15% kids in Goa state live with only one parent

15% kids in Goa state live with only one parent
18 Jan 2009

PANAJI: Goa ranks high among the states when it comes to children living with a single parent, a recent study shown.

The National Family Health Survey – 3 reveals that about 15% of children in the state live with one parent, mostly with the mother. Goa ranks fourth on the list, which is headed by Bihar (26%).

About 3% children in Goa live with neither parent and 4% have experienced the death of one or both parents.

Though the survey doesn’t explain why 15% of the children in the state live with only one parent, sociologists say there could be two major reasons. “It could be either due to one parent working abroad or on ships or simply because the parents are not staying together after having a child,” said Ganesha Somayaji, head of department of sociology, Goa University.

Living with only one parent could have a psychological impact on children, say psychologists. Explained Dr Ajoy Estibeiro, “If a child is brought up in an independent grove from an early age, they do tend to cope up. But some children do have temper tantrums and as they grow older they have behaviour equivalent to depression. Such children can evolve in two fashions – either become mature or spoilt due to over compensation by a single parent.”

The report – based on an analysis of samples collected from 3,231 households in 2005-06 to obtain information on population, health and nutrition in the state – reveals the nuclear household structure is more prevent in urban areas (65.3%) as compared to 60.9% in rural areas. But contrary to popular belief, a majority of children living alone with the mother is high in rural areas (13.7%) as compared to 12.8% in urban areas.

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While about 10% children below the age of 5 live with the mother, it increases to about 12% in the age group of 5-9. As the child grows older, the chances of his staying with the mother alone increases. About 15.3% children in the age group of 10-14 and 17.3% children in the age group of 15-17 live alone with the mother. In contrast, only about 2% children live alone with the father.

The report reveals that the state has 24% of the population under the age of 15 and about 82% below 18 years living with both parents.

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