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Family Structure, School Context, and Eighth-Grade Math and Reading Achievement

Suet-Ling Pong
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 59, No. 3 (Aug., 1997), pp. 734-746
DOI: 10.2307/353957
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353957
Page Count: 13
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Family Structure, School Context, and Eighth-Grade Math and Reading Achievement
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Abstract

Schools include growing proportions of students from single-parent families and stepfamilies, and this trend prompts the investigation of whether these families affect all students' achievement. Analysis of eighth-grade math and reading achievement scores shows that schools that are predominated by students from single-parent families and stepfamilies negatively affect their students' achievement, even after individual demographic characteristics and family background are controlled. This negative effect of single-parent families and stepfamilies is partly explained by the relatively low socioeconomic status of children in these schools. However, the negative effect of single-parent families and stepfamilies on school achievement can be countervailed when social relations among parents are strong.

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