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11-12-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 10/2015 Open Access

Journal of Child and Family Studies 10/2015

The Influence of Parental Divorce on Educational Ambitions of 18/19 Year-Old Adolescents from Oslo, Norway

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 10/2015
Auteurs:
Henok Zeratsion, Cecilie B. Bjertness, Espen Bjertness, Madeleine Dalsklev, Ole R. Haavet, Jon A. Halvorsen, Lars Lien, Bjørgulf Claussen

Abstract

Former studies have shown that children and adolescents of divorced parents have significantly poorer educational attainment than their peers from continuously married parents. Educational ambition is important because it has relationship with educational attainment. Our aim was to investigate the associations between parental divorce and educational ambitions among adolescents in the Scandinavian region. Data were used from Young-HUBRO surveys that were conducted in Oslo in the years 2000/2001 and 2004. A change in educational ambition was investigated in a prospective study (n = 1,861) by comparing 18/19 year-olds who experienced late parental divorce with adolescents of continuously married parents. 18/19 year-old adolescents who experienced parental divorce during childhood or adolescence were compared in a cross-sectional study (n = 2,391) with their peers from continuously married parents. Multinomial logistic regression models were fitted to include, among others, mental health problem as a potential confounder. The prospective study showed that a change from ambition for university/college education to having undecided educational ambition was significantly higher among adolescents with experience of late parental divorce than among adolescents of continuously married parents (OR 1.8; 95 % CI 1.1–3.0). In the cross-sectional study, adolescents who experienced parental divorce during childhood or adolescence were more likely to have undecided educational ambition, compared to their peers from continuously married parents (OR 1.3; 95 % CI 1.1–1.8). In conclusion, experience of parental divorce seems to be associated with undecided educational ambition among 18/19 year-old adolescents. Mechanisms that reduce the adverse influence of parental divorce on educational ambitions need to be in place.

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