FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF HUMAN SCIENCES
THE USEFULNESS OF SOCIAL CAPITAL THEORY TO UNDERSTAND
ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENT IN YOUNG CHILDREN: THE IMPACT OF FAMILY
STRUCTURE
BY:
MICHAEL SHRINER
A Dissertation submitted to the
Department of Family and Child Sciences
in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Awarded:
Fall Semester, 2008

UM! Number: 3348544

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Kay Pasley. Department of Family and Child Sciences Billie Collier. College of Human Sciences The office of Graduate Studies has verified and approved the above named committee members. Chair. ii . 2008.The members of the Committee approve the Dissertation of Michael Shriner defended on August 26th. Cornille Committee Member Received by: B. Ronald L. Mullis Professor Directing Dissertation Patrice latarola Outside Committee Member Thomas A. Dean.

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Ronald L. Mom. Heidi. Nana. Scott. I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the people who had an overwhelming personal impact on me during my time in Tallahassee either through their entrance.C. I would like to thank Dr. Karen. Eileen. K. Afroman. Pat. Joe. Heineken. Dr. Mullis. Dad. Jes. Tara. Maxine.. I will never be able to thank Bethanne enough. and helpful major professor than you. Michelle. exit. Your contributions to this project were greatly appreciated. You are a gift. understanding. Ann Mullis. and Patrice latarola. I love you. or ever-present existence in my life—Adrian. Reynolds. Jim. Amy. Missy.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge the members of my dissertation committee— Drs. In addition. iii . Mullis. and for that I thank you. Finally. You have been an extremely supportive presence in my life. Cornille. and Wayne. J. R. I couldn't have asked for a more responsive. Thomas A.

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..........8 Young Children's Academic Achievement in a Family/Social Context................................30 Validity for Direct Cognitive Assessment in Mathematics and Reading .........................................................................................................................25 Conceptual Framework.........................................................30 Mathematics Assessment....................................................viii Abstract...................................27 Direct Cognitive Assessment Measures...............................................................................................7 2 LITERATURE REVIEW........................1 Background of the Problem .....30 Reliabilities for Mathematics and Reading Assessment Scores..............................5 Research Questions ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................8 Family Social Capital....................29 Reading Assessment................6 Delimitations ....................................32 Analytical Sample: Family Structure Variable...........31 Participant Characteristics of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort-Analytical Sample............................................16 Children Reared in Stepfamilies.......................................................... vii List of Tables ..........................33 Participant Demographics.......................................... ix 1 INTRODUCTION........5 Definitions of Terms .....................25 Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort................................................................................................................................................TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Figures ........................................................................................................................................33 v ........................................19 3 METHODS..............................................................................................3 Purpose of the Study...........................................................................................................................................................5 Abbreviations .11 Family Structure and Academic Achievement Single-Parent Families..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................

.........................................35 Math Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital................................................35 v ....Descriptives..................

.........................................................48 v ..........................................................................36 Data Analysis Plan............38 Parent Resource Capital...................40 Family Structure..........................................36 Missing Data.................................38 Parent Social Capital......................37 4..... Parent Social and Resource Capital..................35 Math Change Score and Indicator Variables-Resource Capital...................................40 Gender............................43 Family Structure................................................................... Parent Social and Resource Capital and Children's Reading Change Scores.............................................39 Socioeconomic Status.......................................................................................40 Race...............................................................................................................43 Parent Social and Resource Capital ............ and Children's Reading and Math Change Scores......42 Socioeconomic Status................................................................Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital.......... RESULTS..........................................................................................................41 Parent Social Capital.......................................................................................................................48 Parent Social and Resource Capital and Reading Change Scores: Children in Stepfamilies ...............................................42 Race.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................36 Sample Weights...............42 5...........................................38 Parent Social and Resource Capital and Children's Reading Change Scores.....................................................................41 Parent Social and Resource Capital and Reading Change Scores: Children in Stepfamilies ...39 Parent Education........................................................................................35 Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Resource Capital.............................................................................................................................................................41 Parent Resource Capital.................................................................... DISCUSSION........................................................................................................................

..........................................................................................52 v .....................................Implications.........................51 Limitations...........................................

.................................................................................73 References...................................................................75 Biographical Sketch...........................................................................................59 Appendix C IRB Approval Letter....................................................85 vi .....56 Appendix B Tables................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Future Research.........................................................................54 Appendix A Figures.53 CONCLUSION............................................

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...... and Family Structure as Predictors of Academic Improvement.................LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Social and Resource Capital as Predictors of Academic Improvement.......................58 viii .............................................57 Figure 2: Social Capital................ Resource Capital.........................

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................61 Table 3: Analytical Sample: Family Structure Variable.........................................................................................................................72 viii ..69 Table 11: Regression of Parent Indicator Variables—Social and Resource Capital —on Reading and Math Change Scores..62 Table 4: Demographic Characteristics for Children with Change Scores in Math from the Spring of Kindergarten to the Spring of Fifth Grade...........................LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Correlation Matrix amongst Social and Resource Capital Predictor Variables ................................................................................................................63 Table 5: Demographic Characteristics for Children with Changes Scores in Reading from the Spring of Kindergarten to the Spring of Fifth Grade......66 Table 8: Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables—Social Capital..........................................................................................................................................................................................................68 Table 10: Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables— Resource Capital ................................................................................................65 Table 7: Descriptives: Math and Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables—Social Capital using Sample Weights...................67 Table 9: Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables—Resource Capital......................71 Table 13: Regression of Parent Indicator Variables—Social and Resource Capital —on Reading Change Scores—Stepfamilies .........................64 Table 6: Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables: Social Capital.................................................60 Table 2: Step-by-Step Process Leading to the Resultant Analytical Sample........70 Table 12: Regression of Parent Indicator Variables—Social and Resource Capital —and Family Structure on Reading and Math Change Scores..............

parent social and resource capital explained 34% of children's reading change scores in stepparent family structures. and scholars are discussed. (ECLS) Kindergarten class of 1998-1999. In light of these findings. parent social and resource capital explained 13% of the variance in reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade and 15% of the variance in math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade.ABSTRACT This study explored the extent to which differences in social capital among family structures predicted academic improvement in young children using data from the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. parents. In addition. For all children included in the analyses. ix . implications for policymakers. which is administered by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

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Bjorklund. research has also shown that children in married or cohabiting stepfamilies have academic outcomes quite similar to those in single-parent families (Biblarz & Raftery. g. Manning and Lamb (2003) have supported this finding with parents of adolescents. Although research has demonstrated that children reared in stepfamilies and single parent families achieve less well in school than children reared in two-biological-parent families. adolescents in single mother and stepfather family structures had lower grades and vocabulary scores compared to their two-biological-parent counterparts. 2003. reside with a single parent or a stepparent) demonstrate less academic achievement than those children residing in two-biological-parent families (Abd-El-Fattah. stepmothers and stepfathers) moving in and out of the singleparent and stepparent households created uncertainty about household rules and responsibilities. & Sundstrom. 2007). For example. Cavanagh. Biblarz and Raftery also suggested that variations in academic achievement could be explained by demographic and economic factors. In these family structures. Manning & Lamb. monitoring and attachment than family structure. Majoribanks. grandmothers and grandfathers. Ganong & Fine. Biblarz &Raftery 1999. 2006. Heard.e. Hofferth. McLanahan & Sandefur. Other researchers (e. researchers have concluded that stepchildren and children from single parent families are at somewhat greater risk for academic difficulties than are children from two-biological families (Coleman.. the academic outcomes were more likely related to mothers' race.. Hofferth. 2002). Tillman. 1994). 2006. They concluded that while demographic and economic factors impacting parent involvement were similar in single19 . The authors noted that the instability of family relationships (i. 2006. 2000. education. Ginther.e.CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION In recent years there has been a growing body of evidence that children in alternative families (i. 2006. 1999. 2006. 2007. McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) argued that the similarities in academic achievement of high school-aged children reared in single-parent and stepparent family structures were due to variations in parent involvement. Jeynes. parents' boyfriends and girlfriends. Although similar to each other.. 2006) have supported these findings. which negatively impacted children's academic achievement.

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2007). 2000) and Black stepfathers spend significantly less 21 . O'Connor. Hanson. children in stepfamilies and single parent families receive less parental monitoring. and Ernst (2007) defined structural characteristics as various socioeconomic qualities measured by such indicators as a parent's educational background. 2003). 1994). They suggested a spurious relationship between academic achievement and family structure as a result of parental investment (i. and resources on their children than their single parent and stepparent counterparts (Cooksey & Fondell.e. 1996. and community resources. and interactions. (the interactions or lack thereof) within these alternative families that negatively impact academic achievement in children residing with a single-parent or stepparent (i. parental. McLanahan & Sandefur. 2007. stepparents lack interest and single-parents lack time. Grunden. Popenoe. age of child and race do appear to impact involvement. However. Adding to the complexity of this issue. children from stepfamilies may be differentially impacted by their interaction with parents based on select variables. which subsequently leads to lower academic achievement). employment status. Davies. According to this perspective. interest. & Ernst. Grunden. 1997. Park. 1980. A number of authors have documented that biological parents are more likely to invest their time. children in these family structures evidence less academic achievement). So. money. Therefore. Thomson. children residing in alternative family forms have families with less family income and parental education and are more likely to be living in poverty (Amato. 1994). energy. 1994. 2000. Matjasko. & Sturgess. Daly & Wilson. children in these circumstances are subject to deprivations in economic. For example.parent and stepparent family structures.e. the negative consequences of living within a single-parent or stepparent family structure for an older child's academic outcomes are typically explained through either structural characteristics or family process characteristics (Matjasko. Pong. particularly for stepfathers. it is family processes. 1993. gender of the child and socioeconomic status do not impact stepparent involvement (Hofferth & Anderson. Accordingly. Pong & Ju. & McLanahan. and use of public assistance. they differed from two-biological-parent family structures. Accordingly. stepfathers spend more time with younger than older stepchildren (Dunn. which ultimately undermine their chances of future academic success and achievement.

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which is administered by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).305). and various other individuals within their communities (Majoribanks. in this study I explored the extent to which differences in social capital amongst family structures predict academic improvement in young children using data from the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. as resources that can be used by the actors to realize their interests" (p. respectively) and not necessarily the result of a child's own attempts at developing social capital independently. Mullis. 2002. under the guiding rubric of social capital theory espoused by Coleman (Coleman. Focusing on 23 . 2003). Background of the Problem Because of their emphasis on the early childhood period of development. children with high stocks of social capital are characterized as having parents who spend considerable time and effort making connections with them.ed. social capital is measured by the quality and quantity of networks connecting children to the resources of their parents.whitehouse. Grow Smart initiative (http://www. 2003). Coleman (1987) viewed a family's social capital as a medium through which a child could gain access to his/her parents' financial and human capital (viewed as income and education. &. the advent of recent national policies such as President Bush's 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (http://www. Theoretically. (ECLS) Kindergarten class of 1998-1999. the parents of their friends. The notion of social capital has been used in the literature to help explain differences in families based on their access to resources (Majoribanks. & Seraphine.gov/infocus/earlychildhood) underscore the need to expand empirical investigations of the academic improvement of young children. As a construct. In addition. 2002). Therefore. Rathge. Beaulieu. Coleman (1990) stated that "the function identified by the concept 'social capital' is the value of those aspects of social structure to actors. 1995). 1988. 1990. A possible alternative explanation combines both the structural characteristics and family process explanations for lower academic improvement in children reared in singleparent and stepparent family structures—lower levels of social and resource capital (Smith.time with their stepchildren than White stepfathers (Hofferth & Anderson. the teachers and administrators of their schools.gov/nclb) and the Good Start. 1987. Mullis. 1997).

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and attending college (Garces. we know that variations in school. the ECLS-K provides a wealth and breadth of comprehensive and reliable data that scholars can use to better understand children's development as they progress from kindergarten to the middle school grades. Kelley. 1995). 2006). & Wanner. 2001. the International Social Science Surveys/Australia (Evans. & Seraphine. 2002). dropping out of high school (Alexander. and parental involvement are associated with dropping out of high school (Teachman. So. Gerber. & Currie. The ECLS-K offers researchers the opportunity to investigate a multitude of questions that are pertinent in today's society. & Atkins-Burnett.young children is particularly salient given the extent to which academic achievement in early childhood can predict various long-term advantages including educational attainment at age 22 (Entwisle. In addition. 1997. Nord. the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (Parcel & Dufur. Le.& Carver. Parcel & Dufur. Pong. Paasch. community. 2005. As the first national survey designed to follow a cohort of children from kindergarten entry to middle school. 1997). 1996. & Olson. Social capital theory has become an increasingly popular framework for conceptualizing the consequences of interpersonal relationships. the period of early childhood deserves continued research-based study. Pollack. because early childhood offers an optimal period for intervention and represents the period when gaps in academic achievement first emerge (Perez-Johnson & Maynard. completing college (Evans. 1997). and the High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study (Smith. & Seraphine. researchers are able to tackle complex interactions between young children's academic and cognitive performance and their school. 1995). and math and reading achievement (Hampden-Thompson & Pong. Because of its depth of assessment. and parental involvement (Tourangeau. the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (Hampden-Thompson & Pong. 2001). Thomas. Dauber. and 25 . & Wanner. Paasch. 1996. based on these studies with older children. & Boyd-Zaharias. family structure. Further. Kelly. 2007). Teachman. 2002. 1997) attending college (Smith. 2001). Entwisle. Beaulieu. community. Other studies have explored these same interactions in older children using such nationally representative datasets as the National Educational Longitudinal Study (Pong. 2001). Finn. Alexander. & Carver. 2005). 2005). 2005). Beaulieu.

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Israel. here social capital theory was used to explain academic improvement (as measured by changes in standardized math and reading tests) in young children. They found that high school students who lived in two-biological-parent family structures earned higher grades and were more likely to stay in school than their counterparts in single-parent family structures. and corporate organizational development (Adler & Kwon. and Hartless (2001) explored the influence of family and community on educational achievement in adolescents from a social capital framework. two-parent-biological. Purpose of the Study Although social capital theory has recently been applied to a variety of topics including public health (Szreter & Woolcock. Beaulieu. they substantiated the usefulness of social capital theory for conceptualizing and explaining why young children in stepfamilies and single-parent family structures may be less successful academically than their two-biological-parent counterparts. food consumption (Gertler. 2006). the purpose of this study was to test the usefulness of social capital theory for understanding the academic improvement of young children and to explore how variations in social and resource capital among three family structures (single-parent. Further. Levine. Therefore. Rathge. Although their sample included adolescents. Research Questions Based on a family social capital perspective.community attributes on children's academic performance (Mullis. the following research questions were addressed: 1 Does social and resource capital have an impact on young children's academic improvement. 2003). 2002). controlling for parent's education and socioeconomic status? 2 Does family structure matter in terms of children's academic improvement? 27 . & Moretti. & Mullis. Dika and Singh (2002) critically reviewed 35 primary empirical articles appearing between 1986 and 2001 where social capital was used as a framework to explore various educational outcomes. As an exemplar. and stepparent) predict academic improvement in young children over two points in time. they suggested that policies be geared toward strengthening family social capital. 2004). For example.

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Indicators of resource capital included: (a) how many times they visited the library.. Each indicator of social and resource capital was measured in the spring of kindergarten and fifth grade.g. having a computer available to the child in the home) of an academically-oriented environment that is conducive to children's learning (Coleman. Leonard. frequency of literacy activities). 2005. (c) whether or not a parent attended a parentteacher conference.e. 2 NCES: the abbreviation for the National Center for Educational Statistics. (d) whether or not a parent acted as a school volunteer.. indicators of social capital included: (a) whether or not a parent contacted the school. Putnam. Harris. the resultant definitions were used in this study: 1 Social capital: resources that an individual can utilize emanating from the interactions and relationships between and among actors (Coleman.Definitions of Terms Based on previous empirical literature. Operational Definitions Hoyle. As such. (b) whether or not a parent attended the school's open house. 1988). and (c) reports of cognitive stimulation in the home (i. 1995). 29 . and (e) how many parents of their child's friends they talk to regularly. 76). further adding that "the beauty of an operational definition is that it specifies precisely how to measure a variable in such a concrete and specific manner that anyone else could repeat the steps and obtain the same measurements" (p. and Judd (2002) stated that "an operational definition specifies how to measure a variable so that we can assign someone a score". (b) whether or not they have a home computer that their child uses. 2 Resource capital: Resources (e. 1988. Abbreviations 1 ECLS-K: the abbreviation for the Early Childhood Longitudinal StudyKindergarten. sponsor of the ECLS.

a function of secondary analysis on existing data.Delimitations The following delimitations. 2 The measures that will be used in this study are contingent upon those used in the original study conducted by the NCES. 30 . are acknowledged: 1 The study will be limited to the sample recruited for the ECLS-K by the NCES during all four time periods.

in particular the importance of social networks and trust in promoting a sense of belonging and well-being" (p. Finally. Coleman (1988) argued that a family's background was analytically separable. He argued that financial and human capital could be adequately measured by certain indicators such as the family's income and the parents' education. Though he attributed Loury (1987) with coining the term. However. Coleman argued that social capital was "defined by its function" and that "social capital is productive. the empirical findings regarding academic achievement of children reared in single-parent and stepparent families are summarized. human. the interests or even intrusiveness of one adult in the activities of someone else's child. Coleman (1990) viewed social. family social capital. making possible the achievement of certain ends that would not be attainable in its absence" (p. 302). as elusive. the number of siblings. and the frequency of talking with parents about personal experiences. and expectations embedded within a child's social networks that are associated with his or 31 . In addition. values. and social capital. the mother's expectation of the child's going to college. human capital.CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In this chapter social capital theory is presented as a theoretical framework for examining the academic achievement of children. For Coleman (1987). approximate. comprised by financial capital. She summarized its current status as being "generally imbued with positive connotations. respectively. Meanwhile. the empirical link between children's academic outcomes and family/social contexts is discussed. and the concept itself. and financial capital as three constituent concepts. Theoretical Perspective Family Social Capital Leonard (2005) described the existing literature on social capital as burgeoning.981). being much less tangible. could be measured by an assortment of indicators such as the ratio of adults to children. 605). Recently. these types of indicators served as an attempt to articulate. it was Coleman who put social capital within a family context. Widmer (2006) offered a definition of social capital as "the resources stemming from the possession of a durable network of acquaintance or recognition" (p. and measure the culmination of norms.

