Father Absence, Reproductive Strategies, and Parent Financial Strain: Effects on African American Female Adolescents’ Educational Expectations

Meghan Gillette, Iowa State University
Clinton G. Gudmunson, Iowa State University

This presentation is from the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Family Relations, Orlando, FL (2011): 15 pp. Posted with permission.


African Americans experience the highest rates of father absence from the home compared to other ethnic groups in the U.S. As of 2010: 67% of African American infants were born to unwed mothers: 33% of African American households were headed by a single mother with at least one related child under 18 years of age: 65% were below the poverty line (U.S. Bureau of the Census). African American women earn significantly less than African American men and all other ethnic groups by sex (except for Hispanic women) (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2007). As of the 2010 Census, 71% of African American females age 25 and over did not have a post-secondary degree.