This chart is taken from a study conducted by Nicholas Zill, Ph.D. for Family Research Council.
Children who live with both biological parents or with two adoptive parents are less likely to have parents who have concerns about their children’s achievement.
Description: According to the National Survey of Children’s Health,
children who live with both biological parents or two adoptive parents have parents who score lowest on the parental concerns scale (48.8);
children who live with a biological parent or stepparent have parents with a parental concerns score of 50.7; 
children who live with single mothers have parents with a parental concerns score of 51.8;
children who live within other family configurations, such as with their father only or with foster parents, have parents with highest parental concerns score (52.5).
Related Insights from Other Studies
Several other studies in related areas corroborate the direction of these findings. Wendy Grolnick of Clark University and colleagues reported that mothers in single parent-families were less involved in their children’s education than mothers from two-parent families. This finding held true in all three measurements used: individual interactions between mother and child, warmth and stress level of the contextual familial environment, and interactions between mother and teacher.
Gwynne Kohl of the University of Washington and colleagues also found that single-parent status was negatively related to parental involvement in school, “the quality of the parent-teacher relationship, and the teacher’s perception of the parent’s value of education.”
In a study of British households, John Ermisch and Marco Francesconi of the University of Essex found that an intact family structure in the first five years of a child’s life is positively related to the child’s future educational achievement.
Steven Garasky of Iowa State University also reported that children who “grow up with both biological parents have the highest likelihood of graduating from high school” and that “spending the majority of time between birth and age three in a household headed by a single father or a father and stepmother is related to a reduced likelihood of graduating from high school.”
Several previous issues of Mapping America (41, 53) demonstrated that children who live with both biological parents or two adoptive parents are less likely to repeat a grade and less likely to be the object of a “behavior problems” call from their school to their parents than those who do not live with both parents.
As the data show, children living with both biological parents have parents who are more involved in their children’s education and are more likely to be high scholastic achievers.
Nicholas Zill, Ph.D.
Former Vice President of Westat
Founding President of Child Trends
 Nicholas Zill is a research psychologist and consultant. Until his recent retirement, he was a vice president of Westat Inc. He was the founder of Child Trends and its executive director for 13 years.
 This chart draws on data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics in the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) in 2003. The data sample consisted of parents of 102,353 children and teens in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. 68,996 of these children and teens were between six and 17 years old, the age group that was the focus of the study. The survey sample in this age range represented a population of nearly 49 million young people nationwide.
 Most of the parents in the “biological parent and a stepparent” category are married.
 “Other family configurations” also include children living with grandparent or other relatives.
 Wendy S. Grolnick, Corina Benjet, Carolyn O. Kurowski, and Nicholas H. Apostoleris, “Predictors of Parent Involvement in Children’s Schooling,” Journal of Educational Psychology 89 (1997): 538-48.
 Gwynne O. Kohl, Liliana J. Lengua, and Robert J. McMahon, “Parent Involvement in School Conceptualizing Multiple Dimensions and Their Relations with Family and Demographic Risk Factors,” Journal of School Psychology 38 (2000): 501-23.
 John F. Ermisch and Marco Francesconi, “Family Structure and Children’s Achievements,” Journal of Population Economics 14 (2001): 249-70.
 Steven Garasky, “The Effects of Family Structure on Educational Attainment: Do the Effects Vary by the Age of the Child?” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 54 (1995): 89-105.
 Mapping America 41: Repeating a Grade and Family Structure and Mapping America 53: Parents Contacted by School about Their Children’s Behavior Problems and Family Structure (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council, 2009), www.mappingamericaproject.org.