The findings of a recent study comparing the emotional and academic progress of children in married, cohabiting and lone-parent families have recently been published. This looked at families both in the US and UK.
The Millennium Cohort Study looked at nearly 19,000 children along with their parents from the across the UK, tracking their lives from child to adult.
Whilst the US results showed a difference between cohabiting and married couples, similar trends were not seen in UK households. The results did however suggest children from lone-parent families did not perform as well with their academic skills and emotional development.
The greatest difference was in relation to the emotional impact on teenage girls, with the results suggesting 22% of girls in a two parent households displaying high levels of depressive symptoms, with this rising to 27% in single parent families.
Whilst not conclusive or a criticism of any type of family, the results do raise the question about what support can be offered to lone-parent families.
We live in a world where the conventional 'married with 2.4 children' isn't the only type of 'family' with some families having 1, 2 or even more parents, including some children being raised by two mums or two dads, but whatever the family composition, it is important all children should be given the same opportunities.
If you want to know more about the study there is a link on the article, as well as a recent BBC Radio 4 programme.
She accepts the study isn't perfect - after all, it isn't an experiment but instead is following real lives. Even so, she said, the findings from this and other research were consistent enough to raise questions about whether lone-parent families needed more support.