Concern over report challenging traditional family structure

A new parenting strategy funded in part by the Scottish government says that children do not need to have two parents in order to be successful.

The new report is part of an $18 million euro project aimed at creating and fostering positive parental influences in a child's life. The report calls into question the necessity of a traditional family structure by insisting that there is "no evidence to suggest that children of lone parents automatically do any worse in life than those with two".

The comments came in The National Parenting Strategy, a 70-page document that details the Scottish government's attempts to provide the best possible environment for parents to raise their children while also making access to support easier for all families.

Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, was troubled by the report, telling The Christian Institute that it was "deeply offensive to the majority of Scottish families, socially irresponsible and is not supported by the evidence".

The study said: "It's important to avoid making sweeping generalisations or discriminating assumptions about family make-up or material wealth and the quality of a child's upbringing. What matters most, research shows, is not a set family structure. Rather, it's responsible, committed and stable parenting by people who genuinely care about the child."

Recent studies have suggested a link between single-parent households and higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse.

A study by the Scottish Centre for Social Research found that 44 per cent of children between the ages of two to five who were from single-parent households suffered from "conduct problems". This compared with only 27 per cent of children from a two-parent household.