Effects Of African American Family Structure On

Sc Essay, Research Paper

Effects of African American Family Structure on School Attitudes and PerformanceIn today’s world, there is such a big emphasis on education and itsimportance. And there should be an emphasis. Unfortunately, not everyonehas the same attitude about receiving a good education. This articleattempts to discuss the attitudes of African American’s towards educationwhen a stable family structure is absent. Given, not all homes are the Cleaver family, but if a personreally wants an education, they should try to concentrate on justthat-their education. Parents have a huge responsibility in that if theyhave children in a single-parent home, the parents attitude must beencouraging for the child. If the parents have a bad attitude or lettheir children stay home from school, that is when the children start tothink that they don’t have to worry about school, and that’s not right. The article says that socio-economic factors may play a part insingle-family homes. For example, single-mothers often have lowerincomes, forcing them to move into poorer neighborhoods with inferiorschools. When the mother has nothing to provide for the children, theseconditions are thought to stifle ambition, lower educational aspirationsand set up barriers to doing well and remaining in school. Stress is alsomentioned as another possible factor; suggesting that “the trauma ofparental confl!ict and divorce can have lasting, adverse psychological consequences for

children that reduce their ability to succeed.” A study was done comparing family structure between whites andblacks to determine how important of a role family structure plays ineducation. Not to my surprise, most of the percentages were higher amongwhites, but not by very much in any category. More single mothers whowere black were more involved in school planning than white mothers. Moreblack mothers told their children what was educationally expected fromthem; more talked with their kids daily, and checked their schoolwork. There was a higher percentage for single black mothers fortask-orientation; their children always had books, pencils, and homeworkcomplete. So family structure may have an effect on students education,but it is only a small percent. We know that parental involvement is important for children, but Idon’t think a child’s attitude has anything to do with their race. Thereare plenty of poor white children who probably have the same attitude assome blacks. The article states that while some of the effects for theseuncaring attitudes may be socio-economic, they would like to link it tothe effectiveness of discipline in the home. Of course a two-parent homewould be more stable for children, however, not all cases allow that. Therefore, we must stay active in our children’s lives and keep a positiveattitude. Let them know it’s okay to be the best, and allow them to livetheir dreams.Social Problems Journal Volume 43: No.3; August 1996.


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