Family Structure, Maternal Education, and Children's Academic Trajectories

Jennifer M. Augustine, University of Texas at Austin

A compelling body of research shows that mothers’ and children’s educational pathways are linked through mothers’ pro-academic parenting, but mothers’ relationships also provide important resources that affect mothers’ parenting. Thus, the effects of family structure on children’s achievement could potentially narrow or widen maternal educational differences in children’s achievement. In order to understand how educational advantage (and disadvantage) is transmitted, when it is blunted (e.g., single parenthood), and whether it can be supplemented by an alternative resource (e.g. marriage), this study uses data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 1004) to examine how family structure histories moderate the link between maternal education, parenting, and children’s early achievement. These findings will help focus policy initiates on either improving mothers’ human capital or family-focused programs, such as healthy marriage initiates.

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Presented in Poster Session 3