In an attempt to prevent educational disparities attributed to the effects of single-parent households, millions of federal and state dollars are poured into marriage promotion initiatives. But in a December 9 New York Times op-ed, sociologist Christina Cross (PhD '19) argues that policymakers should instead address racial and structural barriers to resources.
Cross’ research, recently published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that while a weak relationship exists between family structure and educational success, differences in socioeconomic resources, like mother's education, accounted for 50 percent of the high school completion gap. Additionally, "black adolescents [have] more frequent exposure to socioeconomic stress...and black two-parent families have half the wealth of white two-parent families."
Read the full op-ed here. Read our State & Hill profile of Cross and her research here.