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Stepfamilies, Effects on the Education of Children

Stepfamilies, also termed blended families by some, include two parents of whom only one is biologically related to a child in the home. These parents may or may not be married. Overall, the literature on children in stepfamilies shows that these children experience poorer academic outcomes compared with children in other family structures—especially those living with two biological parents. These differences are partially explained by family factors, individual factors, and other contextual factors, such as parental income and education, all of which appear to be differentially related to family structure. This entry focuses on the effects of living in a stepfamily on the education of children, reviewing research published since 2000. Most of these studies used large, nationally representative samples of adolescents, as studies addressing ...

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