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Single Parent Household and Delinquency

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The behavior of a child depends with the family background since is the first social institution in which an individual develops. Family serves as a learning institution where children learn different behavior from their parents. Jennifer Morse relates delinquency with the single parent household. Single parents spend most of their time concentrating on economical rather than social life. This makes them forget about Child’s welfare. They leave their children in the hands of a house help. As opposed to single parent, two parents work together to ensure safety of their children. Single parents face social problems like poverty, which creates delinquency favoring environment. Socialization in the family forms values, personality and belief of a child.


Single mothers bring up children thinking that the family status does not affect their sons and daughters. Parents help in shaping the children behavior. The offspring from single parents do not receive the education and care provided by both parents. In the family, father and mother play different roles, and a single parent can not play both roles (Morse, 2003). For example, father provides guidance to the male children while mother guides girls. Absence of one parent in a family makes the children grow developing immoral behavior. They engage in immoral behavior like crime, rape, prostitution and indecent assault among others. Single parents fail to give children the required attention. Some parents do not decide to live a single life, but they give more love to their children failing to provide discipline. Both parents work together to ensure that children get financial, emotional and sociological care. Children are taught society rules, development of good manners and self-development. Poor or lack of appropriate socialization in the family results to delinquent behavior. Two parents create an environment in which a child learns all social norms.

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Single parents do not have enough time to spend with their children. They spend most of their time at work leaving children at the hands of house help. The latter can not give children the required education. Some of the house help grew up practice immorality. They teach the children immoral behavior, when the parent goes away. For instance, some house help guides children to immoral internet sites like phonograph which helps the child to learn immoral behavior from internet (Bonke, 2012). Both parents protect the child against immoral behavior learned from the internet and friends. The absence of parents contributes a lot in delinquency.

Individuals acquire behavior through learning. Mostly, children from single-parent families are not taught the kind of people to associate with in the society. After joining the school, they interact with delinquent children and learn delinquent behavior. Many children learn how to use drugs from their friend in school. A child learns and practices the learned behavior, since the parent does not have time to notice change in behavior (Bonke, 2012).

One reason for single parent is divorce resulting from domestic violence. Some children from single parents are assaulted by their parents. Psychologically, children brought up in a violent environment grow with the negative attitude toward life and engage in delinquent behavior. Morse (2003) argues that the society can not repair the loss resulting from relationship with the parent. People with conscience help in building a society free from anti-social behavior. Delinquent children bring trouble to the entire society.

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Mostly, delinquency is contributed by parents. Family being the first social institution a person grows should ensure that child learns and practices moral values. Single parents should not abandon their offspring, but they should spend enough time with children. Parents whether single or married should take care of child’s social, financial and physical matters.

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