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Stepparent Household Structure and Education

Stepfamilies present a distinct case from consistently married-parent families and from other alternative structures. Compared to children with married biological/adoptive parents, children of stepfamilies achieve lower in education (looking at grades and test scores) and attain less education overall (in terms of high school graduation and college attendance or graduation). Children in these families do not always face the same levels of disadvantage associated with single parents, however. Stepfamilies experience a unique set of circumstances, frequently blurring the boundaries of households and adding complexity to parent-child relationships.

Research on stepfamilies and educational outcomes has addressed a wide array of factors to explain advantages and disadvantages facing children's achievement, including the roles of remarriage and other transitions, the involvement of nonresident or noncustodial parents, and differences among ...

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