Children of Single Parents Have Poorer Health, Swedish Study Says

STOCKHOLM, January 28, 2003 ( - A new study from Sweden shows that, even when poverty is not a factor, children raised by single parents are twice as likely to suffer from psychiatric problems, suicide and other injuries than those raised in intact two-parent homes. The result of an eight-year study at the University of Umeå in Lapland, and reported in The Lancet, the survey of one million teens found that children of single parents were up to four times more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

In the past, leftists have tried to blame inequities of the capitalist economy for creating poverty among single parents, among other economic factors. But because of Sweden's lavish welfare system, less than 10% of the country's lone mothers are actually poor -- meaning other factors must be at work in the test sample.

In fact, even taking into account poverty, mental illness and parental substance addiction, according to Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, the chief researcher, "children of lone parents still have increased risks of mortality, severe morbidity, and injury."

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To download the study from The Lancet (registration required), see "Children brought up in single-parent households..." at: