Among the school children we interviewed in terms of behavior, we found a number of illegitimate children. In them, mental disorders are much more common and intense than in children born in wedlock. This is understandable if we take into account that an illegitimate child is much more exposed to various emotional upheavals and negative actions than a child conceived in marriage. An illegitimate child is still an uncomfortable burden for the mother in most cases, either materially, morally, or both. Therefore, an unmarried mother usually gives it to another person for upbringing. Sometimes it is a grandmother or some other cousin, but it also happens that the mother leaves her child for a fee to strangers. Then there is the danger that the child will develop without maternal love, left to itself in a psychological sense. In that case, the disorders characteristic of upbringing without love will appear in its personality.
When a single mother marries or settles down economically, she usually takes the child with her. But now she is foreign to it and it is foreign to her. The lack of maternal love over a number of years is difficult to compensate for in later childhood. If the mother also has a child that she gave birth to in a marriage with another man, there is a danger that she will love this second child more than the first. It is understandable that the stepfather will also feel more warmth for his own than for someone else’s child. Then the illegitimate child, who has not yet fully coped with its mother, will feel rejected, unloved and superfluous. This will worsen its mental state, lead it to a neurotic reaction and to more severe behavioral disorders that sometimes lead it into delinquency.
There are cases when an unmarried mother keeps the child with her. But it often bothers her, restricts her freedom, hinders her sex life and makes it difficult for her to get married. That is why an unmarried mother is prone to impatient, irritable reactions towards the child, and even aggressive actions, all the way to extreme abuse. Feelings of guilt for being rude to a child sometimes turn into pronounced indulgence. This damages its mental development as much as the rigid educational process. There are cases when an unmarried mother surrounds her child with painful sentimentality, seeking in it the only meaning of her life, “sacrificing” for it both youth and love and all free time. It is natural that such an attitude towards it will deeply damage the child’s personality.