The family structure and interrelations are important in shaping a child's academic achievement and performance. The following paper examines the effects of different family structures on children's educational performance and achievement and the debate about which of the family structure places the most impact on children's academic achievement. Specifically the differences in academic achievement between children from single parent, two biological parent, and step- parent households will be explored.
Though improving public schools is important, increasing evidence indicates that schools are not solely responsible for promoting our young people's academic success. It is recognized that families are important in helping students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in future jobs and careers. Since the early 1970's, a significant amount of research has been devoted to the effects of children's achievement from non-traditional families. To date, there has been considerable debate about which of the family structure impacts the academic achievement of children the most (Lerner, 1995; Stockard & Mayberry, 1992).
Acock and Demo, 1994 report that the relationship between family structure and students academic achievement has not been resolved. Mohan and Gulati (1986) studied several variables that contribute to academic achievement. The authors conclude that family and home environment, socioeconomic status, and parental interests and attitudes are the key determinants that contribute to children's academic achievement.
Clark (1997) investigated Family Structure to determine its influence on academic achievement of children. Clark's study included 215 subjects from 4 types of family structures: (a) single parent, female head of family, low economic status (SES), (b) single parent, female head, high SES, (c) two parent family, low SES, and (d) two parent family, high SES. Clark's results indicate students in two ...