1 in 3 Filipino youth grew up without both parents
Childhood and adolescence are critical stages of development that require close parental support and guidance. A third of today’s Filipino youth, however, have had to navigate the challenges of growing up without the presence of both biological parents.
Results of the 2021 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS5) show that only 67% of young people were raised by both parents*; 65% among ages 15-19, and 68% among ages 20-24. This presents a distinctive decline from the percentages recorded from 1994 to 2013 (see Figure 1). Some 18% of all youth lived with their mothers only, while 4% lived with their fathers only. Meanwhile, 7% of the youth were raised by other people, mostly their grandparents.
While all regions experienced a decline in the percentage of youth raised by both parents, it is notably lowest in the country’s richest regions, namely Central Luzon (38%), NCR (58%), and CALABARZON (61%) (see Table 1).
The most common reasons for not being raised by both parents include any parent working away (45%), marital separation (38%), and the death of any parent (17%) (see Figure 2). Between 2013 and 2021, the large increase in the share of youth not raised by both parents can be attributed to the increase in the share of those whose parents were working away within the country for much of their childhood.
Since 1994, the YAFS series has been collecting information on the persons who mostly raised the youth before they reached 18, given how parental support and family configuration during formative years and adolescence explain much of the youth’s values, attitudes, and behaviors.
For instance, regional studies that used the 2013 YAFS data found that not having been raised by both father and mother is linked to a higher likelihood of early school leaving, teenage pregnancy, and cohabitation. It was also found to be associated with lower self-esteem, life satisfaction, and happiness levels.
The full results of the YAFS5 will be released in the form of a monograph and the data will be made available for public use in 2023. The preliminary findings are available here.
*Note: In the 1994 and 2002 YAFS, respondents were asked about the persons who mostly raised them from birth up to age 15. In 2013 and 2021, the question was revised to the persons who mostly raised from birth to now (for respondents aged 18 or under) or until age 18 (for respondents over 18).
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