University of Texas Arlington study: Who knew, children do best with two parents

11 Sep

Moi has been saying for decades that the optimum situation for raising children is a two-parent family for a variety of reasons. This two-parent family is an economic unit with the prospect of two incomes and a division of labor for the chores necessary to maintain the family structure. Parents also need a degree of maturity to raise children, after all, you and your child should not be raising each other.

Moi said this in Hard truths: The failure of the family:
This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of Katrina, the real genocide is self-inflicted. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family/ It is interesting that the ruling elites do not want to touch the issue of unwed births with a ten thousand foot pole. After all, that would violate some one’s right to _____. Let moi fill in the blank, the right to be stupid, probably live in poverty, and not be able to give your child the advantages that a more prepared parent can give a child because to tell you to your face that you are an idiot for not using birth control is not P.C.

Paul E. Peterson wrote a real engine starter for Education Next, Neither Broad Nor Bold: A narrow-minded approach to school reform:

The central thesis of the Ladd presidential address is certainly sweeping and bold: The income of a child’s family determines his or her educational achievement. Those who come from low-income families learn little because they are poor. Those who come from prosperous families learn a lot because they are rich. Her solution to the nation’s education woes is almost biblical. According to St. Matthew, Jesus advised the rich man to “Sell what you possess and give to the poor.” Not quite as willing as St. Matthew to rely on the charitable instinct, Ladd modifies the biblical injunction by asking for government intervention to make sure the good deed happens. But she is no less confident than Matthew that wonderful things will happen when the transfer of wealth takes place. Once income redistribution occurs, student achievement will reach a new, higher, and more egalitarian level. Meanwhile, any attempt to fix the schools that ignores this imperative is as doomed to failure as the camel that struggles to pass through the eye of a needle.
Of course, Ladd does not put it quite that bluntly. But her meaning is clear enough from what she does say: education reform policies “are not likely to contribute much in the future—to raising overall student achievement or to reducing [gaps in] achievement….”
Drawing on a study by Stanford education professor Sean Reardon, Ladd says that the gap in reading achievement between students from families in the lowest and highest income deciles is larger for those born in 2001 than for those born in the early 1940s. She suspects it is because those living in poor families today have “poor health, limited access to home environments with rich language and experiences, low birth weight, limited access to high-quality pre-school opportunities, less participation in many activities in the summer and after school that middle class families take for granted, and more movement in and out of schools because of the way that the housing market operates.”
But her trend data hardly support that conclusion. Those born to poor families in 2000 had much better access to medical and preschool facilities than those born in 1940. Medicaid, food stamps, Head Start, summer programs, housing subsidies, and the other components of Johnson’s War on Poverty did not become available until 1965. Why didn’t those broad, bold strokes reduce the achievement gap?
What has changed for the worse during the intervening period is not access to food and medical services for the poor but the increment in the percentage of children living in single-parent households. In 1969, 85 percent of children under the age of 18 were living with two married parents; by 2010, that percentage had declined to 65 percent. According to sociologist Sara McLanahan, income levels in single-parent households are one-half those in two-parent households. The median income level of a single-parent family is just over $27,000 (in 1992 dollars), compared to more than $61,000 for a two-parent family. Meanwhile, the risk of dropping out of high school doubles. The risk increases from 11 percent to 28 percent if a white student comes from a single-parent instead of a two-parent family. For blacks, the increment is from 17 percent to 30 percent, and for Hispanics, the risk rises from 25 percent to 49 percent. In other words, a parent who has to both earn money and raise a child has to perform at a heroic level to succeed.
A better case can be made that the growing achievement gap is more the result of changing family structure than of inadequate medical services or preschool education. If the Broader, Bolder group really wanted to address the social problems that complicate the education of children, they would explore ways in which public policy could help sustain two-parent families, a subject well explored in a recent book by Mitch Pearlstein (Shortchanging Student Achievement: The Educational, Economic, and Social Costs of Family Fragmentation) but one that goes virtually unmentioned in the Ladd report. http://educationnext.org/neither-broad-nor-bold/

Even though Peterson may piss off some folks, he makes some good points.