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relationships must be cultivated through continued and consistent communication 33 . Subsequently.106). maintained. Pong (1998) described intergenerational closure as a system of interconnected adults outside the immediate family who supported. Thus. and Leonard (2005) agreed. the higher the level of social capital. and (4) shared ideology. 1990. when families share a sense of intergenerational closure. 320). expectations. children in well established inter-generationally closed families develop a strong sense of trust. have expectations toward each other. As a result. social networks consisting of his or her own personal collection of friends and work-related or community-related acquaintances. obligation. However. For example. and overall well-being. as a family maintains stability. Stability within a social structure also serves as a means to develop sanctioned group norms. act accordingly. the more developed the group norms. (2) stability. and obligations. peer-dominated. social capital was something that a child drew on in the future and not something of immediate benefit. Leonard further argued that as it was currently conceptualized. intergenerational closure is marked by individuals "who see each other daily.her growth. Parenthetically. maturation. For Coleman (1988). "disruptions of social organization or of social relations can be highly destructive to social capital" and "individual mobility constitutes a potential action that will be destructive of the structure itself—and thus of the social capital dependent on it" (Coleman. and expectations for themselves and other family members and thus. Coleman (1987) viewed a family's social capital as a medium through which a child could gain access to his/her parents' financial and human capital and not necessarily the result of a child's own attempts at developing social capital independently. and thus. (3) dependence. However. and develop norms about each other's behavior" (p. p. As a consequence. However. the result is an environment where one's behavior has effective sanctions which serve to guide and monitor individual behavior. as Morrow (1999) pointed out. Coleman (1988) identified four properties of social relations and organizations—and specific to families—that facilitated increases in social capital: (1) intergenerational closure. current applications of social capital ignore a child's immediate. and conveyed various social norms that were significantly related to children's academic development and achievement. Coleman is also quick to point out that by their very nature.

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For example. families must nurture their stability and subsequently. p. because the degree to which intergenerational closure. parents who continuously communicate amongst themselves and with others in the community in an effort to overcome a child's academic difficulties foster the social capital that may be integral to resolving any encountered problematic situation. Boroto. & Hall. to not only flourish. and have few monetary resources. but simply maintain. Cornille. For example. However. sense of purpose. As family members develop a shared sense of belonging and reliance on one another. and shared ideology varies amongst families. their individual social capital increases as a by-product of the established reciprocity of obligation. sometimes families—in their ultimately self-defeating quest to maintain stability—organize around a child's academic difficulties. 1992. it is no surprise that levels of social capital differ between families.between its members if they are to be maintained over time. stability. Coleman and Hoffer (1987) distinguished disadvantaged families from deficient families—both of which appeared to be increasing in frequency. 35 .321). Shared ideology "can create social capital by imposing on an individual who holds it the demand that he act in the interests of something or someone other than himself" (Coleman. and implicit direction foster elevated levels of social capital. Under these circumstances. 1990. include parents who have limited educational backgrounds. valued. the greater will be the quantity of social capital generated" (p. Barnes. their social capital. 320). members of a family who develop a common vision. dependence on one another within a family assumes that "the more extensively persons call on one another for aid. However. According to Coleman (1990). By doing so. 1996). 1996). and mutually understood commitment to each other are more likely to benefit from the social connections of their members (greater social capital) which lead to greater financial gains than those family members who lack a norm of reciprocity (Sanders & Nee. Disadvantaged families are those families that come from ethnic or language minority backgrounds. Therefore. dependence. family members who share an inherent. they effectively cut-off their supply of social capital by not communicating with others outside their fragile family boundaries and are thus rendered isolated and in a perpetual state of crisis (Cornille & Boroto.

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Sylva. & Howes. other factors including parenting style (Duncan & Magnuson. Merlo. and later stepfamilies. and Macartney (2007) argued that most children live in families with two parents. This is particularly salient given Portes' (1998) assertion that lowered social capital in single-parent families is primarily a function of the single parent's (and his or her child's) residential mobility and lack of in-home support via an additional parent. Consequently. the lack of another parent in the home and frequent relocations leads to inconsistent and weak ties to the community-at-large which are associated with lowered educational performance. 2002. and economic resources to children. 2005. Melhuish. and perhaps even extended family members. 1998). & Howes. 2008). & Taggart. mother's education) has proven to be a robust predictor of young children's academic achievement (Burchinal. Siraj-Blatchford. Brooks-Gunn & Duncan. In addition. Peisner-Feinberg. parents' education (and particularly. Paulson. Powers. 2002. & Hummer. 2006. who offer nurturance. Peisner-Feinberg. Phan. & Rothlisberg. the damaging effect of a family's low socioeconomic status on young children's academic achievement and cognitive functioning has been demonstrated repeatedly (Artis. Sylva. Sammons. 2007). 2002. Denton. Lee & Bowen. 1997. 2006. Boardman. & Hummer. Powers. 2006. Padilla. 2000. Sammons. However. Guo & Harris. Burchinal. support. 2008) are important factors in a child's academic achievement. Hirsh-Pasek & Burchinal. Siraj-Blatchford. 2006. they also commented that during preschool and the early elementary school years.Deficient families include those families consisting of either one parent or two parents who are more involved with work activities than family activities. However. However. 2007. These various other factors often undermine the role 37 . & Taggart. parent involvement (Alomar. 2002. Bowman. before examining the educational outcomes of children reared in singleparent families. McLoyd. Marchant. Melhuish. Phan. family income is particularly salient with regard to its impact on a child's cognitive functioning and school achievement. Downer & Pianta. 2001). Pianta. 2006. Pianta. Padilla. Young Children's Academic Achievement in a Family/Social Context Hernandez. For Portes. young children's academic achievement in a family/social context are discussed. & Barnett. Downer & Pianta. and the amount of a child's cognitive stimulation in his or her home environment (Boardman.

examined the association between various familial social factors—mother's marital status. the number of books a child has.000 children with a mean age of 71 months. and how bright and stimulating the home is) which negatively impacted intellectual development. and the physical environment of the home. In fact. poverty. using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Data (1986-1996) involving children ages 6 to 14. using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth involving approximately 2. Specifically. parenting style (how often a mother converses with her child. hugged or kissed her child. how cluttered the home is. In addition. increases in poverty adversely affected cognitive stimulation (how often the mother reads to a child. and the child's home environment—and children's academic achievement (as measured by standardized reading and math achievement tests). how many book's a child had. and how often the child's parents taught their child new skills scored significantly higher on measures of math and reading than those children with lower levels of cognitive stimulation in the home. how clean the home is. In a related study. and whether the mother hugged and kissed her child). The authors revealed that children whose mothers did not complete high school scored significantly lower on measures of math and reading than their counterparts whose mother's did complete high school. whether or not a child has a record/tape player. whether the mother's voice showed positive feelings toward her child. how often a child is taken to a museum. whether a mother answered her child's questions verbally. how often the mother read to her child. Powers. Guo and Harris (2000). Hirsh-Pasek and 38 . provided toys for her child. cognitive stimulation in the home. the authors concluded that poverty itself offers no direct effect on a child's intellectual development (measured by standardized reading and math achievement tests). and Hummer (2002). mother's education. found that the association between poverty and cognitive functioning is completely mediated by such family context variables as parenting style. responded verbally to her child. children with higher levels of cognitive stimulation present in their home environments such as whether or not a mother spoke to her child. and the physical environment of the home (i. Padilla..e. Boardman. However.poverty plays in its relation to a child's academic development and achievement. and the number of magazines a family receives). through structural equation modeling. how safe the home is.

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Additionally. In particular. and home academic stimulation. Pianta. Merlo. Bowman. responsive. The authors revealed that when children in first grade experienced more sensitive caregiving as indicated by the number and quality of interactions purported to enhance perceptual. a measure of the stimulation and support available to a child in the home). responsive. when children received increasingly more developmentally appropriate. Using the HOME Inventory (Caldwell & Bradley. and Barnett (2007) studied only children from families with lower socioeconomic status who were transitioning from preschool to elementary school. phonological awareness. Similarly. and to what extent the parent is verbally and affectively positive). Phan. They revealed. the authors reported that children scored higher on standardized measures of reading and math when their mother was more educated and when they experienced a rich home learning environment growing up. cognitive. and stimulating caregiving. their academic achievement was significantly higher than those children who did not receive progressively more developmentally appropriate. verbal reasoning ability. hostility. and Howes (2002) who also reported that children's scores on standardized tests of math and reading were positively associated with mothers' education and positive parenting practices (as measured by the HOME inventory) using 511 elementary (between 1 st and 3rd grade) children. These findings were consistent with Burchinal.Burchinal (2006). linguistic. they scored significantly higher on tests of academic achievement. using longitudinal data from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development examined the association between mothers' sensitivity to their children and their children's academic outcomes. and physical development from their mothers over time (between the ages of 6 and 54 months). Siraj-Blatchford and Taggart 40 . Sammons. Sylva. Peisner.-Geinberg. after controlling for such variables as prior reading ability. a child's growth in reading achievement could be accounted for by the unique contribution of parental nurturance (measured by selfreport and behavioral ratings regarding warmth. Downer and Pianta (2006) examined the early family experiences of 832 children enrolled in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development from birth to 54 months as predictors of academic achievement in first grade. and stimulating caregiving from their mother between the ages of 6 to 54 months. Mulhuish. 1984.

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Alomar (2006) used structural equation modeling on data from 751 eighth grade students to examine the impact of personal and family factors on academic achievement (as measured by an aggregate score of standardized math. However. Relatedly. and Rothlisberg (2001) using multiple regression on data involving 230 fifth. Marchant. Lee & Bowen. the authors further added that none of these individual factors predicted any unique variance in the students' grades. Acknowledging the racial gaps in both socioeconomic status and achievement scores in reading and math evidenced in the data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. Sylva. science. reported that parenting style (as defined by their level of demandingness. children who were classified as underachieving at age 7(defined as scores 1 standard deviation below the mean) had a higher likelihood of living in unsupportive home learning environment (as indicated by children who were not frequently engaged in such activities as being frequently read to. and school atmosphere as an aggregate score predicted 13% of the explained variance in students' grades. 42 . Marchant. Using data involving 2. 2006. Phan. 2006. Duncan and Magnuson (2005) summarized the extent to which familial environments impact children's academic achievement.354 children followed longitudinally from age 3 to 7. Similarly. 2008). teaching style. Paulson. 2001. going to the library. Mulhuish. & Taggart. and imposed values).(2008) reported robust and powerful effects of children's home learning environment on reading and math achievement over time. the authors commented on the importance of parental human capital (defined as family income) and its implications for children by concluding that its key advantage was in its ability to offer the opportunities for a stimulating learning environment. parental involvement (as defined by their participation in activities as the child's school). the authors commented that not only did parents' education indirectly benefit children via a higher family income. Specifically. the authors found that over time. Sammons. responsiveness. Paulson.and sixth-grade students. SirajBlatchford. and being taught letters and numbers in the home) at age three. playing with numbers. & Rothlisberg. it impacted children's well-being via improved parenting skills as well. parent involvement—a salient component of any stimulating home environment—has been consistently linked to children's academic achievement (Alomar.

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2007) and cognitive stimulation in the home (Boardman. the authors found that parent involvement in the school (the frequency in which parents attended parent-teacher conferences. The author found that parent involvement (and indirectly. Downer & Pianta. social science. The authors concluded that families with fewer financial resources also found it more difficult to devote the time necessary to facilitate the vital relationships between themselves and their child's preschool and kindergarten teachers—a situation that would likely lead to exacerbated risk for school problems later in their children's academic careers. Pianta. 1997. volunteered at the school. & Hummer. Padilla. have monthly communication with their child's preschool. Families from a lower socioeconomic status (as indicated by receiving government financial aid) were less likely to attend annual meetings at their child's preschool. Specifically. Using hierarchical regression analyses. 2005. 2006. Finally. and went to school for fun events) contributed a unique 9% of the explained variance in academic achievement (teacher-reported grades in math and reading and teacher reports of whether the student was below. Bowman. a combination of parenting style. Lacking what Coleman (1988) referred to as intergenerational closure. Sammons. Sylva. Guo & Harris. & Howes. Siraj-Blatchford. Peisner-Feinberg. parent education) contributed a strong (. DiGennaro. Merlo. 2006. and the physical environment of the home has 44 . McIntyre. Burchinal. Lee and Bowen (2006) examined the predictive impact of parent involvement on children's academic achievement using data from 415 children in third through fifth grade. cognitive stimulation in the home. or visit a kindergarten classroom than their higher socioeconomic status counterparts. and Wildenger (2007) examined the relationship between children's family experiences and their transition to kindergarten. parenting style (Duncan & Magnuson. Hirsh-Pasek & Burchinal. language. 2002. 2000. Although the damaging impact of poverty on academic achievement in young children is well documented (Brooks-Gunn & Duncan. 2002. at. Melhuish. McLoyd. Phan. and religion tests). Powers.47) effect on student's achievement. Eckert.English. & Taggart. 1998) several contextual factors appear to undermine its overall effect on the academic achievement of children. or above grade level in reading and math). In fact. 2008) have been shown to be powerful and robust predictors of academic achievement. Fiese. & Barnett.

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parent involvement in their child's school) significantly contribute to a child's academic achievement (Alomar. these factors are particularly salient in terms of their impact on academic achievement. 2000). the authors also commented that any time spent in a single-parent home placed a child at higher risk for poor behavioral and cognitive outcomes. she concluded that efforts to improve the academic achievement in children reared in single-parent families would best be served by facilitating 46 . this is particularly alarming given the findings by Carlson and Corcoran (2001) who. single-parent to two-parent families. and aptitude. but that these risks could be minimized if parents provided greater emotional support and cognitive stimulation toward their children. the author commented that studies often control for economic resources (namely. two-parent to single-parent families and those children who experienced multiple family structure transitions. Lee & Bowen. Favoring the social capital explanation. Phan. 2006. Because of this. & Taggart. grades.been shown to entirely mediate the impact of poverty on young children's academic achievement (Guo & Harris. However. Reviewing the economic resources explanation. However. & Rothlisberg. Family Structure and Academic Achievement Single-Parent Families Kreider and Fields (2005) reported that 59% of all children in non-two biological parent families lived with single mothers. the author concluded that income differences between children reared in single-parent versus twoparent families account for as much as half of the disparity in educational achievement. Siraj-Blatchford. Sylva. education. albeit related explanation. 2001. Mulhuish. Marchant. However. Sammons. after controlling for mothers' age at first birth. found that children who lived in a continuously single-parent family had significantly lower cognitive test scores than their counterparts in either continuous two-parent families. In addition. college enrollment and college graduation. 2006. lack of social capital in single-parent families. parent involvement (and particularly. she supported the separate. Paulson. SES) and differences still exist. for children who come from single-parent families. Consequently. 2008). tests scores. Pong (1998) suggested two possible explanations for the detrimental impact of single parenthood on children's academic achievement: (1) lack of economic resources. and (2) lack of social capital.

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She concluded that for single-parent families. student misbehavior. 3.483 single-mother families. Although conceptualized as social capital. Lee (1993) using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study examined the extent to which social capital (as measured by the number of parents of their child's friends they knew and the extent to which children discussed school matter with their parents) explained the statistically significant discrepancies in grades. She offered that by doing so. Using ordinary least squares regression. the author found that although children from single-mother and single-father families scored significantly less than their counterparts in twobiological parent families on tests of standardized math. Lee concluded that efforts to improve the educational involvement of single-parents with their children (via more effective communication networks amongst parents of school-going children and increased discussion of school-related activities between single parents and their 48 . Accordingly. how many of these friends' parents they know by name. their children and their children's peers. However. how many of their child's friends they know by name. reading. Downey (1994) examined differences in school performance using data from the National Longitudinal Study involving eight graders from 409 single-father families. but measured differently.communication between single-parents and other parents of children in the same school. Similarly. 1994. and 14. and standardized tests between single-parent and two-biological-parent families. improving social capital was critical to the education of their children. Lee. and science. parents benefit via increases in social capital stemming from the on-ongoing dialogue regarding school policies and personnel. other scholars support the notion that social capital (or more appropriately. history. variations in interpersonal parental resources (as measured by such indicators as their involvement in their child's school's PTA activities.269 two biological-parent families. the lack thereof) plays a vital role in the lowered academic achievement of children reared in single-parent families (Downey. and whether they attend school meetings) accounted for more of the disparity in reported grades of children from single-father families than single-mother families. 1993). and reported grades. unlike Downey who offered no suggestions to overcome discrepancies. and various strategies that would likely enhance their own parenting practices. they also differed on the extent to which interpersonal parental resources impacted their child's reported grades.

