The influence of female-headed households on black achievement

Na'im Madyun, Moo Sung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study attempts to go beyond the individual-level factors that explain the underachievement of the Black male student and specifically focuses on the enormous growth of female-headed households. To this end, 2,849 middle school students in a large Midwestern school district in the United States were used. It was found that there is a significant association between the proportion of female-headed households and the achievement of Black male students only, in contrast to that of Black female and White students. Specifically, as the proportion of female-headed households in neighborhoods increases, Black male students tend to show poorer outcomes. Implications for the finding are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-447
Number of pages24
JournalUrban Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Achievement gap
  • Black male adolescents
  • Female-headed households
  • Social disorganization


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