The influence of family structure on the test scores of students

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Subba, Rita
Matson, Ronald R. (Ronald Robert)

This study examined the effect of being raised in one-parent and two parent family structures on the academic achievement of students by looking at the test scores of their standardized composite math/reading tests. The study also looks for the possible influence of gender/race and structural factors like socioeconomic status, school‟s geographic location, and economic resources on the test scores of students. Using a sample of students raised in biological one-parent and two-parent family structures from the Educational Longitudinal Survey 2002 dataset, cross-sex theory, resources theory and interpersonal theory have been used to explain the effect for both the full sample and for father-headed one-parent families and mother-headed one-parent families. The research found no significant gender effect on the test scores of students, however, the research result found strong impact for race and socioeconomic status on achievement. Family structure showed moderate effects. Students raised in two-parent families outperform students raised in one-parent families. However, the research findings indicated that socioeconomic status and race are stronger predictors of test scores than family structure.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Sociology