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and married father-stepmother families.8%). overall parental supervision.988 adolescents. married mother-stepfather. and the amount of time they spend talking to their child ) impacted the child's grades. and married father-stepmother families. children reared in single-parent families scored lower than their child counterparts reared in two-original parent.3%). academic ability. Tillman (2007) used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health study involving 13. family resources. an abridged version of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test). and likelihood of dropping out more in single-parent families than twobiological parent families after controlling for gender.9%) stepparent families (10%) and other families (3. married mother-stepfather. Calling for future research investigating parental investment. Heard (2007) also used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health study and reported that in terms of cognitive ability (measured by the Health Picture Vocabulary Test. and socioeconomic status. the time parents spend with children. the author suggested that the combination of experiencing the divorce/separation of their parents coupled with the later transitioning into a stepfamily (through cohabitation) may have accounted for the higher reported grade point averages for children in single-parent families than children in cohabiting stepfamilies. race. the quality of parent-child relationships. Astone and McLanahan (1991) using data from the High School and Beyond study involving 10. single-parent families (17. found that parenting practices (including measures of the extent to which parents engage in day-to-day supervision of school work. and reported grades. student misbehavior. school attendance. and found that in terms of grade point average.390 children from either two biological parent families (68. and the 50 . In addition.children) would likely lead to a decrease in the discrepancies between children in singleparent and children in two-parent-biological families on measures of standardized tests. she suggested that the effects of family formations on academic outcomes be approached from a longitudinal perspective. adolescents in 7 th through 12 th grade who were reared in single-mother families scored lower than their child counterparts reared in twooriginal parent. Although children reared in single-parent families reported higher grade point averages than their counterparts in cohabiting stepfamily environments.

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Some scholars have suggested that future research focus on social capital theory and the way in which it helps to explain and predict lowered academic achievement of children in these families (Astone & McLanahan. For example. Although Heard (2007) and Tillman (2007) both found that children from single-parent families scored lower on measures of academic achievement than their counterparts in married stepfamilies. Lee. 1993. appropriate behavior. 1994. 2000b. 1991. scholars have used data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey (Jeynes. 2001. 1999. 2003). 2007) and the Early Childhood Longitudinal StudyKindergarten Cohort (Artis. 2004). Pong. the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Heard. 1998). 2007). Given the magnitude in which children reside in single-parent families at any given time (Kreider & Fields. Tillman. the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (Carlson & Corcoran. their academic achievement is still lower than those children residing in two-biological-parent family structures. 2002). and study habits of adolescents. the author commented that her findings reinforced the empirical argument that residing with two biological parents facilitates the educational socialization. 2005) and the extent that any time spent in these families is deleterious for children's behavioral and academic outcomes (Carlson & Corcoran. 2001) the onus on scholars is to examine and articulate the various contributive factors that affect the academic achievement of a child reared in this family structure. 2007. Ginther & Pollak. Jeynes (1998) offered several findings derived from separate analyses of data involving a total of 18. 1998. both populations remain at a disadvantage compared to their twobiological parent counterparts. As such. even though there is another parent—albeit stepparent—in the home for children in stepfamilies. 2000a. Downey.726 adolescents (10th-12th graders) from the National Education 52 . the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (Ram & Hou. 2005). The findings from these datasets offer a unique opportunity to generalize to a much larger population because the data are comprehensive and representative of the diversity of the population (Nelson & Allred. Children Reared in Stepfamilies An assortment of nationally representative datasets has been used within the stepfamily literature to explore the academic achievement of older stepchildren.educational resources provided by parents.

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coming from a stepfamily as a result of divorce significantly reduced children's achievement on standardized tests related to reading. comparing data from 2. Examining the extent to which divorce or remarriage had a greater impact on academic achievement. and science. Jeynes (1999) revealed that after controlling for race. and gender. children from stepfamilies scored lower than their divorced singleparent household counterparts on standardized tests related to math and social studies. and gender. race. Carlson and Corcoran (2001) explored the impact of family structure on behavioral and 54 . race. and science. Using data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Children and Youth. social studies. and gender. reading.395 stepchildren from reconstituted families as a result of divorce and 47 stepchildren from reconstituted families as a result of parental death. After controlling for socioeconomic status. living in a stepfamily household was negatively related to standardized scores related to math. math. Jeynes (2000b) compared the academic achievement of children from remarried stepfamilies to children from divorced singleparent households. race. Jeynes (2000a). math. examined the impact of family structure on measures of academic performance. lowered overall GPA. and social studies. The extent to which parental involvement of stepfamilies impacted academic achievement was examined by Jeynes (2002). science. he revealed that children residing in stepfamilies scored significantly lower on standardized tests of math. He found that even after controlling for socioeconomic status. and social studies and were more likely to have repeated a grade than their counterparts in divorced (but not remarried) households. children in stepfamilies scored somewhat lower than children of divorce from single-parent families and significantly lower than children from intact biological families on standardized tests related to reading. In addition. science. and gender. and gender. even after controlling for socioeconomic status. Subsequently.Longitudinal Survey. Jeynes reported that although parental involvement (particularly students discussing school events with their stepparents) positively influenced academic success. socioeconomic status. reading. it did not compensate for the impact of residing in stepfamily households. His results revealed that after controlling for socioeconomic status. and increased the likelihood of being held back a grade. race. social studies.

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these results were rendered insignificant after controlling for the number of siblings. the authors suggested that although they offered economic benefits (with the addition of income). computers.academic outcomes. In terms of the findings related to math involving children transitioning from single-parent to stepparent families. Ram and Hou (2003) using data from three waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth compared the effect of changes in family structure on various child outcomes. especially reading and math. birth order. and high-quality day care because of her significant loss in income. as evidenced by these children scoring lower than children from two-biological-parent households. 56 . In addition. The authors found that living in either a single parent or stepfamily negatively affected school outcomes. However. Ginther and Pollak (2004) used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth involving over 10. and parental schooling (defined as whether the child's mother and father graduated high school or not and whether he or she had attended some college). children who transitioned from a two-parent family to a single-parent family scored statistically lower on tests of standardized reading than their counterparts who had always resided in a single-parent family. In terms of the findings related to reading involving children transitioning to single-parent families. the authors speculated that these results may be related to the newly divorced parent's inability to provide her child with school materials. perhaps stepparents did not grant as much access to material resources such as school materials or computers to their stepchildren as they do their biological children. They revealed that children (who were between the ages of 4 and 7 at first wave) who had transitioned from a single-parent to a stepparent family scored statistically lower on tests of standardized math than those students who either remained in a two-biological parent family or remained in a single-parent family. religion. education. family income. the test score differences became smaller and insignificant after controlling for their mothers' age at first birth. However. and scholastic aptitude. The authors found that stepchildren's (between the ages of 7 and 10) standardized reading and math scores were lower than their counterparts in twoparent biological families.000 children between the ages of 5 and 15 to examine the effects of family structure on children's educational and cognitive outcomes.

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Heard (2007) used data from Wavesl and 2 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine the relationship between family structure and academic behavior. their odds of receiving school discipline by 52%. Each year adolescents lived in a cohabiting mother-stepfather household increased their odds of being suspended or expelled from school 12%. Tillman (2007) also used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine family structure and its effects on a child's grades. and parenting practices (as measured by their involvement with the school and how frequently they were involved with the school) only standardized reading 58 . and two-biological parent counterparts. and general knowledge than their married stepfamily counterparts. However. and expectations towards college. Based on results from ANOVA. children in both cohabiting and married stepfamilies scored significantly lower on measures of math. Artis (2007).511 kindergarten children (593 from married stepfamilies and 379 from cohabiting stepfamilies) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study— Kindergarten Cohort examined the relationship between maternal cohabitation and child well-being. using a subsample of data involving 10. She revealed that children from married stepfather families were more likely to have lower expectations toward college than their cohabiting stepfather. she revealed that children in cohabiting stepfamilies scored significantly lower on measures of math. and general knowledge than their counterparts in two-biological parent families. and reduced their likelihood of having high expectations for attending college by 7%. After controlling for economic resources (as measured by education and income). school-related behavior. Based on results from ordinary least squares regression and logistic regression. reading. Children from either a married or cohabiting stepparent family evidenced more school-related behavior problems than their consistently-married biological parent counterparts. In the only study involving young children. single-father. reading. she revealed that each year an adolescent lived with a cohabiting motherstepfather decreased their overall GPA even after controlling for unstable family histories. cohabiting stepmother. relationship stability (how long parents were together and how many times the family had moved).

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Schiller. Given these findings. Finally. 1991. In addition. Pong. Tillman. Lee.scores of children in cohabiting stepfamilies remained significantly lower than their counterparts in two-biological-parent families. Carlson & Corcoran. 2006). he revealed that the overall effect size of children from remarried families on standardized tests of academic achievement were . 1999. race. Parent involvement does not compensate for the lowered scores of children reared in stepfamilies on standardized measures of math. the academic outlook for children reared in stepfamilies (and single-parent families) is bleak. 2000b. Tillman. science. Abd-El-Fattah (2006) and Cavanagh. reading. Astone & McLanahan. and gender of its participants. Ram & Hou. 1994. 2007) when compared to both single-parent and two-biological-parent families. 2007. 2007) and single-parent families (Jeynes. Collectively. 1993. the amount of time spent in a stepfamily residence is associated with decreases in GPA and increases in the odds of schoolrelated behavioral problems (Heard. 2002). Ginther & Pollak. and social studies when compared to their counterparts in two-biologicalparent families (Jeynes. scholars have documented the lowered academic achievement of children reared in stepfamilies compared to their counterparts in two-biological parent family structures (Artis. Based on his analysis of studies with sophisticated statistical controls for socioeconomic status. 2007. Downey. Jeynes (2006) conducted a meta-analysis involving a total of 61 studies published between 1963 and 2003 (over 80% of the participants in the primary studies were between the ages of 13 and 18) to determine the overall impact of parental divorce and remarriage on academic achievement and psychological well-being of children. One possible reason for the lower academic achievement of children reared in stepfamilies and single-parent families may be a relative lack in social capital. 2003. 1998). Jeynes. 2007. 1999. In fact. 2001. and Riegle-Crumb (2006) argue that family structure impacts students' academic achievement via parent involvement both directly with their (step) children and their 60 . several scholars have suggested further examination into the role social capital plays in relation to the academic achievement of children reared in these family structures (Artis. 2004. 12 standard deviations lower than their counterparts from divorced single-parent families. In terms of adolescents. 1998.

Schiller. lack of help.(step) children's school. and Riegle-Crumb (2006) stated "because of time constraints. may be less involved in their adolescents' educational careers (p. and despite their best efforts. two-parentbiological. 332). similar processes undoubtedly impact young children in these family structures as well. 61 . new obligations. and stepparent) predict academic improvement in children over time. as Cavanagh. Although these authors suggest that the level of parent involvement experienced by adolescents is a function of the inherent constraints of single-parent and stepfamily structures. However. single parents and those who are married or are cohabiting with new partners may experience less closeness with their adolescents. the purpose of this study was to examine how variations in social and resource capital among three family types (single-parent. Accordingly. and the possible strain introduced to the parent-child relationship by divorce or the start of a parent's new romantic relationships.

2007. Kelly. sample. Parcel & Dufur. and included variables for use in these secondary analyses is also discussed. specific methodology. Downey. & Carver. Paasch. As a result. Astone & McLanahan. Hampden-Thompson & Pong. 1993. Smith. However. 2005. Schiller. attending college. and sample for the administration of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort is provided. 2007). Abd-El-Fattah (2006) and Cavanagh. & Mullis. 2001. 1996. Similar processes undoubtedly impact young children in these family structures as well. Teachman. an overview of the statistical techniques. Rathge. 2001. a series of multiple regressions is used. and math and reading achievement have been explored and subsequently established in adolescents (Evans. 2003. Pong. several scholars have suggested further examination into the role that social and resource capital play in relation to the academic achievement of children (Artis. In addition. this study examines two research questions: 1 Does social and resource capital have an impact on young children's academic improvement. 1997). & Wanner. 1998).CHAPTER 3 METHODS This chapter provides a conceptual framework for examining how social and resource capital (and subsequently family structure) impacts children's academic improvement over time. This is particularly salient because early childhood offers an optimal period for intervention and represents the period when gaps in academic achievement first emerge (Perez-Johnson & Maynard. Conceptual Framework The associations between variations in social and resource capital and dropping out of high school. Lee. 1997. methodology. 1995. 1991. Pong. & Seraphine. Beaulieu. Finally. In addition. completing college. Mullis. Including multiple independent variables in a regression model allows the use of 62 . controlling for parent's education and socioeconomic status? 1 Does family structure matter in terms of children's academic improvement? In an effort to answer these questions. a brief overview of the National Center for Educational Statistics' purpose. 1994. and Riegle-Crumb (2006) argue that family structure impacts an adolescent's academic achievement via parent involvement both directly with their (step) children and their (step) children's school.

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Further.statistical control in estimating the unique effect of each independent variable on the outcome (Meyers. & Guarino. and Judd (2002). social capital. 2006. Similarly. The portion of the dependent variable labeled b represents the proportion of variance in children's academic improvement uniquely explained by the independent variable. Harris. 1998). multiple regression is particularly useful when the researcher uses predictor (or independent) variables for which there are sound theoretical reasons for expecting them to predict the outcome (Field. As such. family structure) and children's academic improvement while controlling for parent's education and socioeconomic status. 2005). Given the extent to which multiple independent variables were used to predict the dependent variable. each of the independent variables (social and resource capital) overlaps the dependent variable (academic improvement). and increases the variances of regression coefficients which produces unstable predictor equations. which suggests the absence of multicolinearity amongst the independent variables. stated that "an operational definition specifies how to measure a variable so that we can assign someone a score". Glenn. Tate. resource capital. Field (2005) suggested that the presence of multicolinearity poses a threat to the validity of any multiple regression analysis in that it limits the variance in the outcome for which the predictors account. further adding that 64 . Hoyle. the portion of the dependent variable labeled a represents the proportion of the variance in children's academic improvement explained by both social and resource capital. As can be from the corresponding correlation matrix. the portion of the dependent variable labeled c represents the proportion of variance in children's academic improvement uniquely explained by the independent variable. all of the correlations between the predictor variables are well below . As can be seen from Figure 1. I used a series of multiple regressions to analyze the relationship between social and resource capital (and subsequently. makes it difficult to assess the individual contribution of each predictor variable. Finally. Figure 1 is a graphic representation of how multiple regressions were used to address how social and resource capital impacts young children's academic improvement controlling for parent education and socioeconomic status. a series of bivariate correlations were ran in an effort to examine the potential multicolinearity amongst the predictor variables (see Table 1).5.

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an additional independent variable. (b) whether or not they have a home computer that their child uses. and (c) reports of cognitive stimulation in the home (i. The addition of this variable is depicted in Figure 2. (d) whether or not a parent acted as a school volunteer. (c) whether or not a parent attended a parent-teacher conference. Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort Data for this study were drawn from the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. (b) whether or not a parent attended the school's open house. this would allow me to examine how the effect of social and resource capital on student improvement differs based upon family structure by running separate regressions for each family type. Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K). Each of these indicators of social and resource capital was measured using the ECLS-K in the spring of kindergarten and fifth grade. home. family structure (twobiological parents. As such."the beauty of an operational definition is that it specifies precisely how to measure a variable in such a concrete and specific manner that anyone else could repeat the steps and obtain the same measurements" (p. Indicators of resource capital included: (a) how many times they visited the library. As can be seen from the figure.. As the first national study following a cohort of children from kindergarten entry to middle school. 76). the portion of the dependent variable labeled d represents the proportion of the variance in children's academic improvement explained by the additional independent variable. a stepparent. a single-parent. frequency of literacy activities). family structure. If significant. classroom.S. school. indicators of social capital specifically included: (a) whether or not a parent contacted the school. and other) was included in the model. the ECLS-K provides a wealth and breadth of comprehensive and 66 . To answer question 2. this data base was designed to longitudinally assess various student. and community factors related to the cognitive and social development of children. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). In addition. Sponsored by the U. and (e) how many parents of their child's friends they talk to regularly. academic improvement was measured via the change from kindergarten to fifth grade in children's IRT scaled scores on standardized reading and math tests.e.

researchers are able to tackle difficult areas of inquiry such as the diverse ways in which classrooms and schools attend to the needs of children. children. teacher qualifications. & Atkins-Burnett. social. various socioeconomic resources (Chatterji. 2007). school and classroom environments. Because of its depth of assessment. 1999-2000 (first grade). As both a multi-source and multi-method study. The ECLS-K offers scholars the opportunity to investigate a multitude of questions that are pertinent in today's society. 2005. Le. their families. As a longitudinal investigation. & Aber. Pollack. and schools) from a variety of socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds are included in the study. Duncan & Magnuson. and assessments of children's cognitive. maternal cohabitation (Artis. Nord. and physical development. the fall and spring of first grade (1999 2000). maternal hardship. emotional. & Schulenberg. school. Denton & West. and attributes play with regard to their children's transition and success in an academic environment. teacher's. teachers. behaviors. the impact of children's. and the complex interactions between children's academic and cognitive performance and their family. the role parent's expectations about their children's skills. parenting. and school administrators provide information related to children's home environment. Data collection for the ECLS-K was conducted in the fall and spring of 1998-1999 (kindergarten). 67 . classroom curriculum. and their school readiness (Raver. and administrator's backgrounds on children's academic performance. information has been collected in the fall and spring of kindergarten (1998-1999). teachers. 2007). 2002. 2006).and half-day kindergarten programs in both public and private schools.reliable data that scholars can use to better understand children's development as they progress from kindergarten to the middle school grades. Gershoff. home educational activities. The administration of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) involves a diverse population of children who attended both full. Authors have used the ECLS-K to investigate a variety of factors related to children's academic improvement including income. levels of parent involvement (Sy. 2007). 2001-2002 (third grade) and 2003-2004 (fifth grade). and community (Tourangeau. and the spring of third grade (2002) and fifth grade (2004). Rowley. home environment. Children (and their parents.

