Family Structure and Children’s Educational Success
Sociology 2010-Section 012
Nontraditional family structures have become more common and accepted throughout today’s society than in the past. This shift in family structure could have great implications for children and their future success. I chose to research whether children raised in traditional families tend to achieve more academically than those raised in nontraditional families. Traditional families can have various meanings, even just within the American culture. It can be very complicated to distinguish which structures are best because there are so many, some of which are single …show more content…
This caused the children not to have as many opportunities as children in more financially stable households. The second reason was that there was often added stress on the children. Many times this was due to conflict between divorced parents. Because of this, children seemed unable to spend as much time and focus on academics. Since I observed this, I became interested to discover if this could also be observed in across American society as a whole.
According to (FamilyFacts.org, n.d.) the proportion of American children being raised in single-parent homes has nearly doubled over the past thirty five years, whereas the proportion of children being raised in two-parent homes has dropped about fifteen percent. (FamilyFacts.org, n.d.) states that family structure plays a significant role on an individual’s academic performance; from preschool readiness to college levels. This source discusses the major role that family structure plays on a student’s performance. It gives many effects throughout different stages of life including teen pregnancy, incarceration, and psychological issues. The article also states that if the U.S. family structure was as strong today as it was in 1970 531,000 fewer children each year would need psychotherapy and 453,000 fewer children would be involved in violence each year. (Teachman, 2008) also states that the family structure in which a child is raised
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Chief amongst these are that families have two goals: in raising children and establishing solid and stable adult relationships (Parsons and Bales 1955). The way families achieved these goals was by establishing specific roles for each member of the family, specifically the two parents. This structure, with a man in the workforce and woman at home, was very prevalent in the 1950s. In 1960, according to Phillip Cohen (2014), 65 percent of children lived in homes with married parents where only the father was employed. At this point, with a majority of children living in such situations, it seemed valid to define families using these households. However, this household structure quickly fell out of prominence: by 2012, only 22 percent of children lived in such homes. The most common household type — 34 percent — involved married parents where both adults worked. With families now being arranged in such varied ways, it is more difficult to generalize about family structures as you and Bales do, Dr. Parsons (Cohen 2014: 2-3).
There is a plethora of reasons as to why single-parent households are toxic to a child’s future. Single parenthood has problematic consequences for children’s school performance at all levels in their educational career. Children who grew up with only one biological parent are twice as likely
Many experts on divorce and the effects on children agree that the actual separation of parents may not be the leading factor in depression. Robert Aseltine explains, "Divorce is seen as setting off a chain of negative events and transitions that are causally related to youths' psychological distress and may be more potent stressors than the physical separation of parents" (134). My personal experience has shown that money does not last as long when only one income supports the same number of children as two incomes previously supported. Aseltine concurs by stating, "Economic hardship is thought to play a prominent role in explaining children's distress Disrupted families generally experience dramatic declines in standard of living " (134). When any person goes from one standard of living to a substantially lesser standard of living in a short amount of time they will have emotional stresses that will be difficult to deal with. This will cause great stresses in their lives creating barriers toward success. Financial situations are not always the main stress factor in depression among children of divorced parents.
