One of the main causes of this would be if the parent is suffering financially.
Using data from the U. They find that during the year period beginning inyear-olds who had been raised in single-parent families had, on average, two-thirds of a year less schooling than those who had lived in two-parent families. But for those who reached age 24 bywho had lived in single-parent households, the gap had increased to nearly one and one-third years, an increase of nearly half a year of schooling.
The data also reveal an increase in the attainment gap, or the difference in likelihood that a young person will graduate from college by age During the s, the likelihood of graduating from college was 8 percentage points less among those who had lived in single-parent families than their peers with two-parent families.
In the year period ending inthat gap more than doubled to 17 percentage points. A likely explanation for the educational attainment gap is the sharp difference in family income between the two types of families.
This figure jumped to 75 percent over the next three decades. The corresponding increase for adolescents in high-income families over that period is much smaller, from 3 percent to 6 percent. To see whether all of the differences between the two types of families could be attributed to differences in income, the researchers estimate impacts of family structure on educational attainment with and without considering differences in parental income.
When they adjusted for family income, the scholars did indeed find that differences in income account for about half of the education disadvantage facing students raised in single-parent families. But even after adjusting for income, they found that single parenthood still had a much larger connection to educational attainment in the most recent period than during the s.
The educational attainment of the mother remains the single most important factor associated with the number of years a child remains in school. In the period ending infamily size did not appear as a significant factor, while the age of the mother became increasingly important.
But the association of single parenthood with educational attainment is now as large as the age of the mother. All of these factors are interconnected, the authors point out, making it difficult to isolate the independent, causal importance of any one.
The observed changes over time suggest that it is more important in the 21st century to be raised in a two-parent household than it was at the time the Moynihan Report was prepared.
The Moynihan Report focused on black families, but the rise in single-parent families transcends racial and ethnic boundaries.
Data from the Current Population Survey show that between andthe proportion of black children living with a single parent more than doubled from 22 percent to 55 percent ; among white children, the percentage more than tripled from 7 percent to 22 percent.
About the Authors Kathleen M. Duncan is professor of education at the University of California, Irvine. About Education Next Education Next is a scholarly journal published by the Hoover Institution that is committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform.
For more information about Education Next, please visit:In , the poverty rate for children in single parent families was triple that of children in two parent families; 42 percent of children in single parent families were poor, compared to 13 percent of those in two parent families. Consequently, the dropout rate for the average white child in a single-parent family is substantially higher than the dropout rate of the average black child in a two-parent family and only two percentage points lower than the dropout rate of the average black child in a one-parent family.
Although popular discussions focus on the distinction between two-parent families and single-parent families, McLanahan and Sandefur  show that outcomes for stepchildren are similar to outcomes for children in single-parent families. exist in terms of those from single parent and those from two parent families.
Fadeiye () in particular found that in two parent homes, both parents have roles lo play in child education. A single parent refers to a parent who has one or more than one child and who is not living with the children’s other parent. Varied research shows that children in single-parent homes fare worse than those with two parents.
Single parenting and today's family Over the past 20 years single-parent families have become even more common than the so-called "nuclear family" consisting of a mother, father and children.
Today we see all sorts of single parent families: headed by mothers, headed by fathers, headed by a grandparent raising their grandchildren.