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Literature Review. Lilian Bodunrin “The Effects of a Single-Parent Home on an African American Child’s Education” Texas Tech University . Introduction.

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Literature review
Literature Review

Lilian Bodunrin

“The Effects of a Single-Parent Home on an African American Child’s Education”

Texas Tech University



“The purpose of this literature review is to explore the research scholars have presented in regards to African American children in single parent homes and education. Though current scholars suggest that African American children experience more obstacles in school due to low socioeconomic status (SES) and lack of parent involvement, the effects of the absence of a parent on academic progress has yet to be explored efficiently.”


  • The topic of African American children and the education system has been vastly discussed amongst experts and researchers in past research.

    Synthesis: Both articles (“Effects of Stress and Social Supports on Mother-Child Interactions in Single- and Two-Parent Families,” by Marsha Weinraub and Barbara M. Wolf and Effects of Parent’s Gender, Child’s Gender, and Parental Involvement on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents in Single Parent Families,” by San Ming Lee et al.) establish a stand that children from single parent homes suffer more hardships in their ability to succeed in school due to their parents’ position. They provide credible information that proposes the weaknesses of single parent headed homes concerning children and education.


  • Experts place children in African American families in a category called “at-risk” due to low socioeconomic status (SES) and lack of parent involvement.

    Synthesis: In the article, “African American Single mothers and Children in Context: A Review of Studies on Risk and Resilience,”, the authors explore the African American single parent home and child development. The authors Velma McBride et al. examine the impact of the surrounding environment on family functioning and child outcomes (133). This point was also made in the article presented previously by Weinraub and Wolf. Therefore, studies agree that economic hardship disturb the stability of a household and more importantly, affect African American children’s academic advancement.


  • Low socioeconomic status (SES) is considered to be an extensive factor that results in the low-test scores of African American children. Studies indicate that children who live in working class homes struggle in their endeavor to excel in their education.

    Synthesis: Comparable to the research of authors McBride et al, McGroder provides solid evidence that similarly expresses the influence of African American single parent homes on child education; attributable to factors such as low economic status.


  • Many scholars seem to support that low SES single parent homes negatively affect child academic performance. However, not all sources agree with that notion.

    Synthesis: Nevertheless, the studies from authors such as McGroder differ because this study states that “many children develop self-regulatory competence and display few externalizing and internalizing problems despite their exposure to family or classroom environments that do not promote competence” (Brody et al. 276). This disputes the assumption that children who live in these circumstances are unable to perform adequately in school.

Conclusion so what
Conclusion: “so what?”

  • Thus, further research needs to be done to properly provide evidence that will show the effects of an African American single parent home on child education that is not specific to single mothers as the parent. A child’s academic performance is greatly impacted by their home environment (Murry et al. 142). Many African American children are facing challenges in the classroom because of the pressure from their home environment. Yet, these African American children are neglected because there is a scarcity in studies and research specific to this ethnic group. More information on this topic could suggest more support for these children at school. Therefore, sufficient research is important to explore the effects of the absence of a parent on the educational career of an African American child.

Works cited
Works cited

  • Brody, Gene H, et al. "Unique And Protective Contributions Of Parenting And Classroom Processes To The Adjustment Of African American Children Living In Single-Parent Families." Child Development 73.1 (2002): 274-286. MEDLINE Complete. Web. 11 June 2014.

  • Lee, San Ming, et al. "Effects Of Parent’s Gender, Child’s Gender, And Parental Involvement On The Academic Achievement Of Adolescents In Single Parent Families." Sex Roles 56.3/4 (2007): 149-157. SocINDEX with Full Text. Web. 11 June 2014.

  • McGroder S. (2000). “Parenting among Low-Income, African American Single Mothers with Preschool-Age Children: Patterns, Predictors, and Developmental Correlates,” 71 (3) 752-771.\

  • McLoyd, V. C. (1990), The Impact of Economic Hardship on Black Families and Children: Psychological Distress, Parenting, and Socioemotional Development. Child Development, 61: 311–346. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1990.tb02781.x

  • Murry, V M, et al. "African American Single Mothers And Children In Context: A Review Of Studies On Risk And Resilience." Clinical Child And Family Psychology Review 4.2 (2001): 133-155. MEDLINE Complete. Web. 11 June 2014.

Works cited continued
Works cited continued

  • Weinraub, Marsha, and Wolf, M. Barbara. "Effects of Stress and Social Supports on Mother-Child Interactions in Single- and Two-Parent Families." Child Development: Infants at Risk 54.5 (1983): 1297+. JSTOR. Web. June-July 2014.

  • Wong, C. A., Eccles, J. S. and Sameroff, A. (2003), The Influence of Ethnic Discrimination and Ethnic Identification on African American adolescents' School and Socioemotional Adjustment. Journal of Personality, 71: 1197–1232. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.7106012