Divorce Makes Teens Less Likely To Attend College

Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, but it can be particularly detrimental when children are involved. They must transition from a family environment to separate single-parent households, and it may take years of family counseling for them to fully recover. The psychological damage children encounter after a divorce may have a wider reach than the world once thought. According to new research from New York University, the University of California – Irvine, and the University of Chicago, children living in single-parent homes are less likely to attend college and earn their degrees than children in two-parent homes.

Divorce Creates Education Gap For American Teenagers

Researchers from the universities used information from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, created by the U.S. Department of Labor, to track the educational and economic paths of families with children who were teenagers between 1968 and 1999. This information was compared to college graduation rates up to 2009, when the teens from the latter end of the study would have turned 24.

The assessment concluded that there was a strong gap in college attendance between single-parent and two-parent teens. The number of years required to complete school increased across the board, but teens from single-parent households received fewer years of postsecondary education. The gap doubled from 0.63 years in 1978 to 1.32 years in 2009.

The results also indicated that graduation rates are higher among two-parent families than they are among teens with single parents. There was an 8% gap in graduation between these two categories in the 1980s, but that reached 17% in 2009.

Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, a research associate professor at NYU’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and one of the study’s authors, said, “While many factors contribute to gaps in educational attainment, our findings suggest that being raised by a two-parent household has become increasingly important.”

Divorce Prevention Can Improve Your Child’s Future

Using tested and proven divorce prevention methods could significantly improve your chances of maintaining your marriage and improving your child’s chances of getting a good education in the future. There are a variety of marriage counseling options that may work for you, including:

  • Positive Psychology To Emphasize Strengths In Your Marriage That You May Not See
  • The Gottman Method To Improve Your Communication Skills And Closeness With Your Spouse
  • Individual Counseling To Work Through Problems Separately That Impact Your Family Unit
  • Biblical Counseling To Use Faith To Unite You And Your Spouse
  • Communication Analysis To Improve The Way You Interact With Your Spouse