Science Daily wrote in the article, Teens living with two college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol, marijuana:

A high school senior who lives with two college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new University of Texas at Arlington study has found.
For example, teens living with their mother only are 54 percent more likely to use alcohol, and 58 percent more likely to smoke if they live only with their father.
Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, analyzed data on 14,268 teenagers to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescents’ substance use. He concluded that family structure and parental education had a more substantial influence on the teen’s well-being than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen lived.
In terms of race, researchers found the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents. When both groups live in two parent homes, white teenagers are 69 percent more likely to engage in substance abuse than black teens. Hispanic teens who live with both parents are 74 percent more likely to use alcohol than their African-American peers who live with both parents.
“We know from previous research that early drinking and drug use is linked to social, economic, emotional and behavioral problems including violence, depression and precarious sexual activity,” said Small, whose work focuses on reducing incidents of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. “Addressing these environmental concerns in concert with related individual problems could reduce substance use occurrences among our young people.”
Small co-authored the research with Arati Maleku, a doctoral student and adjunct assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, and Rie Suzuki, an assistant professor of public health and health sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint.
The study, called “The Impact of Family and Parental Education on Adolescents’ Substance Use: A Study of U.S. High School Seniors,” is published online in the journal, Social Work in Public Health.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140908152932.htm

Citation:

Teens living with two college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol, marijuana
Date: September 8, 2014

Source: University of Texas at Arlington
Summary:
A high school senior who lives with 2 college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new study has found. In terms of race, the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents.

Here is the press release from UTA:

NEWS CENTER
Teens living with two, college-educated parents less likely to use alcohol and marijuana, UT Arlington study finds
Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu
News Topics: faculty, research, social work
A high school senior who lives with two college-educated parents is significantly less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than a teenager who lives with one parent, a new University of Texas at Arlington study has found.
For example, teens living with their mother only are 54 percent more likely to use alcohol, and 58 percent more likely to smoke if they live only with their father.

Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, analyzed data on 14,268 teenagers to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescents’ substance use. He concluded that family structure and parental education had a more substantial influence on the teen’s well-being than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen lived.
In terms of race, researchers found the presence of both parents is an especially strong protective factor for African-American adolescents. When both groups live in two parent homes, white teenagers are 69 percent more likely to engage in substance abuse than black teens. Hispanic teens who live with both parents are 74 percent more likely to use alcohol than their African-American peers who live with both parents.

“We know from previous research that early drinking and drug use is linked to social, economic, emotional and behavioral problems including violence, depression and precarious sexual activity,” said Small, whose work focuses on reducing incidents of sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. “Addressing these environmental concerns in concert with related individual problems could reduce substance use occurrences among our young people.”

Small co-authored the research with Arati Maleku, a doctoral student and adjunct assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, and Rie Suzuki, an assistant professor of public health and health sciences at the University of Michigan-Flint.

The study, called “The Impact of Family and Parental Education on Adolescents’ Substance Use: A Study of U.S. High School Seniors,” is published online in the journal, Social Work in Public Health.
Scott Ryan, dean of the UT Arlington School of Social Work, said Small’s work enhances the conversation about teen substance use and furthers understanding of research to combat the problem.
”Addressing high-risk behaviors means understanding the underlying mechanisms and contextual factors that influence our youths,” Ryan said. “Dr. Small’s research accomplishes that goal and contributes greatly to ongoing efforts to help families make healthier choices.”

The team reviewed data from the ongoing Monitoring the Future study, which is conducted each year by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Approximately 50,000 eighth, 10th and 12th grade students are surveyed across the nation. Small and his team used only 12th grade samples addressing demographic variables, beliefs concerning personal lifestyle, school performance and satisfaction, intergroup and interpersonal attitudes and behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs related to alcohol and other substance use, such as tobacco and marijuana.

