Father’s importance in adolescents’ academic achievement


Whitney, Stephen D.; Prewett, Sara; Wang, Ze; & Chen, Haiqin (2017). Father's importance in adolescents' academic achievement. International Journal of Child, Youth, & Family Studies. vol. 8 (3/4) pp. 101-26


Many studies have investigated mothers’ impact on students’ achievement, yet little is known about how various father types impact students’ school performance. This study examines 6 mutually exclusive categories of father type: resident biological fathers, resident stepfathers, resident adoptive fathers, nonresident biological fathers, unknown biological fathers, and deceased fathers. Adolescents’ school performance from seventh through twelfth grade is examined using data from 3 waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a nationally representative United States secondary data source. Findings indicate different types of fathers have distinct and independent positive associations with adolescents’ school achievement, after controlling for mother involvement. Adolescents with resident biological fathers had higher school performance than adolescents with nonresident fathers. Adolescents with stepfathers had higher rates of school failure than their peers living with their biological parents. The lowest achievement and the highest risk of school failure and course failure were experienced by those adolescents who did not have a resident father figure and didn’t know the identity of their fathers. Implications include the need to model for the unique influence of father involvement and father type on academic achievement, and the inclusion of unique family contexts in efforts to increase adolescents’ school involvement and integration.




father type

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Journal Article

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International Journal of Child, Youth, & Family Studies


Whitney, Stephen D.
Prewett, Sara
Wang, Ze
Chen, Haiqin

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