trials and tribulations there is more anxiety that surrounds the single parent household. I believe it has long term effects on both the children and the parent. The research question I wish to answer in this study is: “Are individuals in single parent households more prone to anxiety than those in two-parent households? And why? “My hypothesis to this is that single parent households are effected more and there seem to be many reasons why, although both parent households still face issues.

Literature Review

According to Liang, Berger, & Brand, (2019) single mothers of young children are twice as likely to report depressive or anxiety symptoms than partnered mothers. Downs & Rindels, (2004) In most studies it is clear to say that single parent households have more chances of anxiety overall (parent and children) than households with both parents present. Indicating anxiety naturally comes. According to Duhoux, Fournier, & Menear, (2011); Stein et al., (2011); Lecrubier, (2007) there remain many challenges in the prevention area and even more challenges on how to manage anxiety disorders which means care for these disorders is not always of high quality or centered on service needs. So according to this statement being a single parent or being “alone” isn’t the problem, the problem is the obstacles that comes with it. According to (Liang, Berger, & Brand, 2019) mothers with young children are more predisposed to mental health disorders than partnered mothers, especially when facing financial, social or distal adversities. The results from this study show approximately 30% of single reported anxiety symptoms and 37% general stress, twice as high compared to partnered mothers. Parenting stress was also elevated. In their studies they found adjusted regression models confirm that single mothers are twice as likely to report symptoms of anxiety. Risk factors for stress correspond to those for depression and anxiety. Inadequate social support and history of partner or childhood maltreatment were also consistent risk factors across all outcomes.

Appropriate social support programs and screening measures are necessary to reduce further issues. (Larson & Gillman, 1999) “Prior research on daily emotional in families has dealt almost entirely with two-parent families. However, it is a useful starting point for thinking about the emotional dynamics of one-parent families.” In time-sampling studies that show repeated measures of emotions over hours and days show that negative emotions are transmitted from single mother to child, and there are a number of factors that we might consider as causes of this emotional transmission. First, on average, single parents experience more major life stresses and chronic daily obstacles than married parents or two parent households, partly due to lower income and, in some cases, “due to hostile interactions with ex-spouses” (other parent of child) (Compas & Williams, [990; McLanahan & Booth, 1989; Thompson & Ensminger, 1989). This stress may generate high rates of negative emotion, and the parent will contain this emotion, and this may increase the likelihood that it will be transmitted to children. Causing anxiety.

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According to (lawerence, 2017) one of the reasoning of anxiety in single parent households is lack of attention, they believe that anxiety starts in early childhood and can increase rapidly. They did a systematic review to try to prove the hypothesis. The test included 16 trials (2545 young people). Two trials reported significant outcomes, and significant effects were found for these at the end of the study proving the hypothesis to be true. According to (Troxel, Lee, Hall, & Matthews, 2014) Family factors are important for child and adolescent sleep and adolescents from single-parent households had poorer sleep efficiency. Their recent study shows that single-parent family structure is an independent correlate of sleep problems in adolescents. According to (Daryanani, Hamilton, Abramson, & Alloy, 2016) Children raised in single-mother families are at increased risk for psychopathology because of the rejection and anger that a mother may have. All of these journals and studies that are cited are supporting my hypothesis that there is more anxiety in single parent households than two-parent. Some lead you to think about many different aspects of why and some just lead you to facts about a person with anxiety in general


In this research, I have found that the literature I reviewed used some sampling that involved modeling occurrences overtime and observing the occurrences of the participants. They used samples of a population to observe or learn about some of the information about anxiety in single parent household groups. In these literature and journals, I found that random and stratified sampling was used because in some cases they wanted everyone to have an equal amount of stress in both households. Stratified sampling was used in some cases to make it simpler for the researcher. It allowed them to select certain groups of people who would be more likely to show these emotions and signs of anxiety and it gave them advantages.


In this research I have found that the journals I reviewed used many different measurements, analysis and test with both single parent and two parent households. Not only to compare and contrast the two but also to figure out the reasoning. They also used other known facts from other studies on the topics. The articles also used different kinds of ratios and environmental observations. These measurements worked well because it gave information and statistics that allow others to know if having both parents in a household is effective or not.


In this research I have found that the literature used designs that included research problems hypotheses, and some different data collection methods. I have found that these studies are exploratory research because there is a hypothesis, but answers and explanations to that hypothesis are trying to be found in the studies. Some of these articles use explanatory studies to get statistics about anxiety in a person in general, and that allows people to investigate and draw conclusions on the topic. Other designs that have been used is the breaking down of every aspect possible, the absences of both mother and father, the absence of just mother or father and then no absence. I believe it was a descriptive design.


To conclude, some conflicts in the literature include some articles being older show more about anxiety while the newer ones show the more studies and differences in the households. The older articles give very dependable information, but society has changed more negative than positive. The literature led me to believe that my hypothesis was correct, and anxiety is more effective in single parent households than two parent households. Research shows that there aren’t many prevention programs and solutions to the anxiety but with more studies proving different reasonings it will be easier to develop more solutions. This research also will help society have a better understanding of a person with anxiety.

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A Comparative Analysis of Anxiety in Traditional Parent and Single-Parent Families. (2020, December 28). WritingBros. Retrieved February 23, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-comparative-analysis-of-anxiety-in-traditional-parent-and-single-parent-families/
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A Comparative Analysis of Anxiety in Traditional Parent and Single-Parent Families [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 28 [cited 2024 Feb 23]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/a-comparative-analysis-of-anxiety-in-traditional-parent-and-single-parent-families/
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