Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 184–203 | Cite as

Children’s Living Arrangements and On-time Progression Through School in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Laurie F. DeRoseEmail author
  • Gloria Huarcaya
  • Andrés Salazar-Arango
  • Marcos Agurto
  • Paúl Corcuera
  • Marga Gonzalvo-Cirac
  • Claudia Tarud
Original Paper


We used data from Demographic and Health Surveys and the Mexican Family Life Survey to test how children’s living arrangements were related to their progress through school in countries comprising three-quarters of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our results indicated that family instability presents a challenge for educational progress: Large proportions (23–60 %) lived apart from at least one biological parent, and children in stepfamilies did not show better educational progress than children living with single parents. In some countries, living with other men was associated with worse educational outcomes, and the occasional advantage associated with living with other women was modest. Other adults in the household did not appear to buffer negative effects associated with parental absence.


Family instability Education Latin America and the Caribbean Stepfamilies Single motherhood Children’s living arrangements Father absence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All of our data come from secondary public data sources.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurie F. DeRose
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gloria Huarcaya
    • 2
  • Andrés Salazar-Arango
    • 3
  • Marcos Agurto
    • 2
  • Paúl Corcuera
    • 2
  • Marga Gonzalvo-Cirac
    • 4
  • Claudia Tarud
    • 4
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Universidad de PiuraPiuraPeru
  3. 3.Universidad de La SabanaChíaColombia
  4. 4.Universidad de los AndesSantiagoChile

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