Perceptions of Positive Attributes of Never-Married Single Custodial Mothers and Fathers
Maier, Candice Ann
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The present study examined the differences in the positive perceptions of never-married custodial single mothers and fathers. While the literature documenting the strengths of single parents is very limited, the studies that do exist on this topic have not examined how these positive perceptions differ by gender. Utilizing a feminist framework to determine gender based differences in perceptions, this study examined participants’ ideas about the positive attributes of never-married custodial single mothers and fathers. The results of the thematic analysis suggested that the participants’ perceptions of never-married single mothers and fathers appeared to be more strongly influenced by gender than single parent status. The results further suggest that the level of expectations were much lower for single fathers when compared with single mothers and that, overall, single mothers were held to a higher standard by participants. Suggestions for future research and clinical implications are also offered.