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Posted by / 19-Apr-2016 19:42

As shown in figure 1, they are twice as likely to drop out of high school, 2.5 times as likely to become teen mothers, and 1.4 times as likely to be idle -- out of school and out of work -- as children who grow up with both parents.Children in one-parent families also have lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer attendance records. These patterns persist even after adjusting for differences in race, parents' education, number of siblings, and residential location.Many people hold strong opinions about these issues.For example, conservatives such as former Education Secretary William Bennett and Charles Murray, the author of Losing Ground, believe that single motherhood is so harmful and public support is so significant an inducement for unwed women to have babies that it is time to get tough with the mothers.The evidence, however, does not show that family disruption is the principal cause of high school failure, poverty, and delinquency.While 19 percent of all children drop out of high school, the dropout rate for children in two-parent families is 13 percent.

Does public support for single mothers inadvertently increase the number of women who get divorced or choose to have a baby on their own?

More than half of the children born in 1994 will spend some or all of their childhood with only one parent, typically their mother.

If current patterns hold, they will likely experience higher rates of poverty, school failure, and other problems as they grow up.

If all children lived in two-parent families, teen motherhood and idleness would be less common, but the bulk of these problems would remain.

The consequences of family disruption are not necessarily the same in all kinds of families.

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In our study, we found that family disruption has the most harmful effects among Hispanics and least among blacks.

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