Previous studies have affirmed that youths who use drugs and alcohol early often reside in families with poor family structure, lower parental education and are from ethnic minority families. But studies focusing on teen substance abuse and family factors, especially among minority ethnic populations, are sparse and fragmented, the researchers said.

Previous studies have recommended the exploration of family structure, parental education and ethnicity to address key risk factors that involve adolescents’ substance use, and as a first step in unlocking the complexities of health disparities among diverse populations.

“Our study should re-emphasize the direction for practice and policy, for example, examining the elements in the family structure that are deemed protective and can enhance the well-being of children,” Small said.

About the UT Arlington School of Social Work
UT Arlington’s School of Social Work is nationally and internationally recognized for its expertise in social work and social welfare, as well as equipping students with the education and skills to transform society through service since 1967. With 1,700 students enrolled in its academic programs, the School of Social Work offers three main academic programs: the Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work and Ph.D. in Social Work. Visit http://www.uta.edu/ssw/ to learn more.
About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit http://www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.
###
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

This is a problem which never should have been swept under the carpet and if the chattering classes, politicians, and elite can’t see the magnitude of this problem, they are not just brain dead, they are flat-liners. There must be a new women’s movement, this time it doesn’t involve the “me first” philosophy of the social “progressives” or the elite who in order to validate their own particular life choices espouse philosophies that are dangerous or even poisonous to those who have fewer economic resources. This movement must urge women of color to be responsible for their reproductive choices. They cannot have children without having the resources both financial and having a committed partner. For all the talk of genocide involving the response and aftermath of “Katrina,” the real genocide is self-inflicted.

So, a behavior that statistically is more damaging than consuming sugary drinks is never condemned. The child born to a single poor mother is usually condemned to follow her into a life of poverty. Yet, the same rigor of dissuasion is not applied to young impressionable women who are becoming single mothers in large numbers as is applied to regular Coke or Pepsi addicts. Personal choice is involved, some of the snarky could categorize the personal choice as moronic in both cases. Government intervention is seen as the antidote in the case of sugary drinks, but not single motherhood. Why? Because we like to pick the morons we want government to control. The fact of the matter is that government control is just as bad in the case of sugary drinks as it would be in regulating a individual’s reproductive choice. The folks like Mayor Bloomberg who want government to control some behavior really don’t want to confront the difficult, for them, political choice of promoting individual personal values and responsibility. It is much easier to legislate a illusory solution. So, the ruling elite will continue to focus on obesity, which is a major health issue, while a disaster bigger than “Katrina” and “Sandy “ sweeps across the country with disastrous results.

The Washington Post article, Number of Black Male Teachers Belies Their Influence http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/03/AR2009070302498.html?referrer=emailarticle made moi think about the importance of healthy male role models in a child’s life. This article is about a good male role model, a hero, Will Thomas.
The reason that teachers like Will Thomas are needed, not just for African American kids, is because the number of households headed by single parents, particularly single women is growing. Not all single parent households are unsuccessful in raising children, but enough of them are in crisis that society should be concerned. The principle issues with single parenting are a division of labor and poverty. Two parents can share parenting responsibilities and often provide two incomes, which lift many families out of poverty. Families that have above poverty level incomes face fewer challenges than families living in poverty. Still, all families face the issue of providing good role models for their children. As a society, we are like the Marines, looking for a few good men.

Related:

Baby sign language https://drwilda.com/2013/07/28/baby-sign-language/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

The slow reading movement https://drwilda.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

Why libraries in K-12 schools are important https://drwilda.com/2012/12/26/why-libraries-in-k-12-schools-are-important/

University of Iowa study: Variation in words may help early learners read better
https://drwilda.com/2013/01/16/university-of-iowa-study-variation-in-words-may-help-early-learners-read-better/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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