2000). and (3) knowledge of the social and physical world. In third and fifth grades. The fifth-grade assessments also utilized a two-stage design. & Waldfogel." The K-1 assessment did not ask the children to write anything or to explain their reasoning. children pointed to their answers or responded orally to complete the tasks. this study represents the first attempt to longitudinally examine the impact of family social and resource capital (and subsequently. mathematics. mathematics. (2) mathematics. the assessor read all the response options to the child in the mathematics and science assessments. et al. However. 2006) 68 . The kindergarten-first grade (K-1) cognitive assessment focused on three general content areas: (1) reading. Ruhm. The assessment battery was administered using small easels with the items printed on one side and administration instructions for the assessor on the other side. Although the child read the response options to him/herself in the reading assessment. general knowledge was replaced with science because the curriculum at these grades is more differentiated and the amount of time available to administer the assessments was limited. and general knowledge. 2007). All questions were read by the assessor. and their prekindergarten program involvement (Magnuson.2005. Direct Cognitive Assessment Measures "The direct cognitive assessments were individually administered at all six time points. the direct cognitive domains measured reading. and science. rather. Assessors entered children's responses on a laptop computer. and science. The direct cognitive domains measured in kindergarten and first grade included reading. family structure) using assessment data from participants in kindergarten through fifth grade. The reading passages were in a booklet format to allow the student to refer back to the story when answering the questions. & Germino-Hausken." (Tourangeau. Denton. mathematics. Easels were used to administer items in reading. referred to as "general knowledge. West. The students also completed workbooks with open-ended mathematics questions. In third and fifth grades.

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These items could be grouped into five proficiency clusters comprised of items requiring a child to: (a) solve simple multiplication and division problems. receptive vocabulary. (d) solve simple addition and subtraction problems. probabilities. Remaining items tapped abilities in measurement. measurement. probability. recognize a sequence of patterns. beginning and ending sounds. and creating rhyming works). geometry and spatial ability. evaluate. (b) demonstrate his or her understanding of place value. properties. Items related to number sense. and operations comprised approximately 50%. (d) solve problems using fractions. and algebra. Mathematics Assessment The kindergarten mathematics assessment contained items designed to measure skills in conceptual and procedural knowledge and problem solving. and comprehension (involving listening and words in context). operations. letter recognition. and demonstrate his or her ability to comprehend biographical and expository text (evaluating nonfiction). and (e) solve word problems involving area and volume. Reliabilities for Mathematics and Reading Assessment Scores Reliabilities for the mathematics and reading assessment scores (derived from item response theory-based scores) for data collection in the spring of kindergarten 70 .Reading Assessment The kindergarten reading assessment (containing five proficiency levels) included questions designed to measure various facets including basic skills (print familiarity. analysis. (c) use their knowledge of measurement to solve word problems. and solve a simple word problem. and use nonstandard units of length to compare objects. count beyond ten. analysis. extrapolate. The fifth grade reading assessment contained items designed to measure a child's ability to make literal inferences. statistics. properties. geometry and spatial sense. (c) read two-digit numbers. These items could be grouped into five proficiency clusters comprised of items requiring a child to: (a) identify some one-digit numerals and geometric shapes. statistics. and (e) solve simple multiplication and division problems The fifth grade mathematics assessment contained items designed to measure number sense. (b) read all one-digit numerals. recognize numbers in sequential order. and algebra.

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The ECLS-K test specifications were derived from a variety of sources. Validity for Direct Cognitive Assessment in Mathematics and Reading "Evidence for the validity of the direct cognitive assessments was derived from several sources. several questions based on each reading passage. including linking to K-1 and third-grade scales.were . This was especially true for the reading assessment.94 for mathematics and for reading.e. were also considered. i. The assessment specifications indicated target percentages for content strands within each of the subject areas. the judgments of curriculum experts and teachers all provided input to test specifications.93. respectively.91 and . For the third through fifth-grade assessments. The resulting ECLS-K fourth-grade frameworks are similar to the NAEP fourth grade frameworks. The scope and sequence of materials from state assessments. . examined the pool of items and the recommended allocations. The reliabilities for the mathematics and reading assessments in fifth grade were. placed an additional constraint on the selection of items to match content strands. with some differences due to ECLS-K formatting and administration constraints. avoiding floor and ceiling effects. In addition. comparing the reading and mathematics field-test item pool scores with those obtained from an established instrument provided validity information.. Experts in each of the subject areas then reviewed the proposed 72 . whose structure. national and state performance standards in each of the domains were examined. as well as from major publishers. Some compromises in matching target percentages were necessary to satisfy constraints related to other issues. An expert panel of early elementary school educators. including curriculum specialists in the subject areas and teachers at the targeted grade levels from different regions of the country. The fourth-grade frameworks were modified for third and fifth grades (and for the earlier K-1 forms). A review of national and state performance standards. and field test item performance.93. These percentages were matched as closely as possible in developing the field-test assessment item pool as well as in selecting items for the fifth-grade assessment forms. comparison with state and commercial assessments.

the number of children with IRT scaled scores for reading and math was 16. indicating that the two assessments were measuring closely related skills" (Tourangeau. As can been seen from Table 2. Reliabilities for the MBA were computed both with not-administered and omitted items treated as missing.886. Correlations were computed for the MBA scores with the theta estimates based on ECLS-K fieldtest responses. Participant Characteristics of the Early Childhood Longitudinal StudyKindergarten Cohort-Analytical Sample Table 2 provides a visual representation of the step-by-step process leading to the resultant analytical sample.441 and 10. respectively. the number of children with IRT scaled scores for reading and math was 11. Generally.271 respectively. Similarly. the number of children with IRT scaled scores for reading and math in both the spring of kindergarten and spring of fifth grade was 10.143 children were sampled in the spring of fifth grade.846.262 and 11. As such. However. Selected field-test forms that included reading sections also included the MBA reading test. and with these items treated as incorrect. et al. An additional method of evaluating the construct validity of the reading and mathematics assessments was addressed by the inclusion of the WoodcockMcGrew-Werder Mini-Battery of Achievement (MBA) in the spring 2002 field test of fifth-grade items. Subsequently. respectively. only children with IRT scaled-scores for reading and math in the spring of kindergarten and spring of fifth grade were used. Test scores can be related to other measures only to the extent that they are consistent within themselves.813 children who were sampled in the spring of kindergarten. a correlation between two variables cannot exceed the square root of the reliability of either variable. to answer the proposed research questions. the number of children with IRT scaled scores in both reading and math for both the spring of kindergarten and the 73 . 2006). although a total of 16. although there were a total of 22.fifth-grade forms for appropriateness of content and relevance to the assessment framework. The correlations of MBA with ECLS-K measures were quite close to the square roots of the reliabilities.228 and 16. while the MBA mathematics test was administered along with field-test mathematics forms.

9. Participant Demographics Table 4 provides demographic characteristics for children with change scores in math from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade from the full analytical sample and from households with two married biological parents.0% were Asian.4% were more than one race.spring of fifth grade represent 46% and 48% of all the children who were sampled in the spring of kindergarten.3% were White. or a single parent. and single parent. 11. 9.1% were Hispanic. 6.2% were Native Hawaiian. race not specified. Non-Hispanic. or another family structure configuration who had change scores from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade in reading and math were 3%.3% were Black or African-American.6% were Hispanic. four separate family structure variables were created. 65% of children with change scores from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade in reading and math had two married biological parents in their households during the spring of kindergarten. 1.9% were American Indian or Alaska Native. and 2. The corresponding frequencies for each family structure variable can be seen in Table 3. respectively. With regard to race.6% were females. or a single parent in their household during the spring of kindergarten. As such. respectively. and 8%.4% of the children were males. These variables consisted of children who had either two married biological parents in their household during the spring of kindergarten. Consequently. 19%. 1. In terms of 74 . 5% of the children with change scores from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade were missing information pertaining to their family structure during the spring of kindergarten. 58. whereas 49. a married stepparent in their household during the spring of kindergarten. 50. a married stepparent. In terms of gender. As can be seen from Table 3. race specified. the following descriptions of demographic characteristics are for the full analytical sample only. other Pacific Islander. Analytical Sample: Family Structure Variable In an effort to answer the second research question. The corresponding figures for children with a married stepparent. The fourth family structure variable consisted of all other types of family structures that children may have experienced during the spring of kindergarten.

6% of children were classified as being in the 5th quintile (the highest classification). In terms of socioeconomic status. Table 5 provides demographic characteristics for children with change scores in reading from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade from the full analytical sample and from households with two married biological parents. with regard to demographic characteristics. proportionally more children from single parent families had a parent with the educational equivalent of eighth grade or below. degrees of freedom = 24. or a single parent. p <. there were proportionally more males in families with a married stepparent and more females in single parent households (x2 = 8. 75 . degrees of freedom = 3. degrees of freedom = 21. With regard to socioeconomic status. the same pattern emerged.their parents' highest educational level.01). degrees of freedom = 12. p <. whereas 23.83. proportionally more children in single parent families were in the first quintile.05).38. p <. whereas 4. In terms of demographic characteristics for children with change scores in reading from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade.01).86.5% of children were classified as being in the 1st quintile (the lowest classification). proportionally more children in two biological parent families were White. p <. With regard to their parents' education.82. whereas proportionally more children in single parent households were Black or AfricanAmerican (x2 = 1575. In terms of race. nonparametric analyses based on chi-square distribution tests revealed several significant differences among the family structure variables. whereas proportionally more children in two biological parent families were in the fifth quintile (x2 = 1499. 14. In terms of demographic characteristics for children with change scores in math from the spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade. With regard to gender. 3. As such.2% of children had a parent who reported a highest educational level of 8th grade or below.7% of children had a parent who reported a highest educational level of an earned doctorate or professional degree. and come from families in the lowest socioeconomic quintile.01). whereas proportionally more children in two biological parent families had a parent with a doctorate or professional degree (x2 = 1322. non-Hispanic. have parents with lower educational attainment. children in single parent families were more likely to be Black or African-American. a married stepparent.

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whereas children in two biological parent families were more likely to be White, have
parents with higher educational attainment, and reside in households in the highest
socioeconomic quintile.

Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital
As can be seen from Table 6, the average math change score from the spring of
kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade for the full analytical sample was 80.40. The
corresponding figures for children with two married biological parents, a married
stepparent, and a single parent were 82.56, 79.99, and 75.65, respectively. In terms of
the indicator variables for social capital, for the entire analytical sample, parents
reported talking to an average of 2.56 parents of their child's friends. The corresponding
figures for children with two married biological parents, a married stepparent, and a
single parent 2.89, 1.73, and 1.81, respectively. The remaining frequency distributions
for the social capital indicator variables can be seen in Table 6. In addition, Table 7
provides corresponding descriptive information using the appropriate sample weights.

Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital
As can been seen from Table 8, The average reading change score from the
spring of kindergarten to the spring of fifth grade for the entire sample was 99.41. The
corresponding figures for children with two married biological parents, a married
stepparent, and a single parent were 101.88, 99.89, and 94.07, respectively. In terms of
the indicator variables for social capital, for the entire analytical sample, parents
reported talking to an average of 2.56 parents of their child's friends. The corresponding
figures for children with two married biological parents, a married stepparent, and a
single parent 2.90, 1.69, and 1.79, respectively. Table 7 provides the associated
descriptive information using the appropriate sample weights. The remaining frequency
distributions for the social capital indicator variables can be seen in Table 8.

Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables-Resource Capital
In terms of the indicator variables for resource capital, for the entire analytical
sample, 4,369 parents reported that their child had access to a home computer (see
Table 9). However, 5,923 parents reported that their child did not have access to a
home computer. For children with two married biological parents, these figures were
2,372 and 4,716, respectively. The numbers of children with access to a home
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For children with two married biological parents.684 and 2. respectively. Le. However. Sample Weights By design. The numbers of children with access to a home computer who resided in a household with a married stepparent or a single parent were 162 and 706. first grade.998 parents reported that their child did not have access to a home computer. because of the relatively low occurrence of 79 . Pollack. The remaining frequency distributions for the resource capital indicator variables can be seen in Table 10. the National Center of Educational Statistics chose to assign weights to compensate for the higher sampling probabilities of certain children from various races. the NCES created numerous categorical variables to be used as weights depending upon the selected sample. schools.882 parents reported that their child had access to a home computer (see Table 10). respectively. and parent nonresponse (Tourangeau. teacher. Accordingly. as suggested by the National Center for Educational Statistics (personal communication. mean substitution is especially problematic when there are many missing values (over 30% of the population is missing data). 3. and communities and to adjust for school. Therefore. As such.computer who resided in a household with a married stepparent or a single parent were 162 and 711. and subsequently used in all regression analyses. third grade. Missing Data Given the prevalence of missing data in social sciences (Juster & Smith. The remaining frequency distributions for the resource capital indicator variables can be seen in Table 9. for the entire analytical sample.120. and fifth grade was selected. these figures were 4. Nord. As outlined by Acock (2005). the extent to which data are missing in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study comes as no surprise. 1998). 2008) the base weight variable appropriate for child assessment data from the spring of kindergarten. However. respectively. & Atkins-Burnett. child. 5. given the relatively low occurrence of missing data for the analytical sample in this study (all but two independent variables have data from over 94% of the analytical sample—the other variables have data from over 87% of the analytical sample) mean substitution was used. 2006). Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Resource Capital In terms of the indicator variables for resource capital.

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while controlling for their educational level.does social and resource capital have an impact on young children's academic improvement. Additionally. Data Analysis Plan In an effort to answer the first research question-. I will examine whether or not the effect of social and resource capital varies by family structure. the change in the variance brought on by mean substitution for any variable will be minimal (Acock. 2005). by using the specified sample weights. Accordingly. If the family structure coefficients are significant. socioeconomic status. indicators of parents' resource and social capital (measured in the spring of kindergarten). controlling for parent's education and socioeconomic status—multiple regression was used. 81 . In an effort to answer the second research question-. and their child's gender and race was used to predict the change in IRT scaled scores from kindergarten to fifth grade in reading and math. any regression estimates in the statistical model will yield consistent estimates for the entire population from which they were drawn (Winship & Radbill. 1994).does family structure matter in terms of children's academic improvement—additional indicators consisting of family structure variables were added to the regression model.missing data.

Parent Social and Resource Capital and Children's Reading Change Scores Table 11 presents the regressions of parents' social and resource capital onto children's reading and math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade. 1998). Tate. Glenn. two multiple regressions were used to analyze the relationship between social and resource capital and children's academic improvement —measured via the change from kindergarten to fifth grade in children's IRT scaled scores on standardized reading and math tests—while controlling for parent's education. the model explained 13% of the variance.031 standard deviations 82 . 15% of the variance was explained by the model. Accordingly. children whose parent attended a parent/teacher conference scored lower by . given the extent to which the various indicators impacted reading and math improvement. in an effort to answer the first research question. socioeconomic status.CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter provides the results of statistical analyses using a series of multiple regressions in an effort to answer two research questions: 1 Does social and resource capital have an impact on young children's academic improvement. 2006.038 standard deviations on the change scores in math as compared to children whose parent did not contact the school. 021 standard deviations on the change scores in reading and . children's gender. controlling for parent's education and socioeconomic status? 2 Does family structure matter in terms of young children's academic improvement? Including multiple independent variables in the regression models allowed the use of statistical control in estimating the unique effect of each independent variable on the outcome (Meyers. & Guarino. However. With regard to math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade. and children's race. Parent Social Capital Children whose parent contacted the school scored lower by .022 standard deviations on the change scores in reading and . Similarly. only the individual contributions of each statistically significant predictor variable in the model are discussed. In terms of the reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade.

