According to a new study done by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMH)  and  the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), growing up in a single-parent household can lead to high blood pressure later in life for black men.  Between 2001 and 2008, researchers used a sample size of 515 black students at Howard University and analyzed their blood pressure rates and incidents of hypertension.According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, those participants who grew up in single-parent households were more likely to suffer from high blood pressure compared to participants who were raised in two-parent households, regardless of whether the parent was a mother or father.“Being raised by a single parent really puts kids at a disadvantage in terms of resources that would be available to them,” said Charles Rotimi, co-author of the study, in a press release. “Our study is not an indictment of single-parent homes. Single parents, however, may struggle more to keep things together, and this may be impacting children in ways that later manifest as adult onset diseases.”

The researchers stated that socioeconomics play a huge role in the explanations of their findings.  Compared to two-parent households, children in single parent households often live in poverty. “The findings reported in the current study may be explained by these unmeasured childhood socioeconomic factors,” said Debbie Barrington, Ph.D., the lead author and an NIMHD senior research fellow.


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  • Huey – I don’t disagree with your argument. I think the problem is twofold – women should be more careful on who they sleep with and exercise greater precautions AND men need to be shamed for such irresponsible behavior. From what I’ve observed other races (especially those in higher socioeconomic classes) put more pressure on men and shun those who exhibit behaviors that have become expected and accepted in the Black community.

    As an example, I’ve spoken with men who were 30-33 years of age, who feel social pressure to get married (asap) and then have a family, not the other way around. Their families would have a fit if they were to father children with different women out of wedlock, so the social pressure does add a deterrent. EVERYONE in the black community, not just women, need to step up and address this issue

    Finally, can you please, please, PLEASE stop using the word “female” as anything other than an adjective (esp. when referring to a human)? I’m sure you realize the use of that word in that way is very insulting.

    • Victoria

      No need to apologize for using the word female. It’s not an offensive word.

    • That particular use of the word female dehumanizes women (the term that should be used) and many find it condescending.

      That, and it’s an improper use of the word.

    • Victoria

      What impropet use of the word? How was it improperly used? A word is not offensive b/c some movement says so. If you dont wish to use it, by all means. But I dont find it offensive and will continue to do so.

  • Emma Knight

    As a black single mom, these stories piss me off. It should say children from low income households have a higher risk for medical problems. All people from all walks of life all over the world suffer in poverty. It is not a race or a sex issue.

    • simplyme

      I agree. These kinds of studies are useless. Unless you can tell me you controlled for income, parental age, etc. these studies create false implications and more confusion.

  • SayWhat

    In the story about a politician who wants kids to work for their free lunch, someone posted that they wish women who could not afford children, would not have them until they are financially stable, that if they have a GED, which in this day in age means squat, they should again wait….. they received nothing but thumbs down, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why? No one is talking about the kids who are here (that would be cruel) but surely we can talk about future children can’t we?

    I get it, out of wedlock birth is a sore issue for black women, based on surveys, we respond that we do want to get married (more so then women of other races), but we are least likely to, my only conclusion is that we are settling, but don’t want to admit it. Some of us just want our fellow bw to stop settling, because whether we want to admit it or not, our kids are suffering because of this, and will continue to do so. As someone who cares greatly about issues affecting bw, this is NOT a judgment call, just a call to know your worth.

    • My Name is My Name

      “In the story about a politician who wants kids to work for their free lunch, someone posted that they wish women who could not afford children, would not have them until they are financially stable, that if they have a GED, which in this day in age means squat, they should again wait….. they received nothing but thumbs down, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why?”

      It’s probably because the same isn’t expected of men. How can the problem truly be fixed if the focus is on the outcome and not the problem itself?

      Do you know the saying, “Pain is a symptom, not the cause“?

    • SayWhat

      1. Who says the same isn’t expected if men? I think a lot of people wish serial dads would get fixed.

      2. A woman has the final say in whether she chooses to be a mom, so more focus will always be on her.

  • I really hate stories like this. How many know that women are genetically prone to want children much the same way men what sex? We are in effect asking our women to not be human (not that this is new). Single parenthood happens because brothers ain’t shit? Is this the real reason?

