Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 1010–1023 | Cite as

Educational Aspirations of Male and Female Adolescents from Single-Parent and Two Biological Parent Families: A Comparison of Influential Factors

  • Rashmi Garg
  • Stella Melanson
  • Elizabeth Levin
Original Paper


Youth from single-parent families report lower educational aspirations than those from two-parent families. This study explored the influence of background factors (gender, grade, parental education and SES), parental involvement with education, academic self-concept, and peer influences on educational aspirations. The participants were Canadian adolescents; 2751 from two parent and 681 from single-parent families. ANOVA results showed that adolescents from single-parent families scored significantly lower than adolescents from intact families on educational aspirations, and other predictor variables. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that the pattern of relationships between educational aspirations and other factors was very similar for adolescents from both types of families; namely academic self-concept significantly predicted educational aspirations. The family involvement and background factors predicted educational aspirations via academic self-concept. Having academically oriented peers was especially beneficial to adolescents from single-parent families. Implications for intervention programs are discussed.


Divorce Educational aspirations Adolescence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Garg
    • 1
  • Stella Melanson
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Levin
    • 3
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  2. 2.Ontario Early Years and Social Planning CouncilSudburyCanada
  3. 3.Psychology DepartmentLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

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