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 childrens 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.
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