    If you forget that this society hates black love, black families and black marriage, then please remember. I hate the fact that stories are written outside of historical context, yah know, black families were always strong and united, bullshit and that black men have the same opportunity as other groups, more bullshit.

    Black women are done all the heavy lifting and are blamed for everything! This must stop!

    • Victoria

      Black women have, “Done all of the heavy lifting,” yet, our children are not better off. We all know to issues that surround single parenthood; however, black women continue to get defensive regarding this subject. Our sons who are raised by black women are abandoning their children in large numbers- children by black and non black women. Yet, women get offfended when told to change their behavior; although, by making this change our children may be better off. If you are upset that men arent being “blamed” then starting “blaming” your sons to the point so they will be great fathers.

      Let’s start teaching our daughters that they no longer have to do all of the heavy lifting.

  • Black Woman Evolution

    Please bear with me as I am not the intellectual type who uses large, complicated words and phrases. I’m just a Black woman who was raised by a Black mom and grew up with Black sisters and cousins and would just like to share my view on this sad issue that has long plagued the Black community. As much as I hate to admit it, yes, women DO need to demand more from men and be sure they are not producing children with men who aren’t going to stick around and help them raise the kids. Let’s say that the majority of women having children out of wedlock are not the women who were abandoned by husbands and fiancés, but are actually women who are having children from casual, undefined relationships with “Nuk-nuk and nem” type men. Let’s say that is the case. I cannot agree or disagree with that because I do not have cited information to support or dispute this claim. There is stuff all over the internet from people determined to make Black women look bad but there is no scholarly evidence to prove either way that I am aware of. (If someone is aware of a piece of work such as that, please let me know). So, for the sake of argument (or not arguing) let’s say this is the case. In defense of women, though, it’s not so much that some Black women are dumb and lack discernment when it comes to avoiding the “Nuk-nuk” types. There is a pathology of low self-esteem amongst Black women (not all, but a vast amount) that plays a large role in why they choose the partners they choose. A lot of BW honestly do not feel they deserve or can get a man of quality. I am speaking from experience; my own experience of learning to love myself; my sisters’ (both of them) experiences of struggling to love themselves and realize their worth, my aunts, my mom and many, many of my friends. I am sure you have seen the documentary put on by film makers Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry called Dark Girls (I am not turning this into a colorism topic!). These are women who struggle with their sense of self-worth. Regardless of whether it is because of their skin tone, or weight or hairtype (Chris Rock’s Good Hair) or whatever, Black women, not all, but many, have struggled or struggle with feelings of poor self-worth. When you don’t feel worthy of love, you tend to take whatever kind of semblance of love you can get. That usually opens you up to all sorts of predatory situations. Please understand I am not making excuses for women; this is just my humble, real-life observation (and again, experience). I spent all of my twenties in relationships with men who did not have my best interest at heart. Because of my lack of self-worth, I put up with some real crappy situations disguised as relationships. No children were produced in these bogus relationships, but that’s not because I was so conscientious about my use of birth control; I just got lucky and didn’t get pregnant is all. I am far from twenty-anything now, but I can honestly say if I knew then what I know now, I would not have given ANY of those men the time of day back then. It has been a long, laborious task of learning to love myself and realize my self-worth. It’s a movement that is spreading. Look at programs like Black Girls Rock, aired annually on BET. Simply type “natural or kinky hair” in your Google search field and watch how many reputable and positive hair blogs by Black women pop up. We know we need to work on our self-worth so that we can confidently demand more from men AND life in general. And we are working on it. It isn’t going to be an overnight thing. We are working to undo years, decades and centuries of damage from slavery, colonialism, segregation, integration, crack and gang epidemics, fatherlessness, pop culture and much more. The one question I have to ask is how are Black men dealing with their own pathologies? They have them, too. And they aren’t all the fault of Black women, either. This epidemic of OOWL mothers and fatherless homes is so much deeper than “women need to stop letting any old man bust inside of them”. Yes on the surface that is a true statement, but we have to ask what is going on inside of the mind of a woman who allows this type of treatment and then tackle the issues that come out of that type of questioning. Thank you for allowing me to share…

    • SayWhat

      Beautifully stated.