Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Susan Stewart


Previous research has shown parental divorce to be negatively associated with academic achievement. However, most of this research has been focused on the educational outcomes of children and adolescents as opposed to young adults. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate whether and how parental divorce affects children's post-baccalaureate educational attainment. An important factor found to be associated with children's educational success, particularly elementary and secondary educations is parental educational expectations. Therefore, I assess the extent to which these educational expectations might explain the association between parental divorce and children's post-baccalaureate educational attainment. Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated that parental divorce and parental educational expectations, individually, were significantly associated with children's post-baccalaureate educational attainment. In particular, adult children from divorced parental families had lower post-baccalaureate educational attainment compared to those from continuously married parent families. The parents of adult children who divorced and parents of adult children who remained continuously married had similar educational expectations for their child. These findings suggest that parental educational expectations do not mediate the relationship between parental divorce and children's post-baccalaureate educational attainment. Future research should examine the different types of family structures on children's graduate school enrollment and degree attainment to help facilitate policy aimed at adult children's educational success and economic viability.


Copyright Owner

Camron Suzann Devor



File Format


File Size

74 pages