080 standard deviations higher on math change scores compared to their counterparts whose parent did not complete high school. children who read picture books once or twice a week scored . However.114 standard deviations higher on math change scores.144 standard deviation higher on reading change scores and . Additionally. Similarly.on the change score in math as compared to children whose parent did not attend parent/teacher conferences. Finally. Parent Resource Capital Children who visited the library with their parent scored . compared to children who did not read outside of school. their impact on reading and math improvement was less than the impact of a parent reading to the child. compared to children who did not read outside school. compared to children who did not read picture books. compared to their 83 .049 standard deviations higher on reading and math change scores.030 and . the magnitude of these contributions was less than the contribution of parents acting as a school volunteer. However. children who read outside school every day scored . respectively. respectively.070 standard deviations higher on the change scores in math compared to their counterparts whose parent did not act as a school volunteer. Parent Education The magnitude of impact of parent education on children's reading and math improvement was directly proportional to the degree to which a parent obtained additional schooling beyond a high school diploma. compared to children who did not have a home computer.046 standard deviations higher on reading and math change scores. Compared to children whose parent did not read to them. children whose parent acted as a school volunteer scored .025 standard deviations higher on math change scores than children who did not visit the library with their parent.069 standard deviations and .051 standard deviations higher. children whose parent read to them three to six times a week scored . children who had a home computer scored . Children whose parent reported a high school diploma scored .082 standard deviations higher on their math change scores. Accordingly.041 standard deviations higher on the change scores in reading and . Regarding reading change scores.059 standard deviations higher on reading change scores and . Although these variables had a statistically significant affect.045 and . children who read outside school once or twice a week or three to six times a week scored . respectively.

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children from other races scored . and .182 standard deviations and .080 and . the corresponding reading change scores was . in terms of math change 85 . compared to their fellow classmates whose parent did not complete high school. Additionally. children in the second quintile scored . in terms of reading change scores. Gender Males scored . For math change scores.111 standard deviations higher than females on math change scores. children whose parent had an educational equivalent beyond a bachelor's degree scored . .126 standard deviations.153 standard deviations lower on math change scores than their White classmates. children whose parent reported some college scored .036 standard deviations lower on reading change scores than White children.148 standard deviations and . respectively.142 standard deviations lower on reading change scores and . However.179 standard deviations higher on math change scores.173 standard deviations higher on reading change scores and . the corresponding advantage of children in either the third. Socioeconomic Status Compared to children whose parent-reported socioeconomic status placed them in the lowest quintile.085. Children whose parent earned a bachelor's degree increased the disparity between their and their counterparts' reading and math change scores by . or fifth quintiles compared to children in the lowest quintile were. However. respectively.068 standard deviations higher on math change scores.069 standard deviations higher on reading change scores and .102 standard deviations higher than those children in the lowest quintile with reading change scores. females scored . fourth.168 standard deviations higher on change scores for reading and math.103 standard deviations higher on reading change scores. Compared to children whose parentreported socioeconomic status placed them in the lowest quintile. children in the third and fourth quintile scored .097. Race Black children scored . respectively. However. respectively.023 standard deviations higher than males. for children in the fifth or highest quintile.counterparts whose parent did not complete high school. Finally.155 standard deviations.

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Table 12 presents the regressions of parents' social and resource capital onto children's reading and math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade with the additional family structure variables included in the model. given that the stepfamily coefficient was statistically significant in the model. 16% of the variance was explained by the model.scores. The model explained 34% of the variance in reading change scores.036 standard deviations higher on reading change scores compared to children in households with two married biological parents. In terms of the reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade. Parent Social and Resource Capital and Children's Reading Change Scores The second regression question—does family structure matter in terms of children academic improvement—was answered by including the family structure variables in the initial model. Hispanic and Asian children scored . compared to White children.047 and . Parent Social Capital Children whose parent contacted the school scored higher by . However. the results are quite similar to those obtained in the model without the family structure variables. Parent Social and Resource Capital and Reading Change Scores: Children in Stepfamilies Table 13 presents the regression of parents' social and resource capital onto children's reading change scores for only those children residing with a married stepparent. the model explained 13% of the variance. children with a married stepparent scored . respectively. Although the addition of the family structure variables was associated with slight changes in the standardized betas of the various resource and social capital variables. Accordingly.134 standard deviations on the change scores in reading compared to children whose parent did not 87 . only the individual contributions of each statistically significant predictor variable in the model are discussed.048 standard deviations higher. Family Structure. I examined the extent to which social and resource capital impacted children's reading change scores in this family structure separately. However. With regard to math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade. given the extent to which the various indicators impacted reading improvement.

or fifth quintiles compared to children in the lowest quintile were. 88 .245 standard deviations higher and children who read outside school everyday scored. Parent Resource Capital Compared to children whose parent did not read books to them. respectively. Additionally. children in the second quintile scored . . Further.334 standard deviations higher than their counterparts who did not reading outside school.contact the school. their reading change scores increased by .125 standard deviations lower than White children. children who read picture books three to six times a week scored .482 standard deviations higher on reading change scores. children who read outside school three to six times a week scored . and . as the number of parents of their friends that their parents talk to regularly increased by one standard deviation. compared to children whose parents did not attend a parent/teacher conference. Socioeconomic Status Compared to children whose parent-reported socioeconomic status placed them in the lowest quintile.332 standard deviations.230 standard deviations lower on reading change scores than White children.343. children who represented other races scored . Finally.144 standard deviations. those children whose parents did attend a parent/teacher conference scored . In contrast. children whose parent read books to them once or twice a week scored .333. In addition.015 standard deviations lower on reading change scores. fourth. The corresponding advantage of children in either the third. compared to children who did not read picture books. Race Black children scored .328 standard deviations higher on reading change scores.457 standard deviations higher.

& Boyd-Zaharias. 2002. Further. Paasch. Dauber. & Currie. Beaulieu. 1995). 2001). Cavanagh.e. & Sundstrom. Parcel & Dufur. 2006. Kelly. Jeynes. Focusing on young children was particularly salient given the extent to which scholars have shown that academic achievement in early childhood can predict various long-term advantages/disadvantages including educational attainment at age 22 (Entwisle. 2002). the following research questions were addressed: 1 Does social and resource capital have an impact on young children's academic improvement. Bjorklund. because early childhood offers an optimal period for intervention and represents the period when gaps in academic achievement first emerge (Perez-Johnson & Maynard. attending college (Smith. Thomas. However. 1996. Heard.. two-parent-biological. Pong. and attending college (Garces. this study addressed the role of 89 . Rathge. 2006. Tillman. 2003) and math and reading achievement (Hampden-Thompson & Pong. Alexander. 2007). 2005. and stepparent) predicted academic improvement in young children over two points in time. & Wanner. the period of early childhood deserved continued research-based study. completing college (Evans. 1997). & Olson. 2007. 2007). Gerber. Ginther. & Seraphine. from a family social capital perspective. Finn. controlling for parent's education and income level? 2 Does family structure matter in terms of children's academic improvement? Parent Social and Resource Capital Scholars previously established the associations between variations in social and resource capital and dropping out of high school (Teachman. & Mullis. 2006.CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION In light of evidence to suggest that children in alternative families (i. Accordingly. 2005). the purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of social capital theory as a basis for understanding the academic improvement of young children and to explore how variations in social and resource capital among three family structures (single-parent. reside with a single parent or a stepparent) demonstrate less academic achievement than those children residing in two-biological-parent families (Abd-El-Fattah. 2005). academic performance (Mullis. dropping out of high school (Alexander. Entwisle. 2001. 2006. 1997) in older children. & Carver.

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Lee & Bowen. 2007. 2006. children whose parent contacted the school or attended a parent/teacher conference had lower reading and math improvement scores than their counterparts whose parent did not contact the school or attend a parent teacher conference. 1991. Elmore (2008). Further. social capital was useful in that it permitted the measurement and articulation of the quality and quantity of networks connecting children to the resources of their parents (Coleman. Paulson. Pong. were already performing poorly and thus necessitated greater parent involvement via their teachers' requests for further meetings and/or contact. parent social and resource capital explained 34% of children's reading improvement in stepparent family structures. or appropriate behavior. 1993. attended a parent/teacher conference. One possible explanation for this finding may be that children whose parent either contacted the school. for all children included in the analyses. & Rothlisberg. Lee. 2001). parent social and resource capital explained 13% of the variance in reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade and 15% of the variance in math change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade. 2003). Rathge. 1994. Previous authors have linked parent involvement to students' positive academic achievement (Alomar. 1998). or both. & Mullis. Mullis. In this study. having a parent who acted as a school volunteer significantly increased their reading and math improvement scores. 2000) suggested that 91 . 2002. For the entire analytical sample of school-age children. Astone & McLanahan. As a theoretical framework. However. Black (2005). and Potter (2008) suggested that teachers primarily schedule conferences with parents in an effort to discuss problematic situations such as declines in a child's academic performance. In fact. for children in this study. 2006.social and resource capital in relation to the academic improvement of young children— an area of inquiry which has been repeatedly called to attention by scholars in the past as needing further examination (Artis. Marchant. Downey. In addition. positive attitude. Patrikakou and Weissberg (1999. other types of parent involvement including parents contacting the school and parents attending parent teacher conferences were negatively related to student achievement. However. 1990)—a construct that has helped scholars explain differences among students in terms of their academic performance based on the presence/absence of these resources (Majoribanks.

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Mulhuish. and the physical environment of the home. The devastating impact of a family's low socioeconomic status on children's cognitive functioning and academic achievement has been well documented (Artis. McLoyd. 1998). In this study. Brooks-Gunn & Duncan. However. and the child's gender and race. Siraj-Blatchford and Taggart (2008) reported similar findings for both math and reading achievement. & Howes. even after controlling for the impact of parent education. Pianta. For children in this study. Powers.the quality of parent teacher conferences is more important that the quantity of parent teacher contacts. This is consistent with findings of other researchers who have documented the association between a rich learning environment and children's standardized reading and math scores (Burchinal. children in this study who had access to a home computer scored significantly higher on reading and math improvement than those children who did not have a home computer. limit honest dialogue. 2002. Boardman. 2002. 2006. In addition. school age children whose parent-reported socioeconomic status placed them in the lowest quintile scored significantly lower in both reading and 93 . 1997. was associated with higher reading and math improvement scores. and Hummer (2002) and Guo and Harris (2000). Duncan & Magnuson. and reading outside school every day themselves. PeisnerFeinberg. Phan. cognitive stimulation in the home. In terms of parent resource capital. 2005). Padilla. Powers. parent social and resource capital variables associated with higher math and reading improvement were still statistically significant. given Swap's (1993) assertion that parent teacher conferences tend to "smooth over problems. Powers. 21). children who visited the library with their parent scored higher on math change scores that children who did not. Padilla and Hummer merely linked children's intellectual development to parenting style. It may also be that for the children in this study who were performing poorly. whereas Boardman. However. socioeconomic status. These findings are similar to Boardman. their parents' contact with teachers via scheduled conferences may have been rendered ineffective. & Hummer. and inhibit future connections (p. Padilla. Sylva. Guo and Harris reported that a negative association between poverty and cognitive functioning could be completely mediated by these same factors. Downer and Pianta. 2007. Sammons. unlike Guo and Harris. having a parent who read to them.

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LaParo. Miccio. 2004. Padilla. the children in the lowest quintile (i. 2002). 2002). 1993. 2004. poorer quality neighborhoods (Evans. lacked sufficient parent involvement and nurturance. and Barnett (2007) reported that a child's reading achievement could be accounted for by parent nurturance and involvement. Whitehurst & Lonigan. encouraging parental involvement in schools. In fact. Phan. Boardman. & Manlove.e. at least in terms of reading improvement. having a parent without a high school diploma placed them well below their peers—in reading and math improvement scores—whose parent had either a high school diploma. & Taggart. 1998). Sylva. and decreased occurrences of parents reading to children (Lee & Burkam. & Bradley. & Howes. Vernon-Feagans. Aikens and Barbarin (2008) offered compelling evidence to suggest that the impact of SES could be systematically mediated through efforts "that direct resources to strengthening family literacy environments. a bachelor's degree. has repeatedly been linked to children's academic achievement (Burchinal. Peisner-Feinberg. 2006. Sammons. lowest 20% in terms of family socioeconomic status). However. 248). some college. Hirsh-Pasek and Burchinal (2006) and Merlo. Lee & Burkam. Pianta. 2008). 2002. 2002. the extent and quality to which teachers' interact with students during classroom instruction and activities (Entwisle & Alexander. decreased parental involvement in their child's schooling (Evans. Hammer. 2004). thereby reducing their academic improvement compared to all other children in higher quintiles. Melhuish. For children in this study. and particularly maternal education. and Hummer (2002) reported similar results using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Data involving children between the ages of six and fourteen. the complexity of this interpretation is further exacerbated by the fact that a number of other factors have also been shown to be related to socioeconomic status which impact children's academic achievement including lowered exposure to household literature (Evans. Perhaps in this population. or the educational equivalent beyond a bachelor's degree. Downer & Pianta. Powers. Cox. and reducing parental role strain" (p. Parent education.math improvement compared to children whose parent-reported socioeconomic status placed them in all other quintiles. SirajBlatchford. 2002). They found that children whose mothers did not complete high school scored 95 . Payne. Bowman. Pianta.

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significantly lower on measures of math and reading than their counterparts whose
mother's did complete high school. Magnuson (2007), using data from the National
Longitudinal Survey of Youth-Child Data involving children similar in ages (between 6
and 12), revealed that the acquisition of additional schooling by young mothers
increased the academic skills in reading and math of their young children through
associated increases in the quality of their children's home environments.
Previous scholars have documented no gender differences in overall math and
reading achievement of children in kindergarten (West, Denton, & Germino-Hausken,
2002) and from kindergarten to first grade (Denton & West, 2002; Chatterji, 2005) using
the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999. However,
this study revealed gender differences in math and reading improvement from
kindergarten to fifth grade. Overall, males showed higher math improvement, whereas
females showed higher reading improvement. One potential explanation for these longterm gender improvement differences may be due to variations in sub-test performance,
which impacted overall improvement longitudinally. In fact, as Denton and West (2002)
stated, "differences (or lack of differences) in overall achievement scores only tell part of
the story. Another way to think about how certain child and family characteristics relate
to first-graders' spring achievement is in terms of children's acquisition of specific
reading and mathematics knowledge and skills. Whether or not certain groups of
children acquire certain skills or sets of skills may add meaning to an overall
achievement score difference" (p. 3). Perhaps this is exactly what happened for the
children in this investigation as they progressed from kindergarten to fifth grade. The
acquisition of certain skills or skill sets in reading may have been more pronounced in
females from kindergarten to fifth grade, whereas the acquisition of certain skills or skill
sets in math may have been more pronounced in males from kindergarten to fifth grade.
Future research should examine whether or not these gender differences in skills sets
do indeed exist, and if they do, whether or not they persist beyond this elementary
school period.
Racial disparities between White, Black, and Hispanic children on measures of
reading and math achievement using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study,
Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 have been well articulated in the literature (Chatterji,
97

98

Perhaps further research could explore the potential link between problem behaviors and subtest performance (in addition to parent education. which may account for the some of the overall racial disparities in the math and reading improvement scores. family structure. 2005. all of which impacted children's academic achievement. there was no significant difference on reading or math improvement from kindergarten to fifth grade between children residing with a single parent and children residing with 99 . Although the authors of these previous studies limited their analyses to include only children in kindergarten and kindergarten through first grade. Downey. Lee. Heard. higher parental stress. Denton. & Germino-Hausken (2000) used the ECLS-K to show that kindergartner's problem behaviors varied by race. Additionally. parenting practices and neighborhood conditions). Pong. 2007) the results of this study are quite unexpected. Tillman. & Aber. and neighborhood conditions should be targeted for intervention and that by focusing on these three key components. Raver. and Aber (2007) reported clear evidence that lower income was associated with increased economic hardships. and Children's Reading and Math Change Scores A primary objective of this investigation was the examination of how family structure mattered in terms of children's academic improvement from kindergarten to fifth grade. economic hardship. 1998. family structure. 1991. 2007). less positive parenting behaviors. For children in this study. Family Structure. 1994. the results of this investigation suggested that disparities remain well into fifth grade. Gershoff. Carlson & Corcoran. Duncan and Magnuson (2005) suggested that differences in parent education. West. 1993. Further. Gershoff. Duncan & Magnuson. and lowered social skills amongst children from all three racial groups. 2002.2005. Denton & West. Raver. parenting stress. Given that numerous scholars have documented the relative academic disadvantages faced by children residing with a single parent (Astone & McLanahan. 2007. In fact. 2001. policy makers could perhaps alleviate some of the socioeconomic pressures directly impacting children's parents and indirectly impacting children's academic improvement across racial categories. Denton & West (2002) reported significant racial differences among subtest performance related to math and reading achievement in kindergartners and first graders using the ECLS-K. Parent Social and Resource Capital.

100 .

