Speaking from experience, being left at home for hours at a time changes you. You understand why it's happening, but you begin to resent your parents a little and become more distant from them. You learn to take care of yourself and whomever may be in the house, and while that is a valuable skill, you're often forced to grow up too early.
From experience, I grew up in a household raised by a single Dad. I was home alone after school and I was forced to grow up much quicker than my peers were. It was up to me to get my homework done, and to eat, and to do household chose. I was more independent because of this.