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Running head: EFFECT OF FAMILY TYPE ON THE ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

Assessing the correlation between the family type and the academic performance of adolescence
males
Linsdale Graham
Bridgewater State University
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

Abstract

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FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

The Effect that family type has on the academic performance of adolescent males

Adolescent males perform 20% below academically than their female counterparts.

(Jones, 2011) Several factors play a role in this such as socio economic status, emotional

stability and intrinsic motivation etc. (Juke & Jam, 2001; Lamar, Cole, & Cater, 2015) Numerous

studies have been conducted on the Family types, focusing on the various types such as Single

Parent, Nuclear Family, Extended Family and Sibling Household. While these family types have

also been assessed in relation to academic achievement, emotional wellbeing and even

attachment styles (Badu, 2002). There are still conflicting reports regarding how much of an

effect a young male’s family type will have on their academic performance. In this paper, an

assessment of the role of family types have on the academic performance of adolescent males

between the ages of 13-17. The following Literature Reviews attempt to demonstrate to what

extent does family types have on the academic performance of adolescent males.

Studies that looked at the role of single parenthood in the role of low academic

performance often focused on cognitive development and access to resources (McLanahan &

Percheski, 2008). Other studies assessed whether parental divorce affects educational attainment

of children and is negatively correlated with parental SES, these processes were seen to

strengthen the lack of development among children from an emotional, physical and cognitive

standpoint. In the European studies reviewed, parental divorce was related to grade retention

(Bosman & Louwes, 1988; Brutsaert, 1998), the kind of track entered in high school (Latten

1984; Dronkers, 1992; Hilmert, 2002; Låftman, 2008), cognitive development (Van Loon et al.,

1978; Dronkers, 1992), and educational attainment overall (Van Loon et al., 1978; Bosman &

Louwes, 1988; Bosman, 1994; Hilmert, 2002; Fischer, 2007). A common process looked into is

whether the slower cognitive development of children with single parents can explain their
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

educational attainment, or whether other variables play a role. If the former is the case, one

should focus on cognitive development, and less on educational choices net of performance.

Results here are mixed, one Dutch study finding that cognitive development explained

educational attainment completely (Bosman & Louwes, 1988), while another study from the

same country noted that family structure differences in 6 different types are evident across a

wide cross section.

Student academic performance was only half explained by the cognitive development of

adolescents (Dronkers, 1992). Educational choices of teens and their divorced parents

themselves might therefore not be less relevant than behavioural and cognitive development and

school grades. Many studies seeking to explain the effects of family structures and transitions on

children’s educational outcomes have looked into changes in parental resources, and found them

to explain part of these effects (McLanahan and Sandefur, 1994; Thomson, Hanson &

McLanahan, 1994; Jonsson & Gähler, 1997; Garriga & Härkönen, 2009). European studies

which looked at the role of changes in parenting have found partly contradictory results, some

reporting a partly mediated effect of parenting and contrary behavior of children on educational

attainment (Bosman, 1994), while another paper found parenting and parental resources to not

influence the relationship between parental divorce and child outcomes (Dronkers, 1992).
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

Research Question: Is there a significant difference between the academic performance of adolescent

males from single parent, nuclear, or extended families?

Null hypothesis: There is no significant difference in the academic performance of adolescent males

from single parent, nuclear or extended families.

H0: 𝜇1 =𝜇2 =𝜇3

Alternative hypothesis: There is a significant difference in the academic performance of adolescent

males from single parent, nuclear and extended families.

HA: 𝜇1≠𝜇2
𝜇1≠𝜇3
𝜇2≠𝜇3
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

Method:

Participants

Gender (male, female)


Family Type (Nuclear, Single Parent, Extended)
Grade Point Average

A comprehensive list of adolescent males between the ages of 11-16 in the Brockton School

system was obtained. Questionnaires were distributed to 800 randomly selected students

inquiring about their academic performance in the past year and their family type and socio

economic status. A confidentiality statement was included, in addition to a consent form to be

signed by their parent or guardian. This statement ensured the participants confidentiality in

alignment with the standards of the IRB. They were given 5 weeks to respond. Of the 800

surveys distributed, 200 were returned. Of the 200 returned, students were selected according to

the family type they selected on the survey: 1) Nuclear 2) Single Parent 3) Extended. All males

who attend school in the Brocton area. Of the participants selected, 38 was from a single parent

family, 24 from a nuclear family and 19 from an extended family.

Measures

 The UK Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study (Sidebotham,

Heron & The ALSPAC Study Team University of Bristol, 2006), followed children (n =

14,256) from birth through to age 6 years. The study found that of the 293 (2.1%) of children

who were the subject of social service investigations, 115 (0.8%) were placed on the child

protection register, signifying substantiated physical or emotional abuse, sexual abuse or

neglect (Sidebotham et al., 2006). Children from sole-mother families had a higher risk of

registration on the child protection register than those living in "two-parent" families. The

authors reported that the effects of sole-mother status were modified by parental background
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

characteristics such as young parental age, low educational achievement, adverse childhood

experiences, and past psychiatric history, as well as socio-economic factors. Poverty was

found to be the highest risk factor for both investigation and registration for all children on

the register, but again this was moderated by other factors. The extra stresses commonly

experienced by sole-mother families created a higher risk environment for these children.

Finally, although the relative risk was higher for sole-mother families than for "two-parent"

families, the vast majority of sole-mother families (96.5%) had no record of child

maltreatment registration.

 A Canadian study of child neglect (Dufour et al., 2007) found that "single-parent" families

were overrepresented in the child protection system, accounting for 49% of substantiated

cases of neglect (comprising 88% sole-mother families, and 12% sole-father families). "Two-

parent families" accounted for 38% of substantiated neglect cases. Sole-mothers tended to

experience a greater number of parental personal and social problems - including substance

abuse, mental health issues, low levels of education, and unemployment - than other parents.

Much of the variation in risk by family structure in this study was explained by these

differences.

Results

 A one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was run on participant’s scores on ALSPAC.

The ANOVA table showed there was significance (p<.05)

 The post hoc showed significant mean difference (p<.05) in the academic performance

between the participants who were from a single parent family (M=38), and the

participants who are from nuclear families (M=24) and those from an extended family

(M=19).
FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

 Effect size was calculated and reported as small. (η² = 0.248)

Discussion
 This study was done as a pilot study, therefore used a small sample. With a small sample,

there is the potential for decreased precision.

 The sampling methodology was not random. Participants were selected based on Family

type and other criteria to achieve maximum variation. Because of the sampling bias, the

results of this study are not generalizable to the larger population.

 The study required volunteers to complete the survey, also adding to the potential for bias

with the sample.

 Although the purpose of the study was not explicitly discussed with participants, because

of the specific questions asked, participants may have anticipated the results expected and

answered accordingly. This would call into question the validity. With such a specific

instrument used, concealing the purpose of research was difficult.

LIMITATIONS

 This study was done as a pilot study, to determine whether any difference in academic

performance of adolescent males and their family types exists. Future studies can further

investigate this difference, as well as possible causes.

 This study did not answer how other factors such as socio economic status, familial

support or community have an effect on academic performance.


FAMILY TYPE AND IT’S CORRELATION TO ADACEMIC PERFORMANCE OF ADOLSECENT MALES

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