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Canada (161,958)
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SOC357H1 (10)
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SOC557 The Impact of Family Structure On High School Completion.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC357H1
Professor
Bonnie Erickson
Semester
Winter

Description
The Impact of Family Structure On High School Completion (Judith Frederick & Monica Boyd) - Highschool graduation is a critical turning point in the life course since drops outs are the most vulnerable members of the labour force Families with 2 biological parents most likely to produce high school graduates - Growing up in a family with both biological parents has definite advantages for both young women and young men - Among Canadian born adults aged 20 to 44 more than 80 percent of those from 2 parent biological families completed high school, compared with about 71% of those from lone parent families - The general social survey (GSS in 1994) suggest that parental education and the concomitant implications for family income plays an influential role in the children’s educational outcomes - The best case scenario for finishing high school is growing up with 2 biological parents who have high school diploma or more - These results suggest that while children may face significant disadvantages if their parents have a low level of education, the effect may be exacerbated in lone parent families: the stress surrounding the family breakup, the virtually inevitable drop in family income, the unwillingness or inability of the absent parent to finance education, can all affect the academic success of children Why are children from lone-parent families less likely to graduate? - The dominant theories relate to differences between children to the reduce income, lack of a role model and stress that are more common in lone-parent families - One of the oldest explanations is the theory of household production o argues that since lone parent families have fewer resources they have less time, money, and energy to devote to the child’s education. - A variant on this is the theory of economic deprivation o low income is identified the problem; although lone-parent families accounted for just under 15% of all families in Canada, in 1996, they made up over one half of all families below the low income cut-offs - Some researchers claim that the stigma of low income may undermine the child’s schooling - A third group of hypothesizes address issue of absent father o Children need male role model in their lives to thrive o Family is key institution for socializing young children and two parents provide more attention, help, and supervision to foster the necessary skills for educational success o Stress created by conflict surround breakup of family or the reconstitution into a blended family subverts academic achievement Summary - The 1994 GSS survey add weight to the view that family structure plays a significant role in determining whether a child will graduate from high school. - In meantime, researchers have offered recommendations for offsetting the disadvantages observed among children from lone-parent families, including programs that allow young adults to finish high school, providing adorable day care and after school programs and providing job training and skills upgrading to women Getting Ahead in Life: Does your Parent’s Income Count? (Miles Corak) - Increasingly suggested that current generation of young Canadians ill not be as well-off as their parents. While older workers are worried about financing their retirement, younger workers are concerned about finding secure, well-paid employment - Diminishing opportunities could affect ability of younger generations to support themselves and their family - Sources of a parents income influence employment outcomes of their grownup children - First the adult earnings of all children are compared to see how much they are affected by income of parents and of neighborhood; then the adult earnings of children from very low income families are studied to learn if they are influenced by same factors All Dollars aren’t created equal - the source of father’s income, is strongly associated with adult incomes of children - children had significantly higher market incomes as adults if their fathers had self- employment income than if they did not - if fathers received unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, the effect was just as dramatic but in opposite directions: the sons and daughters made less than the children who fathers who hadn’t received UI - a father with asset income provided the most significant advantages for his children o why the simple presence of asset income as opposed to its amount, have such as effect? Asset income includes interest on bank deposits, and since interest rates are very high during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s (the prime rate exceeded 19% in 1981) even relatively small savings would have generated some interest income o yet having any amount of asset income may also indicate that parents consider it important to plan for the future, a quality that may be passed on to their children and contribute to their labour market success later in life Father’s income has greater effect on sons than daughter’s earnings - in contrast, sons and daughters did equally well as the mothers income rose - 2 possible explanations st o 1 : high earning father has a stronger effect on sons than on daughters by encouraging the pursuit of income nd o 2 : mothers may be more likely to treat children of each gender equally when making spending decisions and if women have higher incomes, they probably have greater discretion over spending  Household spending differs depending on which parent receives the income and control over family’s spending is important for child outcomes Community Ties Matter - The affluence of the neighbourhood in which children especially boys spend their early teens is positively associated with their incomes as adults - Reasons why high-income neighourhoods may improve labour market outcomes of children o may offer more well developed physical infrastructure –higher quality schools, recreation facilities, and social institutions o kind of network or peer group effects sometimes called social capital –that is set of norms or standards that exist at the community level and help to reinforce the parents’ goals for their children o an alternative interpretation s parents will select a neighbourhood with qualities they prefer if they can afford to choose the community where they raise their children  the type of neighbourhood may thus reflect the parents’ choices and priorities for their children’s future rather than being a causal factor in its own r
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