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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 25 / 102

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explained to a large extent by socio-economic disadvantage, especially a lack of

resources” (pp.134-37). The Brody and Flor (1997) study included 156 households and

examined the psychological effects of poverty on African American, single-mother

families. In what can only be described as extreme poverty 75 percent of households in

that group had incomes of less than $3,330.00 per year and the median was $2,358

(p.1002).

Specific results of the three single-parent studies were mixed. Zimiles’ study

compared children from intact families, single-parent families, and families in which the

custodial parent had remarried. The dependent variable, academic achievement, was

established by looking at the student’s performance in 3 areas: 1.) a standardized aptitude

test; 2.) high school grade point average (GPA); and 3.) the probability that the student

would drop out of school between sophomore and senior years (1991:316). The study by

Weitoft et al. included the following groups: 1.) Children of widows/widowers; 2.)

Children of lone parents with a non-custodial biological parent; 3.) Children of lone

parents with a deceased non-custodial parent; 4.) Children living with partnered parents

(2004:135-139).

Although Brody and Flor’s (1997) sample involved single mothers in African

American families, he also addressed gender issues, and found that households with male

children were more routinized than households with female children. Males with more

routinized homes were linked with higher scholastic achievement, while social

interaction between single-mothers and daughters produced fewer internalizing problems

(p.1009). Since the sample was selected from low income households, these findings

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