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Study Finds Students With Single Parents Leave School Earlier

Study Finds Students With Single Parents Leave School Earlier

Students that come from low-income families will find their education much different than their peers who come from high-income families. Recent data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics finds that students who have single-parents also complete fewer years of school than their peers in two-parent homes. This is a trend, data finds, that has been going on for over 30 years. 

"One of the most alarming social trends in the past 40 years is the increasing educational disadvantage of children raised in low-income families," said an article on EducationNext.org. "Differences between low-and high-income children in reading and math achievement are much larger now than they were several decades ago, as are differences in college graduation rates."

The article said that income inequality is one of the reasons why this occurs among our students, but the article also focuses on "the central concern of the Moynihan Report: the rise of single-parent families, which has been much more rapid among those with low incomes than among those with high incomes, and indeed has fueled some of the increasing income inequality."

The Moynihan Report, according to the article, "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 1960 and 2013, the proportion of black children living with a single parent more than doubled [from 22 percent to 55 percent]; for white children, the percentage more than tripled [from 7 percent to 22 percent]."

The group's analysis, according to the article, "is based on data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics [PSID], spanning 31 cohorts of children born between 1954 and 1985. The PSID has followed a nationally representative sample of families and their children since 1968. Our sample consists of 6,072 individuals from whom information was collected on parental income and other characteristics between the ages of 14 and 16 and on completed schooling at age 24. Our key measure is the amount of time between the ages of 14 and 16 that the child lived with a single parent."

"On average over the 31-year period, children the PSID followed into early adulthood completed 13.2 years of schooling by age 24, and 22.4 percent had completed college," the article said. "They spent 22 percent of the years between ages 14 and 16 living with a single parent, with 26 percent spending any of those years living with a single parent. And their mothers were about 26 when these children were born and had completed 12.2 years of education by the time their children were 14 years old."

The report looks at the role of single-parent families, and said that they "are much more prevalent now than at the time the Moynihan Report was published."

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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