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Emotional and behavioral problems of single parent vs. two parent children: Imam Khomeini Charity

Author(s): Hakim Shooshtray M | Panaghy L | Hajebi A | Abedi Sh

Journal: Tehran University Medical Journal
ISSN 1683-1764

Volume: 66;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 196;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Two parents | single parent | CBCL | emotional behavioral problems

Background: The aim of this survey is to compare the emotional and behavioral problems of children with only one parent versus those from two-parent families. We analyzed behavioral problems such as aggression, delinquency and socialization issues, as well as emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints."nMethods: Using a multi-stage cluster sampling, 10 of the 20 geographic regions covered by Imam Khomeini Charity were selected. Using systematic random sampling, 460 families with children aged 4-18 years were selected. All children were evaluated using the Child Behavior Check List (CBCL) to determine behavioral and emotional problems. Logistic regression tests were conducted to measure the effects variables, including age, gender, number of parents in the family, psychiatric history of each child and history of parental psychiatric treatment, on the internalizing, externalizing and total CBCL scores. A cut-off score of 64 was used to convert raw scores."nResults: No differences were observed in CBCL subscales between single-parent children vs. children of two-parent families."nConclusion: Regarding the two-parent families among the study population, the results could not be generalized. As these families have qualified for assistance, the father cannot manage the family because of his disability, such as physical or mental problems. This minimizes the effect of having a father in a two-parent family, rendering them similar to single-parent families. Thus, differences were not observed between the two types of families. Further studies are necessary to compare single-parent families with two-parent families among the community.
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