This fascinating press release appeared in my inbox today:
ATLANTA — In a research presentation for the Centers for Disease Control of the Department of Health & Human Services Dr. William Jeynes, a Professor at California State University in Long Beach and a Non-resident Scholar at Baylor University, shared long awaited results of his research that summarizes the relationship between parenting and academic and behavioral outcomes for children.
Jeynes’ speech, part of the Parenting Series sponsored by the federal government, was based on the findings of his research which examines nationwide data sets and also includes a research synthesis of all the available studies on the influence of certain family factors on children. This research synthesis, commonly called a meta-analysis, involves statistically synthesizing all the research that has been done on a given topic.
There were several of Jeynes’ findings that were most salient. First, the farther one departs from a two biological parent family structure, the greater a negative impact this has on the children’s academic outcomes and what are commonly referred to as at-risk behaviors, including consuming various types of illegal drugs and unhealthy amounts of alcohol and becoming involved in a single parent teenage pregnancy. Jeynes noted that, “As a general rule, the more difficult family transitions a child encounters, the more likely it is that family issues will negatively affect that child’s academic achievement and behavior.”
Second, at-risk behaviors are more strongly associated with low educational outcomes than people assume. Third, there are factors that mitigate the effects of non-traditional family structures. They include parental involvement, the love of other major adults in the youth’s life, and the child being a person of faith. Regarding parental involvement, Jeynes’ meta-analyses indicated that it was generally some of the relational aspects of parental involvement that have the greatest positive influence on children. These include having high expectations of one’s children, maintaining high levels of communication, and having a balanced parental style. By balanced parental style, Jeynes asserts that, “Children learn best in a home atmosphere that provides love and a reasonable degree of structure.” Jeynes presented findings that indicate that a child’s religious faith can reduce the influence of marital dissolution and cut the socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps in half. His findings also indicated that when children are religious and come from an two biological parent family, the achievement gaps are totally eliminated.
Dr. Jeynes is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago. He is one of the leading quantitative researchers on family issues and their effects on children. He is a well known public speaker, having spoken in 47 states and in every inhabited continent. He has spoken for the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, Harvard University, and the Harvard Family Research Project. He may be interviewed or contacted at (714) 901-4274 or (714) 397-7763 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The press release was distributed by Religion Press Release Services.