Jeynes. 2000b. Carlson and Corcoran (2001). In fact. Ginther & Pollak. Jeynes. 2004. Given the relative absence of studies examining the effect of single parents' school involvement on their young children's academic achievement (Lee. and Pong (1998) all reported academic differences between children in single parent families and two biological parent families from a static perspective (their respective analyses included only assessments held during one point in time). DeBell (2008) using data from a nationally representative sample of children residing in single mother households reported a positive relationship between parent involvement and children's age for children in grades one through five. 2007) and even 101 . single parent families (Jeynes. both of these researchers used samples with significantly older child participants (in grades 7 through 12). 2006. Kushner. but a negative relationship between parent involvement and children's age for children in grades six through eight and nine through twelve. Astone and McLanahan (1991). Ram & Hou.two married biological parents during kindergarten. There are a number of studies that have documented the overall educational disadvantage of children in stepfamilies compared to intact biological families (Artis. 2007. 2001. and their overall academic improvement. future research could longitudinally explore the potential link between children's age. 2007) and the results from this study involving children from single parent families. Downey (1994). 2003. Heard (2007) and Tillman (2007) reported differences between children in single parent families and two biological parent families using longitudinal analyses from children sampled over a period of time. Jeynes. 1999). Parent Social and Resource Capital and Reading Change Scores: Children in Stepfamilies One of the most surprising findings in this study was the extent to which children living with a married stepparent in kindergarten scored significantly higher on their reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade compared to their counterparts who lived in two married biological parent families during kindergarten. their single parent's involvement with their school. Lee (1993). 1998. Tillman. & Cho. Carlson & Corcoran. all of the authors reporting differences between children in single parent and two biological parent families used data drawn from children who were at least middle school-aged. However. Although.

102 .

144 standard deviations. However. Scholars have demonstrated that gender of the child does not impact stepparent involvement (Hofferth & Anderson. Astone and McLanahan (1991). A second possible explanation for these divergent findings may be related to a combination of the specific population characteristics themselves. this indicator of social capital offered no statistical significance with regard to children's math and reading change scores. does social capital (by way of parents speaking to the parents of their children's friends) impact academic improvement. scholars have also found that stepfathers spend more time with younger as opposed to older stepchildren (Dunn. The fact that there was no difference on reading change scores between males and females within the stepparent family structure subsample (but there was in the entire analytic sample). Abd-El-Fattah (2006) and Cavanagh. 2003). for children living with a stepparent during kindergarten. Further. and that there was a greater discrepancy between Black children compared to White children in this subsample than there was in the 103 . and Riegle-Crumb (2006) concluded that social capital —via parent involvement—played a vital role in terms of the academic achievement of adolescents in stepfamilies. and family processes— including parent involvement. Davies. Perhaps more so in young children. Additionally. as opposed to adolescence. Therefore. & Sturgess. Artis (2007). the stepparents in this study differentially impacted their stepchildren which subsequently affected their reading change scores. 2000a). Lee (1993) and Pong (1998) recommended that scholars examine the role social capital plays in relation to the academic achievement of children reared in stepfamilies. Perhaps as a subsample. O'Connor. this indicator of social capital suggested that as the number of parents of their friends that their parent talked to regularly increased by one standard deviation. Schiller. their reading change score increased by . Through analysis of the population in its entirety.widowed-parent stepfamilies (Jeynes. Downey (1994). One possible reason for these findings is the extent to which social capital—in the form of the number of parents of their friends that their parent talked with regularly— impacted stepchildren. 2000) and that Black stepfathers spend significantly less time with their stepchildren than White stepfathers (Hofferth & Anderson. the comparatively inconsistent findings in this study deserve considerable attention. 2003).

104 .

Given the extent to which involvement in school functions impacted children's academic improvement in this study and others (Alomar. it appears as though the indicators used to measure social and resource capital were more salient for stepchildren's academic improvement in reading and math than they were for children in single parent and twobiological parent families. the children in these stepfamilies appear to reside in families characterized as those providing "bonding social capital—densely connected family networks" (p. & Taggart (2008) provides a compelling argument for parents and stepparents to examine. Phan. The fact that parenting behaviors are amenable to change and directly and indirectly associated with improved child development. By speaking to the parents of their stepchild's friends on a regular basis. Based on these findings. Implications The results of this study have implications for various groups of individuals including (step)parents. academic achievement. and family processes—including parent involvement. which may have positively impacted their overall longitudinal reading improvement compared to children in other family structures. supports this assertion. Sammons. the 105 .entire analytical sample. 995). actively engaging in the social aspect of their (step)children's lives also appears to provide a way in which they can assist their stepchildren academically. & Rothlisberg. in may be that the stepparents in the population from which the data were analyzed interacted with their stepchildren differently. 2001) the parent/child/school connection appears to offer an optimal avenue for parents to concentrate their focus in an effort to assist their children. For stepparents (and parents as well). scholars. Lee & Bowen. The differences in the proportion of explained variance in reading change scores from kindergarten to fifth grade between the stepchildren subsample and the entire analytical sample also supports the assertion that children in stepfamilies are uniquely impacted by the population characteristics themselves. and actively engaging in the social web surrounding their stepchild. Paulson. Sylva. Unlike Widmer (2006). Marchant. Accordingly. and perhaps modify. their own parenting practices. and policymakers. 2006. who stated that "respondents in postdivorce families have a small number of ties embedded in long chains of connections". and scholastic performance (Mulhuish. Siraj-Blatchford. thereby affecting their stepchild's reading improvement. 2006.

106 .

Finn. & BoydZaharias. & Rothlisberg. & Olson. Because only one parent was interviewed. Entwisle. Pollack. policymakers should continue to focus on building better parent. This poses potential problems with respect 107 . By fostering stronger ties to schools. 2006. Phan. Consequently. Beaulieu.. 1995)— longitudinally impacts children's academic improvement from kindergarten to fifth grade.social capital generated will undoubtedly benefit their stepchild academically. Limitations Although a secondary analysis on the data drawn from the ECLS-K offered a low cost. These findings also have implications in light of recent national policies such as President Bush's 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and the Good Start. & Taggart. 2001. and no information was obtained to distinguish that parent's exact relationship to the focus child. the inability to determine which parent responded to questions pertaining to (step)children is an obvious drawback. Gerber. 2008). Le. 2001. 1990. Sammons. and fellow parents (i. Marchant. child. Widmer. 2002). Grow Smart initiative. Israel. Other scholars have certainly supported this assumption (Coleman. and nationally representative population from which to derive information. SirajBlatchford. 2005). this highlights the significance and importance of becoming actively involved in the lives of their children at an early age. communities. Mulhuish. Lee & Bowen. & Currie. Dauber. For parents. (Tourangeau.e. Paulson. policymakers can directly and indirectly assist parents in their effort to build a richer environment that is conducive to their children's learning and academic improvement. Thomas. 2002. increasing social capital). Nord. it was impossible to determine whether the parent respondent was a step or biological parent—only that the child lived in a stepparent household. Sylva. & Atkins-Burnett. 2006. Active parenting at an early age is especially vital considering the extent to which parent involvement impacts early academic achievement (Alomar. Majoribanks. 2006). which subsequently has long-term implications for educational attainment in young adulthood (Entwisle. 2002. and school connections that increase the level of academic and social support children experience. These findings suggest that social capital—even with its purported overall decline (Putnam. Alexander. readily accessible. 2005) and attending college (Garces. & Hartless. 2006). dropping out of high school (Alexander.

108

to the view that "studies have generally favored collecting data primarily from the
mother, who researchers believed was most knowledgeable about residential children
and their well-being" (Hofferth, 2005, p. 897). Further, because relationship quality data
between parent and child are not available in the ECLS-K, leaving this important factor
unmeasured provided no way of knowing how the participant's perceptions of the child
may have flavored responses to inquiry (Artis, 2007).
Hofferth (2005) stated that "the major reason for large sample size, of course, is to
obtain greater precision of estimates of subgroups of the U.S. population, given that the
population is diverse in ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family structure, and family
employment" (p. 893). Even thought the ECLS-K offers employable sample weights to
compensate for unequal probabilities of selection, participant or unit non-response, and to
conform to known population distributions, the weighted results stemming from these
analyses of the relatively small sample of stepparent family structures warrants caution.
This is particularly relevant given Cohen's (1988) assertion that as sample size
increases so does power and precision, while the chance of error decreases. However,
the ratio of participants to predictor variables in the stepparent family structure was
sufficient (at least 15 to 1, Field, 2005). Nonetheless, the resultant stepparent family
structure analyses and associated model were based on heavily weighted data in order
to adjust for the overall distribution of stepfamilies within the population as a whole, and
should be interpreted with this caveat.
Future Research
The findings of this study accentuate the impetus for scholars to continually
examine parent, child, and school interactions from a social capital perspective.
Although not explored in the present study directly, opportunities abound for the
examination of various teacher-related social capital indicators within the ECLS-K
dataset. Perhaps by including these additional variables related to teachers, the amount of
explained variance in children's reading and math improvement can be dramatically
improved. In fact, several scholars have documented the positive impact of teachers'
social and resource capital on children's academic achievement

(Parcel & Durfur,

2001; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005). Future researchers could extend this study's

109

focus of parent resource and social capital to include teacher resource and social
capital using the ECLS-K dataset.
The magnitude in which social and resource capital indicators accounted for
stepchildren's reading improvement from kindergarten to fifth grade warrants additional
empirical focus. Given the longitudinal nature of the ECLS-K data, latent variable growth
curve modeling might be one way to specifically answer how changes in family social
and resource capital impact stepchildren's academic performance over time. In fact,
because "the primary goal of longitudinal analysis of repeated measures and growth
curve analyses in particular is to describe patterns of change over time" (McCartney,
Burchinal, & Bub, 2006, p. 66), latent variable growth modeling would represent the
optimal means by which to explore this phenomenon.
Finally, another potential avenue for academic exploration is the link between
computer usage, social capital, and children's academic improvement. In this study,
having a computer in the home was associated with increases in both reading and math
improvement. Subrahmanyam, Kraut, Greenfield, and Gross (2000) reported that "much
of children's alone time on computers appears actually to be spent extending social
relationships by connecting with others through interpersonal communication
applications via the Internet" (p. 131). Accordingly, with the relatively recent rise of
social networking Internet sites geared toward keeping families connected (Gutner,
2006) and targeted toward elementary-aged children (Borja, 2006), children's social
capital acquisition may have, in fact, "gone digital". The potential that children's social
capital may be shifting toward cyberspace offers a compelling rebuttal to Putman's
(1995) assertion that social capital's decline stems from parents not having enough time
to spend with their children, the sociological shift of women working outside the home
with greater frequency, and the overall increase in marital disruptions.

Conclusions
An effort to build a model detailing the impact of family and school capital on
children's academic outcomes, Majoribanks (2002) succinctly summarized the extent to
which parental involvement benefitted children by stating, "it is generally agreed that if
parents are involved positively in activities associated with children's learning then the
school outcomes of those children are likely to be enhanced" (p.1). The results of this
110

111 .

and measure the culmination of norms. 1990. approximate. 1987. and shown to account for a substantial amount of explained variation. Further.study clearly elucidate the utility of family social capital theory (Coleman. the way in which family social and resource capital impacts the academic improvement of children in stepfamilies has been specifically modeled. 1997) for examining and explaining variations in children's academic improvement. 112 . values. 1988. a statistically significant proportion of the variation in children's reading and math improvement has been explained. and expectations embedded within a child's social networks. By using various indicators of both resource and social capital present in the ECLS-K dataset as an attempt to articulate.

APPENDIX A FIGURES 113 .

Figure 1 Social and Resource Capital as Predictors of Academic Improvement Unique Effect of Resource Capital on Academic Improvement Proportion of Variance in Academic Improvement Explained by Social and Resource Capital Unexplained Variance Controls (Parental SES Education. Child's Race and Gender) Unique Effect of Social Capital on Academic Improvement 114 .

and Family Structure as Predictors of Academic Improvement. Unique effect of Family Structure on Academic Improvement Controls (Parental SES Education.Figure 2 Social Capital. Child's Race and Gender) 115 . Resource Capital.

Unexplained Variance Unique Effect of Resource Capital on Academic Improvement Family Structure Academic Improvement Social Capital Unique Effect of Social Capital on Academic Improvement Resource Capital Proportion of Variance in Academic Improvement Explained by Social and Resource Capital 116 .

APPENDIX B TABLES 117 .

. . . . . . 108 .015 . . . 143 . . . . .Table 118 Correlation Matrix amongst Social and Resource Capital Predictor Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . . 049 . . . . 039 . . . . . . 093 . . . 282 . . . 029 . 1 1 064 148 105 215 154 214 185 . . . . 066 . 6 1 154 014 153 089 292 151 159 . . . 135 . . . . . .001 Variable Numbers for Appendix A 1 How often you read to child 2 3 Parent contacted school Attended open house 4 Attended parent/teacher conference 5 6 Parent acted as a school volunteer Number of parents of child's friends parent talks to regularly 7 Visited the library 8 Have home computer child uses 9 How often child reads picture books 1 How frequently child reads books outside school 10 . 8 1 185 063 208 132 247 159 141 . 0 282 029 049 015 055 053 083 039 9 . . . . . 9 390 072 108 066 143 093 135 130 1 . 2 1 064 076 067 098 014 041 063 . . . 053 . . . . . . . 055 . 390 . . 3 1 148 076 172 266 153 141 208 . . . . 427 1 . 130 1 . 083 . . 427 *p < . . . 5 1 215 098 266 160 292 178 247 . 072 . . . . . 4 1 105 067 172 160 089 086 132 . 7 1 214 041 141 086 178 151 141 . . . . .

119 .143 100% 11.271 70% Scores for Reading Number of Children in Spring of Kindergarten with IRT Scaled-Scores for Math Full Sample: Spring of Fifth Grade Number of Children in Spring of Fifth Grade with IRT Scaled-Scores for Reading Number of Children in Spring of Fifth Grade with IRT Scaled-Scores for Math Number of Children with change scores for Reading Number of Children with change scores for 10441 10886 93%* 97%* Math *This percentage represents the proportion of children in fifth grade with IRT ScaledScores who also have IRT Scaled-Scores from when they were in Kindergarten.813 100% 16.262 70% 11.846 73.228 71.1% 16.8% 16.Table 2 Step-by-Step Process Leading to the Resultant Analytical Sample Population Frequency Percentage Full Sample: Spring of Kindergarten Number of Children in Spring of Kindergarten with IRT Scaled- 22.

807 65% A Married Stepparent 313 3% A Single Parent 1977 19% Other 791 8% Missing 553 5% 62 .Table 120 Analytical Sample: Family Structure Variable Population Number of Children With Change Scores in Math Full Analytical Sample 10.441 100% Two Married Biological Parents 6.091 65% A Married Stepparent 317 3% A Single Parent 2040 19% Other 852 8% Missing 586 5% With Change Scores in Reading Full Analytical Sample 10.886 100% Two Married Biological Parents 7.

Race not Specified Asian Native Hawaiian. Non-Hispanic Black or AfricanAmerican Hispanic.2%) 194 (22.3%) 275 (13.5%) 101 (31.4%) 2570 (23.1%) 37 (6.3%) 441 (51.8%) 57 (2.6%) 203 (1.4%) 11 (3. Other Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaska Native More than One Non-Hispanic Parent Highest Educational Level 8th Grade or Below 12`" Grade High School Diploma/Equivale Voc/Tech Program Some College Bachelor's Degree Graduate/Profession al School-No Master's Degree Doctorate or Professional Degree SES 1s` Quintile 2nd Quintile 3ts Quintile 4ts Quintile 5th Quintile Two Married Biological Parents (n = 7091) A Married Steppar ent (n = 317) A Single Parent (n = 2040) Other (n = 852) Missing (n =586) 5482 (50.1%) 104 (12.5%) 1011 (14.8%) 28 (8.3%) 26 (1.5%) 80 (1.8%) 19 (6.1%) 186 (31.7%) 115 (19.4%) 215 (67.6%) 991 (9.8%) 411 (48.3%) 41 (4.8%) 646 (31.0%) 202 (9.9%) 99 (16.3%) 4 (.2%) 376 (44.3%) 3 (.7%) 453 (22.3%) 31 (5.5%) 5 (1.1%) 76 (24.8%) 3491 (49.3%) 88 (15%) 560 (5.2%) 1869 (26.6%) 3600 (50.1%) 4 (1.7%) 974 (47.1%) 120 (14.0%) 133 (1.6%) 215 (3%) 22 (6.2%) 12 (3.2%) 459 (6.7%) 826 (7.9%) 62 (7.0%) 2006 (18.3%) .4%) 314 (4.4%) 46 (7.5%) 55 (2.3%) 1369 (19.3%) 2216 (31.6%) 27 (4.5%) 762 (37.6%) 41 (4.5%) 47 (8%) 44 (7.6%) 625 (8.2%) 364 (17.8%) 30 (3.7%) 39 (4.6%) 39 (1.8%) 1050 (9.6%) 27 (1.2%) 172 (54.7%) 732 (10.3%) 4781 (67.2%) 108 (18.9%) 8 (1.9%) 190 (2.886) Gender Males Females Race White.Table 121 Demographic Characteristics for Children with Change Scores in Math from the Spring of Kindergarten to the Spring of Fifth Grade Full Analytical Sample (n = 10.8%) 219 (25.8%) 657 (32.3%) 13 (2.0%) 266 (2.1%) 2831 (26.4%) 5404 (49.3%) 1649 (23.4%) 155 (2.8%) 648 (6.2%) 72 (12.6%) 604 (8.2%) 295 (50.7%) 6349 (58.5%) 31 (9.7%) 161 (18.7%) 234 (3.9%) 120 (37.1.9%) 120 (14.2%) 7 (2.9%) 117 (13.3%) 11 (3.1%) 602 (8.4%) 264 (2.9%) 108 (5.8%) 791 (38.2%) 6 (1%) 4 (.1%) 18 (3.6%) 16 (1.3%) 477 (6.9%) 2035 (18.6%) 102 (12%) 11 (1.8%) 19 (2.9%) 47 (2.3%) 1333 (18.7%) 87 (14.6%) 517 (4.2%) 118 (5.5%) 1844 (16.7%) 1581 (14.4%) 366 (5.9%) 71 (.3%) 39 (4.3%) 1234 (11.7%) 1066 (52.3%) 29 (9.2%) 619 (5. Race Specified Hispanic.3%) 291 (49.8%) 1 (.9%) 12 (.9%) 204 (10%) 114 (13.8%) 227 (26.7%) 2115 (19.8%) 543 (26.4%) 1675 (23.7%) 2600 (23.5%) 31 (5.0%) 94 (29.8%) 234 (11.5%) 12 (2%) 350 (3.7%) 8 (2.6%) 156 (7.5%) 25 (7.4%) 85 (14.5%) 188 (9.3%) 316 (37.4%) 33 (3.9%) 42 (13.3%) 145 (45.7%) 68 (21.

