Single mothers by choice: Mother-child relationships and children’s psychological adjustment.


Fifty-one solo mother families were compared with 52 two-parent families all with a 4-9-year-old child conceived by donor insemination. Standardized interview, observational and questionnaire measures of maternal wellbeing, mother-child relationships and child adjustment were administered to mothers, children and teachers. There were no differences in parenting quality between family types apart from lower mother-child conflict in solo mother families. Neither were there differences in child adjustment. Perceived financial difficulties, child’s gender, and parenting stress were associated with children’s adjustment problems in both family types. The findings suggest that solo motherhood, in itself, does not result in psychological problems for children.