ERIC Number: ED296939
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-9
Father Absence, Socioeconomic Status, and Race: Relations to Children's Cognitive Performance.
Salzman, Stephanie A.
In order to determine what is known about the relationships between father absence, socioeconomic status, race, and children's cognitive performance, a systematic analysis of related literature was undertaken. This study used the quantitative integrative review methodology of meta-analysis, involving transforming the findings of each study to a common metric, coding the socioeconomic status and race characteristics of the study subjects, and using conventional statistics to determine whether there were subsample effects and relationships among socioeconomic status, race, and the study findings. Decrements in intelligence, aptitude, and achievement test scores were found to be associated with father-absent children. Father-absence effects were found to be equally deleterious for low and middle socioeconomic status children. The results of the meta-analysis appear to indicate that father-absence effects are independent of socioeconomic status or race. It is difficult to establish any interaction between race and the magnitude of father-absence effects because of the lack of comparability of socioeconomic status across different racial samples. Although methodological problems encountered in the father-absence research clouds the interpretation of the findings, it appears that the variables investigated were not powerful ones that offered increased understanding of the differences among children from father-absent families. A list of 93 references is appended. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-9, 1988).