Making the Grade: Family Structure and Children’s Educational Participation in Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Peru & Uruguay
Research in the U.S. and much of the developed world suggests that children in intact, twoparent households typically do better on educational outcomes than do children in singleparent and step-family households. While studies in the developed world generally indicate that family structure influences educational outcomes, less is known about whether children living with their two biological parents in the developing world have better educational outcomes, all things being equal, than children in step- or single-parent families, or children living in households without a biological parent. This is an important gap in the literature because step- and single-parent families are becoming more common in much of the developing world. Using data drawn from Demographic and Health Surveys in six countries (Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, & Peru) and from the Continuous Household Survey in Uruguay, we find that secondary-school-age children are more likely to participate in schooling if they live with at least one biological parent. Moreover, children in Colombia and Uruguay are also more likely to be enrolled in school if they live with two parents.
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