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Instability In The Home Essay

2400 words - 10 pages

Effects of Home-Life

There are many circumstances that affect a child's mental and emotional growth. Whether they are in a nuclear family, cohabitation, a single-parent home, or from a family of divorce, different situations can cause different life chances for children growing up. I reviewed an article by Paula Fomby and Andrew J. Cherlin titled, Family Instability and Child Well-Being. Published by the American Sociological Review in the year 2007. Some experts believe that numerous changes and instability cause detriments to a child's development (the Instability Hypothesis). Another view would be that children's life chances and outcomes are contingent on their parent's ...view middle of the document...

CNLSY was used to assess the children of the NLSY79 mothers. Which reviewed the children's disposition, cognitive success, and overall development. Also, included were any problems with their behavior, their level of abilities, and the environment of their home-life. Computer activities, questionnaires, and evaluations were all used in gathering and concluding the data. The results showed that the child's house location, cognitive skill level of their parents, parent's age of first sexual intercourse, parent's age when having their first child, and drug/alcohol use by the parents were all factors that substantially affected the outcome and life chance of the children.
2. The Instability Hypothesis concludes that major changes in the home are what hinders a child's development. There are many effects that instability has on children. When children experience a drastic change such as divorce, or a parent remarrying, they may become stressed and their wellbeing may be compromised. The actual stress of the change is more imperative than the change itself. Transitioning can also be detrimental to the contentment of the parent. Unhappiness in the parent could alter the way a parent reacts with their child. Consequently, adding to the negative effect that the situation has on the child's wellbeing. Overall, instability hampers a child's development.
Studies have shown that children coming from a two-parent home to a single-parent home suffer damaging consequences. They are connected to lower activity in school, inferior cognitive abilities, and more behavioral issues along with emotional issues. Studies also show that children of parents who remarry continue to have these problems and do not improve because of the parent's remarriage. The issues of these children are similar to those children from single-parent homes. When a parent remarries, the child becomes strained by unfamiliar people such as the stepparent or stepsiblings, and the need to develop a new routine. They also become to feel left out if new family members are shown more affection/attention than they are given. Therefore, children from remarried homes may experience an even worse performance in school and more emotional issues than those from single-parent homes.
The Selection Hypothesis is an opposing view to the Instability Hypothesis. Unlike the prior theory, which believes transitions cause detriments to development, this theory suggests that the attributes of the parents are directly related to the development, or underdevelopment, of the child. It states that the traits of the parent(s) have two main effects on the offspring.
Firstly, qualities of the parent affect the qualities of the children. A child tends to inherit the characteristics of the ones who raise them. The characteristics might include environment, genes, or a mix of both. Both of which are definite factors that play large roles in the development of a child. Secondly, the parent's own attributes may...

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