Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Alison F. Davis

Abstract

A large body of research, typically nationally focused, has examined the relationship between family structure, educational attainment, and healthcare access. Within this field of study, there is limited availability of regionally based studies, specifically the Lower Mississippi Delta (LMD) region. This exploratory study examines the effects of family structure on high school graduation rates and health insurance coverage within the LMD region. The objective is to determine if family structure has a direct impact on the educational attainment and health outcomes of a child within the region using concepts from nationally focused literature. Through the use of an OLS regression, we find that family structure does not have a strong impact on the educational attainment of children within the region. However, we did find that family structure had a strong impact on the health insurance coverage of youth within the region. Additionally, we examine the impact that spatial location and race has on these variables. These results can encourage the development of potential intervention programs, outreach initiatives, and other programs geared toward helping youth within the region. The study's conclusions provide insight on the impact of family structure on health and education thus encouraging further research within the LDM region.

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