Postsecondary education and economic well-being of single mothers and single fathers

Min Zhan, Shanta Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We investigate the effects of postsecondary education on the economic well-being of single parents. The data for this study are from the 1993 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, with a sample of 930 single mothers and 168 single fathers. The results indicate that postsecondary education, particularly a 4-year college degree, improves the economic status of both single mothers and single fathers. Controlling for the effects of education and other factors, single fathers fare better than single mothers, and White single parents fare better than their African American counterparts. To benefit single parents, social policies must devote more resources toward human capital development and reduction of gender- and race-based discrimination in the labor market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-673
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Economic well-being
  • Pastsecondary education
  • Single fathers
  • Single mothers
  • Welfare reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Postsecondary education and economic well-being of single mothers and single fathers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this