While both styles of parenting have their benefits and weaknesses, the educational system of the United States is built predominantly on middle class values and Concerted Cultivation. Consequently, this may negatively affect how children who aren’t familiar with this upbringing navigate their already complex academic and home lives. This imbalance within the student population can put some students farther ahead and at the same time neglect students who don’t have the resources they need to keep up with their peers. Lareau refers to this as “transmission of differential advantages to children”. She states the benefits the advantages that middle-class homes typically offer:
Students from single parent homes also have lower academic achievement compared to students with two-parent families (Pong, Dronkers, & Hampden-Thompson, 2003). Single parent households are also at higher risk for child abuse and neglect (Paxson & Waldfogel, 2002). While poverty does not cause abuse or neglect, there is a direct link between the two (Bower, 2003). If neglect or abuse are present in Amanda’s
Family is the building block of society. One of the most crucial institutions there is. Marriage being the main foundation for family. Not only is divorce increasing psychological problems for children, but it will also, in turn, effect all other institutions in society. Children are becoming less motivated to receive higher education, and many people blame this on
As Lyndon Baines Johnson says, “The family is the corner stone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled. So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together, all the rest — schools, playgrounds, and public assistance, and private concern — will never be enough” (Danes). He believed that family is the base of the society. The way that family is set up affects children in all ways. Family structure is very important and that no matter what we do,
The economic factors are also a problem with divorced families which in turn has a direct effect on the ability of the children to succeed financially. The majority of divorces that occur result in the household income being reduced by as much as half. This can have a much greater effect on children growing up in a family that is financially secure before the divorce. The adjustment and change that must occur financially is often devastating to the children especially in their formative years. (Fagan & Rector, 2000)
School and education happens to be one of the main things affected in the lives of both African American males and females living in single parent households. Parents tend to become less involved in the childs academics and social activities in school from the stress of being a single parent and having so much responsibility on them. It seemingly gets worse by the time the child reaches high school. One survey asked high school students whether their parents helped them with their school work and supervised their social activities. Students whose parents separated between the sophomore and senior years reported a loss of involvement and supervision compared to students whose parents stayed together (Mclanahan, n.d.). This usually leads to the child performing poorly in the classroom and on assignments. The child becomes less motivated to attend school, which leads to poor attendance. Poor attendance and lack of motivation sometimes results in the child dropping out of school. If the parents live apart, the probability that their children will drop out of high school rises by 11 percentage points. And for every child who actually drops out of school, there are likely to be three or four more whose performance is affected even though they manage to graduate (Mclanahan, n.d). Children born to unmarried parents are slightly more likely to drop out of school and become teen mothers than children born to married parents who divorce. But the difference is small compared to the
“In the united states, more than 4 to 5 in 10 marriages end in a divorce, and approximately half of American children are affected by this change in family relationships” ( McDevitt & Ormrod, 2015, p.73). The divorce rate is continuously skyrocketing, and more children are having to learn how to deal with this occurrence. In addition to divorce, there are also many different types of family situations, that are not considered traditional, and these also cause children to go through hardships. For the most part, children who grow up in traditional working households have tended to do better in school and grow developmentally stronger than children in non-traditional household settings due to the hardships and the changes these children are going through.
Amato, P. R. (2005). The impact of family formation change on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of the next generation. Journal of Marriage and Child Wellbeing, 15 (2), 75-90. Retrieved from: www.futureofchildren.org.
Family structure — whether a child’s parents are married, divorced; single, remarried, or cohabiting — has a significant influence on children’s performance. Family structure affects a range of child behaviors that can bear directly on educational success, such as school misbehavior, drug and alcohol consumption, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, and psychological distress. One fundamental characteristic of the family that has significant and sustaining effects on children is its structure—that is, the number of parents and their relationships to the children in the household. A family structure can constrain the availability of economic and social resources such as parents’ ability to spend time with their child, be involved in educational activities, and expend
In recent decades the family institution has undergone a dramatic transformation focusing on increased divorce rates, cohabitation rates, and the number of children raised in step and single marital families (Amato, 2000; Bumpass & Lu, 2000; Graefe & Lichter, 1999). Due to the increase of divorce rates children move more frequently and deal with additional family transitions throughout their childhood (Brown, 2006). As these changes slowly increase, about 40% of kids who are born to wedded, two-biological- parent families have a higher chance of parental divorce prior to reaching adulthood(Amato,2000). In addition, these children will likely experience a multitude of family disruptions and transitions as parents decide to remarry and progress with new partners. The family atmospheres during these times are incredibly detrimental to the growth and development of these children (Sun& Li, 2009). Research studies show that parental divorce can compromise educational success for their children. Children in two-parent families have noticeably higher test scores than children who are in single parent families and also had lower chances of graduating from high school (Sun & Li, 2001). One of the rationalizations for the academic difficulty in divorced
For most people, the home life can affect how you act everyday, this is no different for children and school. The stress from home is shown to affect a child's school life. Research has shown that children that live with a single parent score less than children with two parents, on average, with measurements of educational achievements. The reason why children usually do worse than kids with both parents, is because the single parent must work. Therefore is not home to help with homework. Parents also provide the child with emotional support, encouragement and everyday assistance. So, if there is only one parent, then the child is only receiving half of the previously stated things compared to children with two parents. These things can affect a person at any school level. Over 57 percent of children who live with both parents enter college. Compared to the 32.5 percent of children who have single parents that enter college. This is just one way that single parenting can affect a child's life.\
The theory in this study concentrated on four illustrations that might provide insight on the observation of negative correlations between divorced parents and children's education achievements.