The effect of parental presence, parents' education, and household headship on adolescents' schooling and work in Latin America

Mary Arends-Kuenning, Suzanne Duryea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate how the presence and education of parents affect adolescents' school attendance, work participation, and school attainment in Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Panama. Across the four countries, approximately 20% of adolescents live in single-mother families and 4% in single-father families. Adolescents who live in single-mother families have significantly lower school attendance and attainment than adolescents who live with both parents. However, the effects of living in a single-mother family are small relative to the effects of parents' education. Adolescents who live in single-mother families are not more likely to work than adolescents in two-parent families. Finally, targeting benefits to children in single-mother families would reach more children at risk of poor school outcomes than targeting children in female-headed households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Keywords

  • Child labor
  • Education
  • Female-headship
  • Latin America
  • Single parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics

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