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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 14 / 102

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with their children due to work schedules, there are other factors which can be associated

with family structure as it relates to academic progress. Attewell and Battle (1991) point

out that something as simple as student access to home computers is associated with

higher test scores (p.1). Because many single-parent families also have reduced income

levels (see below), it could be argued that single parents have limited access to the

material goods that promote greater academic achievement.

In the study being replicated here, Jeynes’ Effects of Parental Involvement and

Family Structure on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents (2005), limited access to

parental resources and the physical absence of one parent are both cited by the author as

being detrimental to academic achievement. Although family structure is not, in the

strictest sense, a parental involvement variable, it is one factor that may weigh heavily

upon a parent’s ability to be involved in their children’s academic activities, and as such,

it is included here as a parental involvement variable. In addition, the category of family

structure types is undergoing constant change. For example, in 1994 approximately 36

percent of children living in single-parent families lived with a parent who had never

been married, approximately 37 percent lived with a parent who had been divorced, and

23 percent lived with a parent who was separated from their spouse due to marital discord

(Saluter 1994). Because family structure is undergoing constant change and is likely

related to a parent’s ability to promote their children’s academic progress, it is essential

to re-evaluate its association with academic achievement.

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