Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A grandparent at home buffers the drawbacks of single-parenthood, Cornell study of national data finds

03.05.2005


Many studies have shown that children living in a single-parent family tend to do worse academically and receive less intellectual stimulation than children living with married parents. Having a grandparent in the home, however, appears to buffer some of these negative effects, according to a new Cornell University study.



"When looking at children’s test scores, we find that children who live with a single mom and a grandparent fare just as well as children living with married parents," says Rachel Dunifon, assistant professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell. "These findings contradict the idea that living with two married parents is the primary situation in which children can thrive."

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Dunifon found that living with a single mother is linked to significant declines in academic achievement. In contrast, the test scores of children who live in single-mother families that also contain a grandparent do not significantly differ from children in married-couple families, she says.


In 2003 about 23 percent of all U.S. children lived with a single mother, including 16 percent of white children and 51 percent of African-American children. Of these children, 13 percent also lived with a grandparent in the household.

The role of grandparents in single-parent families can be important to policy. "For example, some welfare policies for single mothers try to encourage marriage because the common thinking is that children fare best when living with married parents," says Dunifon.

Dunifon and co-author Lori Kowaleski-Jones, assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah, presented their findings at the Population Association of America annual meeting, April 1, in Philadelphia.

Dunifon is launching a new study on the role of grandparents in the lives of adolescent grandchildren with a new $300,000 grant over five years from the William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Program. The study will include not only analyses of several longitudinal datasets but also in-depth interviews to assess interactions between grandparents and adolescent grandchildren.

"With longer life spans, more children living without both biological parents and more grandparents raising grandchildren, we need to better understand the role of grandparents during the vulnerable adolescence period," says Dunifon. "Grandparents can serve as an important source of potential strength for youth as they make their way through the transition of adolescence into adulthood."

In addition to studying the role of grandparents in single-mother families, Dunifon will also examine children who do not live with either parent and who are being raised by grandparents. This, too, is an important policy concern, Dunifon says.

"Some states, including New York, require by law that when children are removed from their homes, relatives must first be contacted for potential caregiving before the child goes into foster care with strangers," she said. "Also, in some states, grandparents raising grandchildren don’t have access to the same kinds of support programs as foster parents. For all these reasons, it’s important to do more research on how children fare when being raised by their grandparents."

Press Relations | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>