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Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion

Nan Marie Astone and Sara S. McLanahan
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jun., 1991), pp. 309-320
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096106
Page Count: 12
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Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion
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Abstract

Integrating ideas from child development with sociological models of educational attainment, we examine the relationship between family structure--whether both parents are present in the household--and children's achievement in high school. Using data from the High School and Beyond study, sophomore cohort, 1986, we ask whether differences in achievement are accounted for by differences in parents' educational aspirations and parenting styles. Children who live with single parents or stepparents during adolescence receive less encouragement and less help with school work than children who live with both natural parents, and parental involvement has positive effects on children's school achievement. Differences in parental behavior, however, account for little of the difference in educational attainment between children from intact and nonintact families.

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