Teens in single-parent families ‘more likely to show off’

Teens who live with only one of their parents, even if they are stepmothers at home, are more likely to show ‘criminal’ behaviors, a new study suggests.

Educators in Sweden surveyed 14- and 15-year-olds in various life arrangements, including living with parents, single parents and stepmother.

Some teenagers have been involved in various crimes ranging from graffiti to robbing someone and carrying a knife as a weapon.

Educators have found that teens living in single-father, single-mother, father-stepmother and step-step-family reported more crimes than those living with both of their parents.

The study authors emphasize that just because a teenager lives with one of his biological parents does not mean he is guilty.

Further research may be needed as they study the results of Swedish teens in a very short age range.

The study found that teenagers living in single-parent families are more likely to exhibit ‘criminal’ behavior such as shoplifting and graffiti.


Any one of the following acts committed during the last 12 months is defined as a self-reported crime:

– Beat someone

– Someone robbed

– Carried the knife as a weapon when going out

– Store theft

– A bicycle was stolen

– Something was stolen from someone’s pocket or bag

– Something was stolen from the car or the car was broken into to steal something

– Graffiti

– Damage

A new study was published this week in the open access journal PLOS One by Robert Svensson and Bjன்rn Johnson at the University of Malm in Sweden.

“This study shows that it is important to use comprehensive classifications of family structure in relation to crime,” they say in their study.

‘We need to increase our knowledge of the adolescent group moving between parents.’

Previous studies have found that not living with both parents is positively related to criminal behavior.

However, these are ‘very simplistic’, for example they only compare living with both parents and not living with both parents.

For the new study, the researchers looked at the broader life arrangements of teens who did not live with both parents.

They distinguished teenagers living in ‘symmetrical’ or ‘asymmetrical’ family arrangements.

Balanced family arrangements are when both parents are single or both parents have a new partner.

Meanwhile, ‘asymmetrical’ family arrangements are the mother or father, but not both, having a new spouse.

For investigation, aggravated behaviors ranging from graffiti to robbing someone and carrying a knife as a weapon have been defined as a crime.

For investigation, aggravated behaviors ranging from graffiti to robbing someone and carrying a knife as a weapon have been defined as a crime.

The researchers used data from four cross-sectional studies conducted in southern Sweden between 2016 and 2019, including a total of 3,838 teenagers aged 14 to 15.

The study looked at 17 high schools in eight small municipalities in Sweden’s southern county, with a population of about 1.4 million.

The data includes self-reported information about nine crimes, including shoplifting, graffiti, robbing someone and carrying a knife when leaving the house, as well as detailed family organization.

Misbehavior is more common among adolescents living with both their mother and father, as well as those living with a father, a mother, a father and stepmother or a mother and stepmother.

Of all participants, teens in asymmetrical families – where parents live separately and are in custody, but both single or both have new partners – generally reported lower rates of crime than those in asymmetrical families.

However, experts also found that many correlations between family structure and crime were diminished when correcting data on parental involvement and surveillance.

Researchers agree that their study did not prove the cause – in other words, some family structures cause guilt, while others do not.

Another limitation is that the study sample came from a teenager in a Swedish country; Further research will involve a much larger sample.

Overall, the authors conclude that a more accurate classification of the family structure may shed light on the contributing factors to the crime.

Women with single parents are more likely to be obese: a 2017 study

In a 2017 study, women with single parents were twice as likely to be obese.

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer in Brisbane, Australia, have found that single-parent women between the ages of 12 and 17 are less likely to eat less healthy food at home.

It also found that these women spend more time in ‘non-spending behavior’, which contributes to a higher risk of obesity.

Avoiding low education and sports contributes to the obesity of all young women between the ages, regardless of their lifestyle arrangement.

And parents who are not educated at university are more likely to be obese.

Their risk increases only if they live in a single-parent family, thus making them three times more likely to be obese.

Surprisingly, the study found that junk food is not the leading cause of obesity in adolescent girls.

But junk food and regular carrying were found to be the main reason why boys between the ages of 5 and 11 are obese.

Pre-prepared foods or fried foods such as burgers, pizza, sausage rolls and chips were considered ‘takeaway foods’ in research.

The study also found that boys who did not attend parental university were twice as likely to be obese.

Furthermore, research has found that boys who skip sports are just as likely to gain weight as girls.

The Brisbane Institute examined the parents of 3,500 children, examining various causes of obesity among young and adolescent boys and girls.

Four percent of women aged 12 to 17 were found to be obese, a lower number than both boys in the same age group and girls younger than them.

Seven percent of boys aged 12 to 17 were found to be obese, five percent less than men aged five to 11, and four percent less likely to be obese than women aged 5 to 11.

QIMR Berkofer Senior Biological Statistician Professor Peter O’Rourke says more research is needed to find out why women with single parents are overweight.

But, he said, parents should focus on easily changeable things like diet and exercise.

“While some factors are beyond the control of parents, some of the best things they can do is encourage regular exercise,” he said.

O’Rourke also suggested that parents should be provided with a healthy diet packed with fruits and vegetables and that they should be provided with less takeaways at the dinner table.

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