본 연구에서는 가족의 불안정성이 증대하고 있는 현대 사회에서 가족구조의 변화가 아동 교 육과 관련하여 갖는 함의를 찾기 위하여 가족구조와 아동의 학업성취 사이의 관계를 실증적으 로 분석하였다. 초등학교 6학년생 1,011명을 대상으로 실증분석을 실시한 결과, 구조적 결손가 족의 아동은 양친가족의 아동에 비하여 유의미하게 낮은 학업성취 수준을 보였다. 그런데 이러 한 결손가족 아동의 상대적으로 낮은 학업성취 수준은 부모의 부재 그 자체보다는, 이들이 직 면하고 있는 열악한 경제적 여건에 의하여 초래되고 있을 가능성이 큰 것으로 나타났다.
The purpose of this study is to examine how family structure affects children's academic achievement with special reference to the relative influence of family resources in the context of Korean society. Following research questions are addressed. (1) Do children who live with single parents have relatively lower achievement than children who live with both parents? (2) Is family structure associated with family resources which are necessary for supporting children's academic activities? (3) If differences in children's test scores by family structure exist, what are the factors that might explain the differences? Can differences in test scores be attributable to any of the possible links between family structure and family resources? The analyses are based on data collected from 1,011 sixth graders of 8 public elementary schools in Seoul. Data is analyzed using multiple regression, crosstabs, and odds ratio. The results show that children in two-parent families have higher test scores than do children in one-parent families. Also, children who live with single parents are economically disadvantaged while parental attention with regard to children's educational activities doesn't differ by family structure. Such disadvantage in test scores for children from one-parent families can mainly be attributable to families' poor economic conditions. Family structure itself does not influence children's achievement directly. Rather, family economic resources, which are strongly associated with family structure, mediate the negative effects of living in a single-parent family. Thus, it can be concluded that the lower academic achievement of children from single-parent families is due to the fact that single parents have lower education levels and lower earnings.