THE IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON THE LIKELIHOOD OF GRADUATING FROM HIGH SCHOOL BY AGE 20
Rahal, Ramy Toufic
Research has shown negative associations between marital instability and success metrics among children of such families. Among the negative academic outcomes is an increased rate of high school dropout among children of divorced and separated parents (Astone, McLanahan, 1991). This paper seeks to determine whether children who experience marital disruption are less likely to graduate from high school than their counterparts whose biological parents remain married.This study uses a prospective design, only including children whose parents were married at the time of the child's birth and who remained married at the child's outset of high school. Using data from the 1979 version of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) and the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult Supplement, I ran a series of probit models to estimate the effects of parental divorce during a child's high school years on the likelihood of that child graduating from high school by the age of 20. The age limit of 20, rather than within four years, diminishes the problem of right-censorship.Children whose parents divorce during the four years after the normal start of high school are over 9 percentage points less likely to graduate from high school by age 20 than their peers (p
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