A comprehensive review of recent academic research shows that family structure - whether a child's parents are married, divorced, single, remarried, or cohabiting - is a significant influence on children's educational performance. Family structure affects preschool readiness. It affects educational achievement at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. Family structure influences these outcomes in part because family structure affects a range of child behaviors that can bear directly on educational success, such as school misbehavior, drug and alcohol consumption, sexual activity and teen pregnancy, and psychological distress. There is a solid research basis for the proposition that strengthening U.S. family structure - increasing the proportion of children growing up with their own, two married parents - would significantly improve the educational achievements of U.S. children.
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Family Structure and Children's Educational Outcomes.