Indulging in a few cocktails after work doesn’t constitute a drinking problem for parents. But for an alarming number of children in the United States, living with a mommy or daddy who abuses alcohol is just part of daily life. And statistically, it’s single moms who are hitting the bottle pretty hard.
Reuters reports that about 10.5% of American children live in a home where a parent was abusing alcohol, about 7.5 million children on average. Single mothers however made up signigicant slice of the single-parent pie:
Of the 1.4 million children who lived in a single-parent home where the adult had a drinking issue, the overwhelming majority — 1.1 million — were in female-headed households…”
Single mothers are already culturally synonymous with so much negativity and these numbers are far from flattering to a demographic that truly does it all. Depression is diagnosed in women at twice the rate of men, but this research raises questions regarding why single mothers are more likely to struggle with alcoholism than their partnered counterparts. Stress could obviously be a factor given that these mothers are keeping both home and work afloat, as well as a neglect for self-care in the face of parenting responsibilities.
Yet, children who live with alcoholics aren’t exactly on a road to promise. They’re more likely to suffer from a host of mental problems including depression and anxiety. These kids are also more likely to suffer from developmental deficiencies, to be abused or neglected, and are four times more likely to develop personal problems with alcohol.
Nevertheless, these findings are a reminder of the massive amount of women who battle all kinds of demons while trying to keep their families together.