Do Children of Divorced Parents Have Lesser Chances of Getting A University Degree?

Divorce Parents

It is not news that divorce has an effect on the children in many ways. News that children of divorce are most likely to not earn advanced degrees compared to their peers. This surfaced from research published in the Journal of Family Issues using 15 years’ worth of data from the US Labor Department’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997.

 Bachelor’s Degrees and Beyond

Looking at most recent data between people of the ages 26 and 32, researchers found out that only 27% of kids with parents that were divorced have earned undergraduate degrees or higher. This is in comparison to 50% of their peers whose parents remained married.

Also at the higher education levels, while 20% of young people with married parents continued onto professional and graduate degrees; only 12% of young adults with divorced parents achieved this distinction.

An additional and important finding was that children who lived/stayed at home and/or were under 18 when their parents divorced had 35% lower odds of getting a bachelor’s degree than kids who were older. There was no direct correlation however between these kids’ ages at the time their parents split and their chances of getting advanced/graduate degrees.

Making Sense of The Findings

Professor of Sociology and Co-autor Susan Stewart said, “After divorce, for both men and women, incomes take a hit. It takes much longer for that income to recover and for women especially, it never does. You are essentially starting over and much of the income that would have gone to a child’s education is sucked up with all the transitions that are part of divorce.”

In addition to that, Lead author – Camron Devor pointed out that these results/figures may indicate the need for change. This could affect divorce proceedings for child support and the amount that is factored in for college. In more divorce proceedings, child support cuts off at 18. Just because a child turns 18, that does not mean they still do not need help financially from their family.”

The findings buttresses the fact that parental encouragement and expectations concerning degree attainment remain consistent – both before and after divorce. However, Co-author Cassandra Dorius concluded that “It’s important for future research to look at other inadequacies in social capital that may affect long-term educational success for these children.”


So, are you of the opinion that children of divorced parents have lesser chances of attaining a University Degree? You can let us know in our comment section!

TGM Education is a leading Student Placement Agency with over 22 Years of professional experience and 80% success rate in Visas, Student Admissions and Student Travels. If you are interested in studying abroad, talk to our customer care at TGM Education with the button below.

Chat with Us