Symbol or structure: the effects of family structure on youth's education
LE3 .A278 1998
Master of Arts
This thesis explores the effect that living in single parent versus dual parent family structure has upon youth's educational outcomes. In particular, this thesis examines the impact the different family structures have upon the educational expectations and outcomes of youth. This study draws on Bourdieu's Theory of Practice, in particular his notion of capital, to help examine and fill some of the gaps in our knowledge as to how and why some parents have a positive influence upon their child's educational outcomes, while others do not. This thesis is a secondary analysis of data from a quantitative study of Hamilton, Ontario and Nova Scotian youth who were followed over a five year period, from 1989 to 1994. At a bi-variate level, family structure was found to have an impact upon the youth's educational expectations and attainment levels. The key finding from the exploration at the multi-variate analyses found that living in a one-parent family, in and of itself, does not constitute grounds for expecting that a child will do worse than one who lives with two parents.
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