Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Single Parent Families

  • Natalie JohnsonEmail author
  • Brandon Eddy
  • Rola O. Aamar
  • Kristy L. Soloski
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_489


Custodial single fathers; Custodial single mothers; Custodial parent; Single parenthood


The number of households in the United States led by single parents has significantly increased over the last 50 years (US Census 2000). In the 1950s it was common to be raised in a traditional nuclear, two-parent household, with almost 80% of children being raised by both parents (US Census 2000). Today, millions of children live in single-parent households. In fact, 50–60% of all children are expected to spend some time being raised in a single-parent household (Hornberger et al. 2010).

Divorce or separation is the most common factor in the increase of single-parent families (Hanson and Sporakowski 1986), although single-parent families can also occur from the death of a parent, incarceration, or parents who are single by choice (Mitchell and Ponzetti 2003). In comparison to traditional two-parent families, single-parent families face a variety of challenges, such as lower...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brandon Eddy
    • 1
  • Rola O. Aamar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristy L. Soloski
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mudita Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA