Education Report Roundup

Dropout Factor

October 01, 2004 1 min read

High school students whose mothers change jobs five or more times in four years are 36 percent more likely to drop out of school than similar students whose mothers had more stable employment, according to a study released in the September issue of the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

An abstract of “Examining the Impact of Changes in Maternal Employment on High School Completion Among Low-Income Youth,” is available online from the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

The study, conducted by researchers from Tallahassee-based Florida State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, looked at the effect the 1996 federal welfare-reform law, which requires recipients to work, had on those recipients’ teenage children. Studying 675 such teenagers, the researchers found that each time mothers changed employment status, their children’s dropout risk increased by 6 percent.