3%) 44 (8%) 31 (5.2%) 22 (7.2%) 99 (31.0%) 265 (13.2%) 270 (48.5%) 53 (2.2%) 2795 (26.6%) 648 (6.8%) 171 (8.2%) 2108 (20.7%) 32 (10. Race Specified Race not Hispanic.6%) 4 (.4%) 790 (40.9%) 729 (10.Table 122 Demographic Characteristics for Children with Change Scores in Reading from the Spring of Kindergarten to the Spring of Fifth Grade Full Analytical Sample (n = 10441) Gender Males Females Race White.8%) 15 (1.8%) 35 (6.0%) 9 (2.7%) 474 (7.2%) 212 (26.8%) 158 (20%) 120 (15.4%) 7 (2.6%) 358 (18.1%) 1673 (24.6%) 215 (3.4%) 26 (1.8%) 57 (2.4%) 11 (3.7%) 38 (4.0%) 2008 (19.8%) 6348 (60.4%) 12 (2.3%) 410 (51. Other Pacific Islander American Indian or Alaska Native More than One Race.6%) 408 (6.1%) 4 (.8%) 1236 (11.5%) 152 (19.9%) 1645 (24.3%) 120 (15.8%) 215 (68.7%) 4783 (70.4%) 177 (2.2%) 2214 (32.4%) 943 (47.6%) 115 (20.3%) 64 (11.4%) 0 (0.7%) 80 (1.4%) 6 (1.3%) 315 (4.1%) 156 (7.6%) 142 (45.9%) 30 (3.7%) 28 (8.1%) 223 (28.8%) 2002 (19.8%) 28 (5.6%) 1252 (18.0%) 10 (3.4%) 447 (22.5%) 155 (2.9%) 8 (1.2%) 200 (1.7%) 3358 (49.9%) 23 (7.2%) 283 (51.9%) 11 (.7%) 187 (9.4%) 747 (37.3%) 40 (5.6%) 478 (7. Non-Hispanic Black or AfricanHispanic.6%) 38 (1.1%) 1846 (27.0%) 47 (2.3%) 1778 (17.2%) 4 (1.3%) 39 (4.0%) 42 (13.9%) 26 (1.0%) 119 (38.4%) 84 (15.8%) 795 (7.2%) 100 (12.0%) 536 (27.9%) 513 (4.2%) 46 (8.2%) 263 (2.0%) 68 (21.8%) 381 (48.9%) 71 (.7%) 13 (2.6%) 11 (1.7%) 1034 (52.2%) 2568 (24.6%) 290 (36.7%) 541 (5.7%) 92 (1.1%) 231 (11.5%) 26 (8.3%) 75 (24.6%) 80 (4.8%) 31 (5.8%) 12 (2.9%) 5 (1.2%) 2475 (23.9%) 16 (2%) 99 (17.7%) 1283 (12.2%) 133 (1.0%) 462 (6.0%) 960 (14.1%) 201 (1.6%) 802 (7.3%) 5185 (49.0%) 266 (2.7%) 823 (7.1.9%) 539 (5.3%) 459 (6.2%) 104 (13. Specified Asian Native Hawaiian.3%) 87 (15.0%) 658 (33.2%) 85 (10.6%) 374 (47.0%) 94 (30.7%) 3449 (50.1%) 186 (33.3%) 171 (54.6%) 41 (5.1%) 1352 (19. Non-Hispanic Parent Highest Educational Level 8th Grade or Below 9th-12th Grade High School Diploma/Equivalent Voc/Tech Program Some College Bachelor's Degree Graduate/Professional School-No Degree Master's Degree Doctorate or Degree SES 1s` Quintile 2ns Quintile 3`s Quintile 4th Quintile 5th Quintile Two Married Biological Parents (n = 6807) A Married Steppar ent (n = 313) A Single Parent (n = 1977) Other ( n = 791) Missing (n =553) 5256 (50.2%) 601 (30.9%) 52 (6.5%) 349 (5.4%) 35 (6.2%) 19 (2.2%) 118 (6.1%) 96 (17.3%) 12 (3.3%) 174 (8.2%) 71 (12.7%) 88 (11.3%) 17 (5.3%) 3 (1.6%) 64 .

1%) 649 (31.99 A Singl e Pare M= 75.81 (SD = 2.69) =15.16 17.5%) 984 (48.73 (SD = 2.38) 4803 (44.1%) 1310 (18.7%) 794 (11.4%) 5358 (49.4%) 96 (30.3%) 3804 (53.6%) 147 (46.2%) 1055 (51.40 (SD Marrie d Biologi cal M = 82.19) 2844 (40.1%) 284 (33.45) 1389 (68.8%) 534 (62.9%) 427 (20.95 M = 2.9%) 170 (53.83) Indicator Variables: Social Capital Parent Contacted School No Yes Parent Attended Open House No Yes Parent Attended ParentConference No Yes Parent Volunteered at School No Yes Number of Parents of Child's Friend Parent Talks to Regularly A Married Steppar ent M= 79.32) 65 M= 1.7%) 393 (46.6%) 141 (44.9%) 1611 (79%) 128 (15%) 724 (85%) 4937 (45.3%) 567 (66.80) (SD = .89 (SD = 3.8%) 48 (15.1%) 459 (53.7%) 1287 (63.9%) 2439 (22.4%) 7846 (72.3%) M= 1.8%) 8899 (81.5%) 3285 (46.2%) 6295 (88.Table 123 Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital Math Change Entire Analyti cal Sampl M = 80.12) (SD = M= 76.7%) 749 (36.1%) 5494 (50.56 (SD =14.7%) 318 (37.1%) 4244 (59.2%) M = 2.56 (SD = 3.5%) 5771 (81.3%) 221 (69.4%) M= 1.65 Other (SD =14.5%) 1397 (12.1%) 269 (84.5%) 176 (55.95) (SD =17.

14 M = 2.96) (SD =2.47 M = 92.62) (SD =15.92) (SD =2.38) Indicator Variable: Social Capital Math Change Number of Parents of Child's Friend Parent Talks to Regularly Reading Change Number of Parents of Child's Friend Parent Talks to Regularly 66 .17 (SD =19.81) (SD =14.78 M = 100.59) (SD =17.89) (SD =2.69) (SD =19.12) (SD =17.61 (SD = 2.03 M = 81.94) (SD =17.36) M = 2.47 M =1.72 M = 94.60 M = 1.13 M = 2.89) (SD =2.58 M = 1.74 M = 80.62 (SD =16.58 (SD =2.87 M = 74.87 M = 74.68) M = 2.Table 124 Descriptives: Math and Reading Change Score and Indicator Variable-Social Capital using Sample Weights Entire Married A Married A Single Analytical Biological Stepparent Parent Sample Math Change Reading Change Other Parents M = 79.12) M = 97.60 M= 1.32) (SD =2.63 M= 1.98) (SD =2.29) (SD =2.82 M = 101.83) (SD =19.59) (SD =18.46 M= 1.90) (SD =2.

78) M= 1.69 1335 640 (32.7%) 1032 (52.3%) 412 (20.2%) 4614 5269 (50.89 (SD = M = 94.4%) 93 (29.07 Other M = 95.7%) 220 (70.4%) 1253 (63.95 (SD = 2.4%) M= 1.6%) 3698 (54.88 M = 99.69) 4545 (43.6%) 304 (38.19) M = 101.3%) 138 (44.1%) 117 (14.6%) M= 1.30) (SD =19.04) (SD =18.7%) 267 (85.6%) 8573 (82.8%) 674 (85.90 (SD = 3.8%) 6069 (89.3%) 720 (36.2%) 356 (45%) 435 (55%) 2255 7619 (73%) 1190 5608 (82.79 (SD = 2.9%) 944 (47.1%) 175 (55.2%) 46 (14.14 (SD = 19.4%) 252 (31.1%) 737 (10.03) .Table 125 Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Social Capital Reading Change Entire Analyti cal Sampl Marrie d Biologi cal A Married Steppar ent A Singl e Pare (SD =18.5% 2625 4179 (61.32) 167 146 (46.8%) 1563 (79.73) M = 99.4%) 487 (61.83) Indicator Variables: Social Capital Parent Contacted School No Yes Parent Attended Open House No Yes Parent Attended ParentConference No Yes Parent Volunteered at School No Yes Number of Parents of Child's Friend Parent Talks Regularly M = 2.56 (SD = 3.1%) 3107 (45.5%) 5340 (51.9%) 538 (68%) 1312 (12.4%) M = 2.41 (SD =18.

1%) 68 .5%) 232 (27.1%) 205 (10%) 463 (22.2%) 1 (45.1%) 1529 (16.9% 83 ) 51 (.2%) 331 (38.2%) 205 (24.9%) 173 (54.8%) 3323 (46.4%) 26 (3.2%) 832 (40.7%) 535 (26.9%) 666 (9.7%) 2819 (39.6%) 33 (1.9%) 958 (47%) 427 (50.2%) 41 (2%) 391 (19.7%) 7 2 (28.2%) 533 (26.6%) 4791 (50.7%) 874 (12.1%) 5923 (54.7%) 867 (12.8%) 3 (.1%) 115 (36.8%) 2372 (33.2%) 5 (1.4%) Child Looked at Picture Books in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 203 (2.6%) 4 (22.3%) 116 (36.6%) 4 3 (37.0% 27 ) 34 (36.1%) 1328 (65.6%) 162 (51.5%) 2151 (20.5%) 4716 (66.1%) 358 (42%) Child Read or Pretended to Read in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 982 (9.1%) 424 (49.7%) 3130 (44.6%) 45 (14.8%) 2976 (42%) 4109 (57.4%) 1417 (20%) 2177 (30.9%) 515 (60.0%) 3019 (31.8%) 83 (9.1%) 160 (18.1%) 16 (17.9%) 48(15.4%) Child has Home Computer No Yes 4369 (40.1%) 711 (34.6%) 4106 (39.2%) 2393 (33.1 9 %) 7 (35.9%) 3039 (29.7%) 203 (23.Table 126 Descriptives: Math Change Score and Indicator Variables: Resource Capital Entire Married A Married Analytical Biological Stepparent Sample A Single Other Parent Parents Visited Library in Past Month No Yes 4655 (42.2%) 120 (1.2 1 %) 13 (1.1%) 845 (41.8%) 5635 (51.4%) 334 (39.6%) 144 1079 (52.8%) 28 (8.9 6 %) 5 (29.3%) 2114 (29.9%) 95 (30%) 137 (43.8%) Parent Read Books to Child in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 108 (1.8%) 95 (30%) 124 (39.5%) 1 (20.0% 40 ) 43 (45.8%) 68 (21.5%) 154 (48.

3%) 143 (18.9%) 162 (51.3%) 5882 (56.8%) 18 (2.9%) 330 (41.9%) 1404 (15.9%) .Table 127 Descriptives: Reading Change Score and Indicator Variables-Resource Capital Entire Married A Married A Single Analytical Biological Stepparent Parent 170 (54.1%) 3247 (47.6%) 394 (49.3%) 29 (1.1%) 4684 (68.4%) 115 (36.1%) 198 (10%) 447 (22.5%) 777 (11.4%) 2322 (34.5%) Sample Other Parents Visited Library in Past Month No Yes 4386 (42%) 5492 2786 (40.4%) 938 (45.7%) 95 (30.3%) 827 (41.6%) 47 (15%) 114 (36.6%) 518 (26.9%) 154 (19.4%) 135 (43.2%) 184 (23.4%) Parent Read Books to Child in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 82 (1%) 1494 (16.1%) 195 (24.2%) 1355 (19.6%) 67 (21.9%) 520 (26.1%) 39 (2%) 373 (18.1%) 3057 (44.1%) 628 (9.9%) 27 (8.7%) 581 (29.9%) 4015 (59%) (52.3%) 2120 (31.5%) 449 (22.8%) 396 (50.1%) Child has Home Computer No Yes 3998 (38.7%) 312 (39.3%) 3343 (36.7%) 4 (1.5%) 37 (.3%) 2927 (31.7%) 69 236 (29.5%) 785 (11.9%) 2098 (30.8%) Child Looked at Picture Books in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 171 (1.7%) 340 (43%) Child Read or Pretended to Read in the Past Week Never Once or Twice 3-6 Times Every Day 926 (9.8%) 2930 (29.5%) 2049 (30.2%) 706 (35.7%) 3957 (40.8%) 1270 (64.5%) 7 (.8%) 2714 (39.4%) 122 (39%) 219 (27.4%) 2053 (20.9%) 73 (9.4%) 150 (47.9%) 4675 (50.3%) 143 1036 (52.4%) 702 (35.8%) 300 (37.7%) (47.9%) 102 (1.7%) 458 (57.9%) 2 (.4%) 95 (30.4%) 4273 (46.3%) 44(14.2%) 809 (40.

Table 128 69 .

068* .030* .267.126.017 . 10886 for Math Change Scores *Significant at p < .019 .070* How many parents of their child's friends they talk to .179* .082* .041* .126* -.015 -.001 -.Table 129 Regression of Parent Indicator Variables-Social and Resource Capital-on Reading and Math Change Scores Indicator Variables Standardized r3 Standardized 13 on Children's on Children's Math Reading Change Change Social Capital Scores Scores Contacted School -. 51.153.048* -.104* . F Value .069* .049* .155* .023* .038* Attended Open House -.111* -. N. N .05 70 .046* .097* . 2 .008 -.068 .029 .012 .007 .021* -.054 .123.148* .069* .144* .155.102* .009 .129. FValue = 66.173* .103* .009 .001 Attended a Parent/Teacher Conference -. Adjusted W = .059* .114* .041 .031* Acted as a School Volunteer . Adjusted R = .085* .153* .036* -.182* .045* .051* .047* .142* -.006 regularly Resource Capital Parent and Child Visited the Library Child has a Home Computer Reads to Child Once or Twice a Week Reads to Child 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads to Child Everyday Reads Picture Books Once or Twice a Week Reads Picture Books 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Picture Books Everyday Reads Outside of School Once or Twice a Week Reads Outside of School 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Outside of School Everyday Parent Education Has a High School Diploma Has Some College Has a Bachelor's Degree Has an Educational Equivalent Beyond a Bachelor's Degree Socioeconomic Status Second Quintile Third Quintile Fourth Quintile Fifth Quintile Gender Males Race Black Hispanic Asian Other Race W = .025* .168* .080* .093 .034 10441 for Reading Change Scores W = .022* -.080* .045 .

022* .000 -.037* -.001 Social Capital Contacted School Attended Open House 70 .Table 130 Table12 Regression of Parent Indicator Variables-Social and Structure on Reading and Math Change Scores Indicator Variables Resource Capital-and Family Standardized r3 on Children's Reading Change Scores Standardized on Children's Math Change Scores -.

Adjusted W = .054* .036 .027 .025* .014 .Table 131 Attended a Parent/Teacher Conference Acted as a School Volunteer How many parents of their child's friends they talk to regularlyCapital Resource Parent and Child Visited the Library Child has a Home Computer Reads to Child Once or Twice a Week Reads to Child 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads to Child Everyday Reads Picture Books Once or Twice a Week Reads Picture Books 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Picture Books Everyday Reads Outside of School Once or Twice a Week Reads Outside of School 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Outside of School Everyday Family Structure A Married Stepparent in the Household A Single Parent in the Household Other Family Type Parent Education Has a High School Diploma Has Some College Has a Bachelor's Degree Has an Educational Equivalent Beyond a Bachelor's Degree -.060 .005 .070 .036* -.082* .157* .05 70 .146* .081* . F Value = 61.021* .099* .011 .014.032 .113* .065* .037* -.123* . N .048* .110* -. Adjusted W = .081* .066* .092* .030* .075* .171* .012 .027 .122* -.013 -.157.131.020* -.155.180* .007 -.056.180* .056* . 10441for Reading Change Scores W = .019 .033* Socioeconomic Status Second Quintile Third Quintile Fourth Quintile Fifth Quintile Gen de Race Black Hispanic Asian Other Race W = .128.099* .024* .008 -.014 -.043* .003 -.048* -.069* .038* .065* .048* .098 .170* .044* .014 .151* . N = 10886 for Math Change Scores *Significant at p < . F Value = 47.148* .013 .137* -.044 .

