Boys raised in traditional families are more likely to perform well at school and avoid suspension than those brought up by single mothers, it has emerged.
The Telegraph, UK, By Graeme Paton, Education Editor, 03 January 2012
Boys brought up by single mothers are more likely to struggle, according to the report by the University of Chicago.
In a major study, researchers said family structures had a much more significant effect on boys' early education than school type or even the gender of teachers.
It found that boys were much more likely to misbehave, be excluded from school and go on to achieve low grades after rebelling against "emotionally distant" parents.
The pattern is particularly marked in single-parent families where mothers "invest disproportionately less in their sons or feel less warm toward them" than daughters.
The disclosure comes amid continuing concern over the gender gap at the heart of the education system.
Data shows boys fall behind girls after just a year of school and the gulf widens throughout primary and secondary education.
By the age of five, some 19 per cent of boys in England struggle to form simple words such as "cat", "dog" or "mum" compared with just 10 per cent of girls, who perform better in every area of early development, including reading, communicating, basic numeracy, social skills and physical awareness.
Boys fall further behind at 11 and 16 and are now less likely to go on to university and gain a good degree than young women.
Researchers in the United States tested various theories to explain bad behaviour and low standards among boys and concluded that "home-based" influences played a much bigger part than biological differences, the style of early education, teacher gender or peer pressure.
"Boys' likelihood to 'act out' is sharply reduced when faced with larger and better parental inputs," said the study.
"As these parental inputs are typically higher and of better quality in intact families, this largely contributes to why boys with single mothers are so much more disruptive and eventually face school suspension."
Researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business analysed school suspension rates among boys and girls in the US. They also used surveys of parents and teachers relating to children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.
It found that at nursery level, boys were significantly more likely to misbehave than girls, adding that the gulf in discipline was considerably wider than differences in reading and maths skills.
Bad behaviour at a young age often translated into suspensions later in primary and secondary education, it was claimed, which increased pupils' chances of dropping out of school early and missing out on university.
The study found that indiscipline reduced among boys brought up by two parents and increased sharply among those raised by single-mothers.
Researchers said a "higher levels of parental investment may prevent more of these at-risk boys from developing [behaviour] problems", adding that this was much more likely to occur in traditional families.
The relationship between family structure and behaviour appeared to be "much weaker" for girls, it was claimed.
"It is possible that single mothers invest disproportionately less in their sons, or feel less warm toward them," said the study. "Indeed, we show that single mothers seem relatively Rmore emotionally distant from their sons and are also more likely to have reported spanking their sons."
20 Oct 2011
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09 Dec 2010
Boys more likely to struggle in co-ed schools, says top head
10 Jul 2011
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23 Apr 2007
Boys underachieving at school, says study
11 Aug 2007
November 7, 2009
The world of divorce is scary for any child. But when a divorce becomes especially toxic, children can become the target of an unrelenting crusade by one parent to destroy the child's relationship with the other. Experts call it parental alienation. Read More ..
Days after buying another woman Valentine's Day flowers, a Sydney father came home to find a trail of blood leading him to the bodies of his two young children lying next to their mother, a court has been told.
Australian Associated Press
Aug 24 2009
The woman had given the couple's three-year-old daughter and four-year-old son rat poison and an unidentified pink liquid before smothering them and killing them, court papers said.
She then tried to take her own life, the NSW Supreme Court was told.
Doctors agree the mother, from Canley Heights in Sydney's west, was suffering from "major depression" when she poisoned her children on February 19 last year.
She has pleaded not guilty to the two murders by reason of mental illness.
As her judge-alone trial began, the mother's lawyer told Justice Clifton Hoeben his client didn't think life was worth living after learning about her husband's affair. Read More ..
Nearly one in 10 girls and one in 20 boys say they have been raped or experienced some other form of abusive violence on a date, according to a study released Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. Read More ..
More and More teens are becoming depressed. The numbers of young people suffering from depression in the last 10 years has risen worryingly, an expert says.
BBC, UK, August 3, 2004
Government statistics suggest one in eight adolescents now has depression.
Unless doctors recognise the problem, Read More ..uld slip through the net, says Professor Tim Kendall of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health.
Guidelines on treating childhood depression will be published next year. Professor Kendall says a lot Read More ..eds to be done to treat the illness. Read More ..
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, USA, August 26, 2008
HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.
The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.
She tried to kill herself afterward.
The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.
Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.
A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences. Read More ..
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