First Advisor

Melissa Thompson

Date of Award

Winter 3-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors






Children of divorced parents, Children of single parents, Children -- Conduct of life, Education -- Parent participation, Child psychology, Student expulsion, Student suspension




Children are brought into this world under many different circumstances and to many different families. Some are planned, some are not; all come from families with a range of income, relationship status, and experiences. Throughout a child's life, there can be many changes in the family unit that impact the ways parents are available to care for their children. This includes divorce/separation, incarceration, co-parenting, married life, etc., relationship statuses may change over time. Different life stressors impact the financial wellbeing of a family and parents’ ability to spend time with their children. This study used secondary data analysis of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to study the impacts of parent engagement on child behavior, specifically suspension/expulsion. What was found throughout the study is single parents are more at risk for poverty and the family is more at risk for depressive symptoms and behavioral problems. Children whose fathers were not helping them with school assignments often were more likely to be suspended or expelled. Fathers who are married are more likely to have a higher income. Mothers making over $20,000 were less likely to often miss their child’s event. All of this information presses how important it is to be involved in each child's life and have systems in place to support parents.


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