The relationship between family structure and child development


  • Laura Lynn Hughes


Research suggests that family types can have positive and negative effects on children. Research also shows relationships between family types and cognitive development, and family types and socioemotional development. This project intends to examine the relationship between family structure and child development. For this literature synthesis I reviewed existing research articles that provided evidence of this relationship. I looked for articles that included outside factors that could influence the development. This includes topics such as race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, culture, and economic status/social class. I focused on connecting the similarities and differences between the results. The outside factors listed above provide opportunities for gaps in the research. A question that arose from the research is, what role does the environment play on this relationship? Another was, how does society speed up or slow down the cognitive and socioemotional development? I found that different family types affect different areas of development. Going from a two-parent household to a one-parent household has a bigger influence on a child’s behavior. Starting with only one parent and gaining another influences a child’s achievements. Reviewed articles expressed that the type of family experiencing a change determines the developmental results. What is the relationship between family structure and child development? Through reviewing the literature, I found there is a relationship and there are many other factors that play a role in the relationship.






Human Ecology