Literature Review essay


One-parentStudents Leave School Earlier

Forthe last half a century, there have been alarming social trends thatchildren from low-income families are educationally disadvantaged(Amato,Sarah, and Brett 195).Additionally, there is a huge difference between high-income andlow-income children in math and reading achievement (Georgeand Yuval n.p).I choose to review the topic of children from single-parent familiesand educational attainment since it has become a primary issue in oursociety nowadays.

Inmy search for the fittest article, I used Google Scholar and searchengine especially on the Educational Resource Information Centre(ERIC). As an additional criterion, I restricted my search to Englishlanguage only. The keywords for the search were “school leaving”“early school leave” “one parent student” and “schooldropout.” The review emphasized on early school leave. Using thesekey words, ERIC and Google Scholar yielded thousands of articles, andI had to choose this particular article “One-parentStudent Leave School Earlier”because it satisfied my needs. I eliminated the rest because they didnot meet all my requirements. Contrary to other articles, thisarticle did not summarize single-families literature. Instead, itfocuses on research, possible underlying issues, and methodology. Itanalyses its hypothesis entirely to avoid giving stereotypes. Inaddition, the article based it research over a long duration, whichmade it fit for my literature review.

Thearticle “One-parentStudents Leave School Earlier”by Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M. (Research Associate Professor), Greg J.Duncan (Education Professor), and Ariel Kalil (Professor) seeks toinvestigate what might be the cause of these educational attainmentgap and achievement difference. Published in 2015, it hypothesizedthat income inequality is the cause of this huge attainment gap andachievement difference. However, it also urges that income inequalityis not the only factor that is contributing to the wide gap hence,it put more focus on the Moynihan report.

TheMoynihan report states that the rate of single-parent families israpidly increasing among the low-incomes unlike in the high-incomehence, the increased income inequality (Ziol-Guest,Greg, and Ariel n.p).In addition, the number of single-parent families goes beyond ethnicand racial boundaries. Between 1960 and 2013, the percentage of Blackchildren from single-parent families doubled while the number ofWhite children from single-parent families tripled. Further, Moynihanreport showed that more than fifty percent of adolescence childrenfrom low-income families were from single parent families. On theother hand, only six percent of adolescence children were fromhigh-income families were from single-parent families. Therefore, ifsingle parenthood affects the educational outcome of children, then,the huge educational attainment is attributed by income inequality.

Thefocus of this article was to examine the relationship between singleparenthood and the gap in educational attainment. A sample of sixthousand and seventy-two individuals was used in the study. Otherfactors such as the age of the mother during the childbirth, thenumber of siblings born from the same child’s mother, and thecompleted schooling level of the mother at the age of fourteen werealso considered. Other control variables were average parentalincome, child’s gender, and race. The results indicated that therate of single-parent families increased over time (Ziol-Guestet. al. n.p).Correspondingly, the research showed that there is a huge correlationbetween the mother’s age during the childbirth, the number ofsiblings, and the maternal education with the huge educationalattainment (Baker,and Kevin 380).

Inconclusion, single-parent families are more common among thelow-income families unlike in the high-income families. Nevertheless,they are similarly common between both Black and White families (Hornn.p).Further, the existing relationship between children living insingle-parent families and educational attainment is similar tomaternal age of during childbirth, family size, and mother’s levelof education.


Amato,Paul R., Sarah Patterson, and Brett Beattie. &quotSingle-parenthouseholds and children’s educational achievement: A state-levelanalysis.&quotSocialscience research&nbsp53(2015): 191-202.

Baker,Michael, and Kevin Milligan. &quotMaternity leave and children’scognitive and behavioral development.&quot&nbspJournalof Population Economics&nbsp28.2(2015): 373-391.

George,Robert P., and Yuval Levin. &quotFamily Breakdown andPoverty.&quotEducationNext&nbsp15.2(2015).

Horn,Michael B. &quotThe Rise of AltSchool and OtherMicro-schools.&quotEducationNext&nbsp15.3(2015).

Ziol-Guest,Kathleen M., Greg J. Duncan, and Ariel Kalil. &quotOne-parentstudents leave school earlier: Educational attainment gapwidens.&quotEducationNext&nbsp15.2(2015).