Every single parent has to face a lot of financial hardship and study reveals that it leads to debts in turn. This is a fact that will be clear to you when you explore the scenario that involves social distress to seeking financial help.
Single parent families are at the high risk of facing financial hardship and experience its negative impact on their psychological well-being. There are several studies conducted and semi-structured interviews were taken to analyze this with the help of a strategic constructivist thematic analytical method.
In most of the cases, single parents complained of food and fuel to be the primary reason and factor that contributes to their poverty. Most of them have to make sacrifices to make sure that the basic needs of their children were met.
Also, in some cases it was also seen that there is a third major contributor to the hardship of the single parents and that is their monthly bills, utility and otherwise. Apart from that, the experts analyzed and found several other factors that contributed somehow to their financially stressful situations such as:
- Paranoia and
- Suicidal thoughts.
However, quite a number of single parents also complained that the psychological services were not sufficient enough to take care of their needs.
High time to reconsider things
Therefore, it is time to consider matters more seriously and reconsider the policies of support provided to single parents. It is also high time to acknowledge the various impacts on the single parents due to the social circumstances. Most importantly, it is essential now to give more consideration to all the economic drivers of distress.
The research has made it very clear that the single parents are likely to experience higher levels of general stress, depression, and anxiety despite their best of efforts made to meet with their financial obligations successfully.
Unfortunately, however, there is very little research conducted exploring the ways to address the changes required in the help-seeking policies and the relation of distress with financial hardship of single parents that affect their personal health and wellbeing and their attempts to seek help to deal with the impact of such financial hardships.
The stress factor
The stress factor of being a single provider was also analyzed through different studies taking into consideration the alarming rate of increase in the debt consolidation ratings in the recent years, no matter how best the government is making an effort to grant benefits and support to single parents.
- It is found that lone financial responsibility of the parent that took primary custodial responsibility for the child or children was the primary factor to result in a huge financial burden to the parent.
- Add to that, these parents also do not have any other source of income and hence their financial source for child care is limited.
- It is for this reason they have to rely on other people and sources to take on debt to reduce their stress and worries.
Being trapped and helpless along with the persistent battle with their finances, they are unable to repay their debts on time and take on more debts to get rid of the previous one. This creates a chain of debts that binds them hard and strong making it literally and practically impossible for them to break the shackles.
They need to fight for everything that includes their range of feelings, constant worries, stress time, job and lots more making it virtually impossible to relax due to the worsening effect of the continuously arising unanticipated life events.
Sense of rumination
Most single parents shared their views and agreed to the researchers that money worries were the central part and factor that involved the major portion of their day as well as life. This is a repeated if not continual stressor that they could not avoid no matter how hard they tried with a little bit of entertainment or spending time with their kids. It is always at the back of their head.
- Another constant and life-consuming factor is the worry about food that regularly occupied their minds. This gave in to the sense of rumination and they tend to think that they are unable to provide the necessities to them and mostly to their children.
- This leads to sickness and sulking with some single parents even describing the austerity of their current conditions.
Feelings of depression and hopelessness also lead to cogitation and these lead to further issues such as sleeplessness, feelings of physical sickness and even heart issues and other ailments.
Have to make sacrifices
Making sacrifices is perhaps synonymous with the single parents fighting with their debt as well as daily household chores and jobs. They took the initiative to construct their personal responsibility for their children regarding feeding, education health and other aspects of childcare.
- They will go to any extent to make sure that their child does not go to bed hungry and they will even reduce their food intake which is arguably another detrimental factor to their own physical and mental health. Meals are skipped to pay off the utility bills every month and to make sure that debt associated with bills is not accumulated.
- Household fuel poverty is also a result of financial hardships faced by single parents. To cope up with these they even go without providing heat in their homes simply to prevent taking on more debt due to failure to pay the utility bills. Other that did, usually lowered the temperature of the heaters to reduce financial outgoings. Therefore, fuel costs are the most acceptable necessity for single parents to sacrifice.
Therefore, financial hardship of the single parents leads to ill health, poverty, and sacrifices requiring them to worry constantly about ways to find the money. Few even suggested that it affected their social interactions due to isolation, loneliness, and withdrawal. All these feelings of despair make the single parents believe that there is no way out of debt and therefore continue to stay in debt as well as in poverty.