Family Structure and Children’s School Enrollment in Sub-Saharan Africa

Acheampong Y. Amoateng, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus
Tim B. Heaton, Brigham Young University
Camille Mcalmont, Brigham Young University

We used Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) to analyze data from recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in 27 sub-Saharan African Countries to examine the effect of family structure, measured by marital status, including polygyny on children’s school enrollment in the selected countries. Children with divorced/separated mothers are similar to children with married mothers. Children have the highest educational attainment if the mother is widowed or in a monogamist marriage with an absent husband. Children have the highest educational attainment if the mother is widowed or in a monogamist marriage with an absent husband. Children have slightly more education if the mother has never married than if she is currently married with a monogamist husband who is present, and slightly less education if the mother is divorced or separated. Children with mothers in polygamous marriages have the lowest educational attainment, especially when husbands are present in the household.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households