The School Compositional Effect of Single Parenthood on 10th-Grade Achievement
Whether and how school's concentration of students from single-parent families affect the social context for learning for all student.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 71, No.1, pp. 23-42
- In the absence of all other school variables, schools with greater concentrations of children from single-parent families demonstrated lower levels of overall school achievement.
- A large part of the school-level effect of single parenthood is due to the economic and minority status of student body.
- Students who attend schools with a greater concentration of children from single-parent families tend to be of minority and lower SES backgrounds.
- Parents' acquaintances could compensate for the detriment of being in a school with a high concentration of children from single-parent families.
- Once other family background factors are controlled, however, there is no evidence that living in single-mother families negatively affects children's achievement.
- Together both the schools' economic status and social capital completely explained the differences in mathematics or reading achievement between schools with low concentration of students from single-parent families and schools with medium concentrations.
- Study showed that a school-level measure of parental school participation has a positive effect on students' achievement. However, did not find effects of individual parents' school participation on 10th-grade achievement.
- It is critical for single parents to maintain contact with other parents who participate in school.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Academic Achievement, Composition, Family, Math, Parents, Reading, SES, Social Capital
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- NELS (National Education Longitudinal Study).
- Data from 654 schools and 10,399 10th grade students , 15% of whom were from single-mother families: 3% from single-mother families; 12%, from stepfamilies; and 2%, from guardian families.
- Chose 10th graders because they are in the developmental stage in which they want to assert their independence form their parents, but are most susceptible to the influence of peers and other estrafamilial environments.
- DV: Scores on the 10th grade mathematics and reading tests-the IRT-Estimated Number Right
- IV: Individual-level (prior achievement, SES, single-mother family, single-father family, stepfamily, guardian family, net social capital- parent's social relations and networks with other parents, ethnicity and gender) and school-level (school's SES, school's percentage of single parents and school-based indicators of social capital, high concentration of minority students, private or catholic, urban or rural, 10th grade enrollment, mean parental school participation, level of parental acquaintances )