328* .102 . 313 for Reading Change Scores *Significant at p < .404.098 . F Value = 6.340.304.334* -.007 .144* .134* -.343* .05 72 .332* - .457* .015* . N .230* -.017 .090 -.013 -.329 .045 .125* R2 = .023 -.021 -.333* .133 .027 -.245* .Regression of Parent Indicator Variables—Social and Resource Capital—on Reading Change Scores—Stepfamilies Indicator Variables Standardized r3 on Children's Reading Change Scores Social Capital Contacted School Attended Open House Attended a Parent/Teacher Conference Acted as a School Volunteer How many parents of their child's friends they talk to Resource Capital Parent and Child Visited the Library Child has a Home Computer Reads to Child Once or Twice a Week Reads to Child 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads to Child Everyday Reads Picture Books Once or Twice a Week Reads Picture Books 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Picture Books Everyday Reads Outside of School Once or Twice a Week Reads Outside of School 3 to 6 Times a Week Reads Outside of School Everyday Parent Education Has a High School Diploma Has Some College Has a Bachelor's Degree Has an Educational Equivalent Beyond a Bachelor's Degree Socioeconomic Status Second Quintile Third Quintile Fourth Quintile Fifth Quintile Gen der Mal Race Black Hispanic Asian Other Race .275 .482* .020 -.214 -.364 . Adjusted R2 = .

APENDIX C
IRB APPROVAL

133

4 0
17 7,7 I ".5.7 8 FILS8 tLaTt I C

omo crf tho vice President For Research

Human subjects Committee

Tallahassee, Florida 32349-2742

p5D) 644- B2 • FAX IWO) 644-4852

APPROVAL mqN19RANDUNI
Dale: 1/15.12436
To-.
Nichanl Shrinor

MC 14901
Dept.; FAMLY & CHILD SCIENCE

From Thorsen L. Jacobson, ChM'.
Re:

Use of Human Subjects in Research
Academic Achievertant in Early
Child-rood: A Growth Curve Analysis

The forms that you submitted to this office in regard to the uSe of human subjects in the proposal
rererenced above have been reviewed by the Human Subjects Committee et its melding on
1t9ir2008. Your project was approved by the Committee,
The Human Subjects CA:immittee has not evaluated your proposal rorscleniltic merit, except to weigh
the risk to the human participants end the aspects of the proposal related to potential Flak and benefit.
This approval Ekes not replace any departmental or other approvals which may be required.
If the project has not been completed by 10/920641 you must request renewed approval for
continuation of the project,
You are advised that any crave In protaoal in this proleci muet be approved by resubmission of the
picioct to the Committee for approved. The principal Investigator ntuat promptly report, in writing, any
unexpected problems causing risks to research subjects or others,
By copy of this memorandum, the chairman of your department andfor your major profeseor is
reminded that heishe is responsible for hein9 informed concerning research projects ilvolvIng
human subjects in ihedepartment and should review protocols of such investigations as often es
needed to Insure that the project is being conducted in compliance with our iistitution and with DHHS
regulaiione
This institution has an Assurance on file with the Office for Protection from Raaaerch Risks. The
Assuranoe Number is IRIXIDIXID4.1.6.
cc: Ronald Mullis
HSC
2007.1020

134

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Measurement Theory. fall) Graduate Teaching Assistant. Tallahassee. Human Sciences: Family Relations Florida State University (FSU). 2007 (summer. Mullis) 2006 Graduate Certificate Measurement and Statistics FSU. Causal Modeling. systematic. ISU Duties: Providing leadership in the ongoing development and improvement of the assessment and evaluation system for the ISU Professional Development School Teacher Quality Partnership Enhancement Grant (TQE). Research Methods I & II. Title II. and assisted in evaluating assignments of approximately 60 154 . conducting technical assistance and training for partnership members as needed. and overseeing periodic surveys. SC 1999 B. Department of Distance Learning. Florence.BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michael Shriner Education 2008 (December) Ph. Dr. Tallahassee. Meta-Analytical Techniques. Responsible for coordinating the work of the project with the Teacher Education Program Unit Assessment System and all aspects of the evaluation of the TQE grant. FSU Duties: Assisted with online instruction. and thorough evaluation and research reports. PA Professional Experience 2007 (October-present) Director of Evaluation. maintained electronic office hours. (Project PRE). designing. Multivariate Modeling. and working as a member of the leadership team charged to administer the grant. US DOE. assisting in the dissemination of evaluation and research reports to all partners. Advanced Topics: Analysis of Variance. implementing. Nonparametric Analysis. Clinical Psychology Francis Marion University.S. including: preparation of accurate. Ronald L. FL Completed Coursework in: General Linear Modeling. Supervised Research 2003 M.D. Psychology Pennsylvania State University. University Park. FL Dissertation (Defended: 8/26/08): The usefulness of social capital theory to understand academic improvement in young children: The impact of family structure (Major Professor.A.

Department of Family and Child Sciences Duties: Independently instructed approximately 60 undergraduate students in FAD 2230. FSU Duties: Gathering.undergraduate students. experimental procedure. prepared and delivered course lectures. Department of Psychology Duties: Independently instructed four sections of 20 undergraduate students per semester in PSY 216: Introductory Psychology Laboratory. Tom Corinne Graduate Teaching Assistant. Maintained statistics computer lab. Kay Pasley Graduate Research Assistant. merging multiple waves and matching responses for dyadic analysis). Ron Mullis. Supervisors: Drs. Supervisor: Dr. maintaining office hours. Ming Cui Graduate Research Assistant. Maintained office hours. Supervisor: Dr. Supervisor: Dr. developing educational training manuals and materials. identifying funding sources and assisting with preparation of grant applications. Supervisor: Dr. and final write-up of APA-style research papers. and analyzing. evaluated student assignments. Department of Family and Child Sciences. divorce. cleaning. FSU Family Institute-Policy Evaluation Unit Duties: Served on research team as data management specialist (collecting data. in CHD 5915. Ann Mullis. and disseminating empirical literature for the general population pertaining to stepfamilies. annotating. Laurie Sullivan Hunter 2001-2004 Volunteer Graduate Research Assistant. a graduate course in Methods of Research I. Conducted five experiments and instructed students on project development. Depart of Family and Child Sciences. Francis Marion University. and evaluating lab assignments of approximately 10 graduate students. Department of Psychology. supervising data entry. and remarriage. data analysis. Francis Marion University 155 . Thomas Corinne 2007 (spring) 2004—2007 (summers only) 2004—2007 2004—2005 2002-2003 Graduate Teaching Assistant. office hours and evaluated all assignments. Carol Darling Graduate Teaching Assistant. in FAD 3432 an online course in Stress and Resilience in Families and Children Supervisor: Dr. preparing manuscripts for publication. FSU Duties: Assisting with the laboratory instruction. FSU. Family Relationships: A Life-Span Developmental Approach.

Creating teachers' perceptual. & Libler. A. R. Analyzed and interpreted data on parenting processes. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. R. R. Schlee. B.. The Social Studies.2000-2001 Duties: Proposed and conducted two studies — "Parent and student perception of student transition to college" and "The effects of diabetes on men's sexual health".. The Australian Educational Researcher. (In press). & Schlee. Shriner. Schlee. Mullis. B. Pennsylvania State University Duties: Administered Q-sort task. A. Shriner. attitudes. entered and cleaned data on jealousy project. B. R. including entry. M. (Revised and Resubmitted).. Children and Youth Services Review. & Libler. Department of Psychology. M. (Under review). & Libler. 156 .. Leslie Barnes-Young.. collected data. M.. & Shriner. Australian Journal of Educational Developmental Psychology. Reckless behavior and sexual practices of emerging adult women. and presented paper at national conference. M. prepared papers for presentation at regional conference. Social studies instruction: Changing teacher confidence in classrooms enhanced by technology. & Shriner.. and beliefs regarding curriculum integration. and Mike Jordan Volunteer Research Assistant. Shriner. and attitudinal change using professional development workshops. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. Schlee.. (In press). M. Schlee. Teacher Development. Mullis.. Mullis. Supervisors: Drs. Shriner. Teachers' perceptions.. Learning Environments Research. assisted in manuscript preparation.. cleaning and analysis. Byno. L. (Revised and Resubmitted). M. M. (Under review). prepared manuscript and papers for presentation at national and regional conferences.. Marital quality in remarriages: A review of methods and results. A. built participant base for study on children's friendship Supervisor: Dr. The usefulness of social capital theory for understanding the academic improvement of young children in stepfamilies over two points in time. Parents' social and resource capital: Predictors of academic achievement during early childhood. Mullis. Jeffery Parker Publications Shriner. behavioral. Kenneth Walters. B. R. Hamil. (Under review). Mullis. B. developed instruments. Predictors of academic achievement during early childhood: A social capital perspective of teachers and schools. Schlee... Entered data related to relationship dissolution. B. & Shriner... M. (Under review). M.

M. & Corinne. Auburn. (Under review). Corinne. S. (2005). Byno.. & Shriner.. & Shriner. & Shriner. 165-176. Schlee. M. Poster presentation at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations. S. Mullis. 631-641. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research. & Shriner. R. 176. A.. K... Annotation of the recent research literature: Remarriage and stepfamilies.. Early Child Development and Care. M. AR. in January). A. R.. An examination of childcare teachers in for-profit and non-profit childcare centers. R. AL: National Stepfamily Resource Center.. November). B. Schwartz. PDS summer teaching academy: Changing confidence in the classroom.. J. Workshop presentation at the annual preconference of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.. Mullis. 157 . Auburn. (2009. R. Parents social/resource capital: Predictors of early academic achievement. Schlee. (2008... Little Rock. R.. in February). K. (2006). Mullis. IL. & Shriner. Annotated bibliography on remarriage and stepfamilies. M.. B. Relations among parental divorce. J. 20042005 Lincoln. (2009. Pasley.. Workshop submitted for presentation at the Professional Development Schools National Conference. 7. M.. R. M. and coping strategies of college age women. (2007). Hinshaw. Balch. 178. A. & Shriner. Early Child Development and Care. 20052006. NB: Stepfamily Association of America. R. & Shriner. Pasley. Quatroche. Mullis.. November). Making initiatives work: What to do when leadership changes. Do as I do: Meeting the needs of practicing teachers using differentiated instructional techniques. AR. (2008. Libler. M. Family home childcare providers: A comparison of subsidized and nonsubsidized working environments and employee issues. Pease. Daytona. & Libler. Little Rock. & Shriner. (2007).. 137-154.. (2006). (2008).. & Shriner.. Pasley. Reckless behavior and sexual practices of emerging adult women. Professional Presentations Shriner.Shriner. Chicago. Mullis. M. 2006-2007. K... B.. D. FL Kiger. Burden. A. R. Paper presentation at the annual conference of the National council on Family Relations. T. Mullis. Mullis. L.. Annotated bibliography on remarriage and stepfamilies.. M. M. A. M. Mullis. identity status. AL: National Stepfamily Resource Center.. Panel discussion submitted for presentation at the annual meeting of the Hawaii International Conference on Education. T. Gatrell. Mullis.

November). M. Technology in MFT Track: Training with the newest technology. Engaging and helping reluctant and hard-to-reach families: Intervention strategies for engaging and working with families with female offenders. Intervention programs: Session completions: A function of victim and perspective. (2008. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. Koshy.. (2003. LA 158 . L.. FL.. Congruence of parental and teacher perceptions of early literacy behavior. Atlanta.. Berarducci. M. N. Corinne.. Berarducci. March). Kansas City... A. Mullis. Engaging Reluctant Families in Family Services. November).. Orlando... M. Mullis.. & Shriner.. GA Shriner. M. (2005. New Orleans. Cornille. L.. R. T. A. Byno. Tampa. Shriner. (2005.Shriner. R. Shriner. FL Shriner. L.. Shriner. AZ Barlow. & Barnes-Young. N. May). November). MN. Phoenix.. M. B. Minneapolis. Atlanta. & Libler. Byno. M. October). referral incidents. Schlee. AZ Mullis. M. N.. March) Transition to adulthood: Perceptions of adjustment among parents and adolescents. & Berarducci. March). MI Schlee. July) Early reading skills for preschoolers: How can parents and teachers make a difference? Workshop presented at the One Goal: Building the Future Together "Putting Families and Children First" Summer Conference. Schlee. Workshop presented at the Faces of Courage: Charting New Directions for Girls Entering the Justice System with a Special Focus on Women of Color Conference. Mullis. (2004. Mullis.. B. and perceptions of violence. A. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations. April). B. GA Shriner. R. Symposia presented at the national conference of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.. Chand. M. Are parent involvement interventions related to early literacy influences and child early literacy outcomes? Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations. & Byno.. M. (2005. Lee. T. A. & Berarducci. M. T. L. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations. (2004. & Mullis. McWey. R. N. M. M. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association.. Phoenix. (2007. (2006. Mullis. Daytona Beach. L.. FL Shriner.. Landro play analyzer.. Behavior management in the classroom. L. Shriner. (2005. Corinne. Workshop presented at the Professional Development Schools National Conference. R. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. Domestic violence: Substance abuse.

M. & Shriner. Paper presented at the annual conference on The First-Year Experience. C. Full-time position (June 2003-December 2003).. March). John P. Parental behavior and relationship satisfaction among adult children. L. Performed monthly statistical procedures. Shriner. (2002. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. Duties: Maintaining an active caseload (6-8 clients a week) of individuals engaged in individual. and/or family therapy. Walters. Orlando. Alternatives to Violence... FL Clinical Experience Student Therapist.. Supervisor: Dr. Proot. J.. (2003. S. Duties: Active member of therapeutic team. Clients present with varying levels of functioning and difficulties. Florence. K. Northwestern Human Services. Researched program effectiveness and characteristics of domestic violence offenders. 2006). New Orleans. Florida State University. Provided group and individual notation. couples. K. Differential emotional responses as a function of parental interpersonal behavior. assisting younger individuals with Axis I and Axis II comorbidity. co-facilitated men's group. GA Jordan. (2002. June). & Shriner. and discharge summaries. Part-time position (August. Willis.Barnes-Young. K. Implemented behavioral modification treatment program and documented ongoing status and progress. completion. J. February). Will I get there from here? Students' and their parents' perceptions of the transition to college.. 2004-March. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. State College. (2003. Atlanta. SC. Supervisor: Dr.. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association. LA Barnes-Young. coordinators.. Diabetes and sexual health: Assessment/intervention in the rural South.. Maintained training in restraint and crisis intervention techniques. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society. PA. J. M. Proot. R. women's group. New Orleans. Michael Wolff 159 . March). Six dimensions of breakups of romantic relationships. LA Shriner. & Shriner. L. M. Muldoon Therapeutic Staff Support. & Proot. FL Walters. and incarcerated women's group. C. S. Bledsoe. & Mahoney. M. (2002. Full-time position (March 2000-April 2001). Duties: Conducted all assessments.. Larry Barlow and Tom Corinne Graduate Clinical Intern. Orlando. C. Center for Marriage and Family Therapy. admission. D. Supervisors: Drs. M. Consulted with advocates. and referral sources. Individual and group counseling with women in emergency shelter. March).

State College. Strawberry Fields. Francis Marion University. MPlus (working knowledge). 2005-2006. Professional Associations: American Evaluation Association (member since 2007) National Council on Family Relations (student member since 2005) AmericanAssociation of Marriage and Family Therapy (student member 2004-2007) American Psychological Association (student member 2001-2004) American Psychological Society (student member 2001-2003) Southeastern Psychological Association (student member 2001-2004) Honors and Awards: Florida State University Academic Grant. International Honor Society for Graduate Studies. 2007-2008 Golden Key International Honor Society. Francis Marion University. PA.S.Live-in and Residential Counselor. provided case management. 2002 Additional Skills: SPSS. 2007. FL 32306 160 . consulted mentally disabled clients with dual diagnoses to facilitate progress. (invited) Kappa Omicron Nu. and daily living assistance for a mentally disabled adult with additionally diagnosed mental health disorders. HLM. Mandra Memorial Award in Applied Psychology for Graduate Student of the Year. 2005 (invited) Douglas A. Lisrel. consultation. School of Graduate Studies Associate Professor of Geography and Women's Studies 812-237-2256 Indiana State University Terre Haute. Jay Gatrell Dean. Inc. SAS (knowledge) References: Dr. AMOS. National Honor Society for Human Sciences. 2003 Psi Chi.. IN 47809 Dr. Supervisor: Alan Cameron. Duties: Provided necessary care. 2002 Leslie Coker Memorial Scholarship for Academic Achievement. National Honor Society in Psychology. IN 47809 Dr. M. Mullis Professor (FSU) Department of Family and Child Sciences 850-644-6021 238 Sandels Building Tallahassee. Full-time position (July 1999-March 2000). Ronald L. Rebecca Libler Associate Dean College of Education 812-237-2899 Indiana State University Terre Haute.