Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



Previous research has found that children from divorced families usually perform less well on academic achievement measures than children from intact families. Most of these studies were conducted using samples or black and white lower- and working-class families. The present study investigated academic achievement (reading, language, and arithmetic) of adolescents from Hispanic and white divorced and intact families from all income levels.

There were two groups of hypotheses investigated in the study. The first group investigated the situational variables of parental marital status; the first-order interactions of parental marital status by adolescent's sex; by adolescent's ethnicity, and by adolescent's grade; and the second-order interactions of parental marital status by adolescent's ethnicity by adolescentes sex, and by adolescent's grade. Using hierarchical multivariate analysis of variance techniques, no significant relationships with the achievement measures were found.

In the second group of hypotheses, the relationships of the duration of parental divorce, as well as its interactions with adolescent's sex, with adolescent's ethnicity, and with adolescent's grade to reading, language, and arithmetic were examined. Duration was defined using two different methods. Method 1 defined duration as the total amount of time that the biological mother and father were divorced. Method 2 defined duration as the amount of time that the biological mother was divorced from the biological father before she remarried, if she did. In other words, Method 1 included the mother's remarriage time while Method 2 did not. Hierarchical multiple regression techniques revealed a significant quadratic relationship with reading when using Method 1 for duration of parental divorce. In general, reading achievement increased until duration reached 11 years and then decreased to 16.5 years, the highest duration studied. No significant relationships were found when using Method 2.

Some of the reasons discussed for the results obtained in the present study included different sample makeup from those of previous research studies, including older-aged sub­jects, higher family income levels, and different ethnic groups. Future research involving nonvolunteer populations and longitudinal studies are called for as a result of this study.

Document Type




Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Candace Schau

Second Committee Member

James Clark Moore

Third Committee Member

Pauline H Turner

Fourth Committee Member

Wayne Paul Moellenberg

Fifth Committee Member

Eligio R. Padilla