Contextual Effects of Single Parents in Social Networks on Adolescents’ Academic Achievement, Depression, and Delinquency

Joshua Goode , University of Colorado Boulder

A significant body of literature has documented the individual-level effects of growing up in a single-parent family. To date, however, little research has considered the contextual effects of single parenthood and none in the context of social networks. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, I investigate the relationship between adolescent outcomes and concentration of peers from single-parent families within one’s social network, focusing on academic achievement, depression, and delinquent behavior. I also consider differences between contexts of close friend groups and wider social networks and investigate the moderating effect of individual family structure. Academic achievement and depression are each associated with concentration of peers from single-parent families within wider social networks in a curvilinear fashion. Effects within close friend groups are not significant and neither of the contextual effects was moderated by individual family structure.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions