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The Association between Family Structure Changes and High School Completion in South Africa

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  • Annah Vimbai Bengesai

    (Teaching and Learning Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa)

  • Nompumelelo Nzimande

    (School of Built Environment and Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa)

Abstract

Over the past few years, family structures have been dramatically transformed, yet limited research from South Africa has assessed the effect on children’s developmental outcomes. Using data from the National Income Dynamics Study, we aim to contribute to the literature by examining the relationship between family structure disruption and high school completion in South Africa. Our sample consisted of 1649 young people who were aged 12, 13 and 14 in 2008 and their educational attainment was tracked through to 2017. The results from the logistic regression analysis demonstrate that family structure disruption is negatively associated with high school completion. After controlling for variation in household income change, the child’s educational factors and socio-demographic controls, young people who experienced a change from a co-resident family or were in stable non-resident parent family structures were up to 50% less likely to complete high school relative to those from undisrupted co-resident parent family structures. Given that family structure disruption is a widespread phenomenon in South Africa, research should consider it as a key determinant of educational attainment and policymakers should come up with holistic interventions to support families as well as allocate public resources in ways that can help reduce educational inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Annah Vimbai Bengesai & Nompumelelo Nzimande, 2020. "The Association between Family Structure Changes and High School Completion in South Africa," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(8), pages 1-15, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:9:y:2020:i:8:p:133-:d:391397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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