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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 15 / 102

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The Need to Reassess Parental Involvement

As noted above, parental involvement is related to academic achievement, and

different types of family structure can directly affect the extent to which parents can be

involved in their children’s scholastic activities. The absence of one parent, reduced

income, and limited access to other parental resources can affect student academic

performance. Figures presented immediately below demonstrate that single-parent

families and minorities are likely to have lower incomes in relation to non-minorities and

households with dual incomes. The dynamic nature of external economic forces and

family structure creates an environment that can adversely affect adolescent academic

achievement. Because greater academic achievement is one key to reducing social and

economic inequality, frequent reassessments of the relationship between parental

involvement, family structure, and academic achievement are necessary and well-

advised.

Demographics

To emphasize the importance of re-evaluating the relationship between parental

involvement, family structure and academic achievement, and to show the state of the

problem today, several important facts should be established. 1.) According to statistics

compiled by the United States Census Bureau, the estimated median income for family

households in the U.S. during 2007 was $62,359, and for married-couple households the

median estimated income was $72,785 (DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith 2008).

Figures taken from the same data set indicate that the median income varied widely

between non-Hispanic Whites ($54,920), Whites ($52,115), Blacks ($33,916), Asians

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