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Influence of father involvement on psychological well-being and academic

performance of children in Aruba.

Lilian Felter1 , Henny Bos2 , & Sjoerd Karsten2


1

University of Aruba, Aruba

University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Abstract

Introduction. Research has recently shown that the involvement of fathers has important
implications for children especially for adolescents and their development. Interesting is their
development in single parent families considering father involvement.
Objective. This article describes and compares psychological well-being, academic achievement
and family relationships between adolescents who live in a single- mother family and those who
live in a 2-parent home.
Method. The sample consisted of 285 adolescents, 162 living in a two parent home and 90 in a
single parent (mother) home. The data was collected by questionnaire, analyzed with SPSS
program to conduct a Manova and a multiple regression analysis.
Results show no significant differences in self-esteem, behavior, school achievement and GPA
among adolescents in single mother families and those in 2- parent families if father involvement
was kept.
Conclusion. Adolescents who lived in a single mother family, but still had contact with their
fathers, will behave similarly to adolescents living in a 2-parent home. Therefore, more research
should be done to detect if adolescents who do not keep contact with the fathers present any
significant differences in the aspects considered in this research.
Keywords: Adolescents, Father- Involvement, psychological well being, academic performance.

Introduction
According to some research, children and adolescents who grow up with both parents in their life
show an added value in affective relations in the following domains: educational and economic
attainment, behavior, and psychological well-being (Harris, 1998; Harper and Fine, 2006; Flouri,
2005). In contrast, other global studies, show that children who do not experience father
involvement may display negative social behaviors (Paley, Conger, & Harold, 2000) and have
problems in emotional and psychological adjustments (Horn & Sylvester, 2002) . The academic
performance of children also has been shown to be affected by the fathers presence (Nord &
West, 2001; Gadsen & Ray, 2003; Howard, Lefever, Borkowski, & Whitman, 2006; McBride et
al., 2005; McBride, Schoppe-Sullivan, & 2005 ). It is obvious, then, that adolescents need
parental support while facing the dilemma of learning to be independent and take their own
decisions (Santrock & Yussen, 1984; Kripps, 2009).
No attempt has been made to quantitatively describe the influence of the involvement of the
father in societies in which it is more common for children and adolescents to grow up in a
female household family, for example in the Caribbean , and especially in Aruban society with a
matrifocal society. The cultural phenomenon of matrifocality - family headed by the mother - is
common in many Caribbean countries, where single or divorced mothers raise their children
without a father (Safa, 2005a; Furstenberg, 2007; Oostindie, 2008). Thus, fathers presence and
importance in childs and adolescents life might be questioned in relation to Arubas
matrifocality and the high divorce rate. Approximately 91,2 % of every one hundred marriages
in Aruba ends in divorce (CBS, 2013) and extra marital and premarital relations are common in
Aruban Families. (Alofs,2001) .
Despite researches' results on childs and adolescents development in relation to father
involvement, in particular in Western societies, research on adolescents has been almost null in
the Caribbean area, especially in Aruba. In the island, approximately 35% of the Aruban youth,
between 12 and 19, have challenges such as obesity, teen pregnancy), lack of child care and after
school programs and other social problems (Unicef, 2013). Furthermore, this mentioned research
shows the need to involve fathers in the childs education. Aruban youth (boys and girls) are
affected by the following issues: youth unemployment, crime and violence, school failure,
alcohol and drug abuse, risky sexual behavior and increase in juvenile delinquency
(Cunningham et al 2008; van der Wal, 2011). According to the latest Census there were on
Aruba in 2010; 15,097 married couples with children and 3,159 single-female parent households
families (CBS, 2011).
The role of the father, must be researched as a cultural phenomenon which has its effects on
family norms and values as well as on its education and the society it resides. Research about the
role and involvement of fathers in different family structure related to psychological well being
and academic performance in Aruba is limited.
Therefore, and through all these above
mentioned facts, more research is needed on Aruban adolescents and, in particular, to the
relationship they have with their parents and the impact parents have on their development.
Based on the facts presented, this study will have two aims: (a) to investigate whether there are
differences between Aruban adolescents in single mother families (but who still had contact with

their father) and father-mother families in: psychological adjustment (self-esteem and problem
behavior), school performance (school achievement and students grade point average),
relationship with parents and family cohesion; and (b) to examine whether psychological
adjustment and school performance are related to relationship with parents and family cohesion.
and access if those accusations are different in single mother families or in father mother
families.
This study was carried out in Aruba- focusing adolescents who grow up in a single
female household, but who still had contact with their father, and those who grow up in a fathermother family. This present quantitative study examines the involvement of fathers in Aruba and
whether there is an effect on the adolescents psychological well being and academic
performance. The present study consists of data collected from participants using a researcher
designed questionnaire. The sample consist of adolescents (285), who lived by a father - mother
family (162) and single mother families (090) and other family structure*( 033) (excluded from
the analyses). The program SPSS was used to conduct a Manova and a multiple regression
analysis.
Conceptual Framework
Influence of fathers presence on adolescents
Important global statistics have shown that the fathers overall presence contributes positive for
children and adolescents happiness (Dubowitz et al., 2001), (Flouri & Buchanan, 2003a). Harper
+and Fine (2006) suggest that the fathers contribution to their childs development is important ,
even when father doesnt reside with the child or adolescent. The involvement of fathers benefits
the life of adolescents in a positive way with less behavior problems (Dubowitz et al., 2001;
Formoso, Gonzales, Barrera, & Dumka, 2007), less psychological distress and leads to high
levels of self-reported happiness (Flouri, 2005)

Most of the studies on the role of fathers on the psychological well being and
schoolperformance of adolescents has been carried out in Western societies (Mischel, Shoda, &
Peake, 1988) (Biller, 1993), (Mischel et al., 1988). Research on the role of fatherhood
concerning Psychological well being was for decades drawn from We
stern and East European societies (Schwartz & Finley, 2006), (Veneziano, 2000), (Lamb, 2010).
Often research done on fatherhood is often combined with topics such as fertility, marriage, step
fathering, health, and paternity from a cross-cultural perspective (Yuan & Hamilton, 2006) (Gray

& Anderson, 2012 ). Less is known about fatherhood in societies where adolescents are used to
living in a female-headed household, such as the situation in Aruba where several social,
economic and cultural problems and a politic and historical background influence the life of the
adolescents and children (Wal van der, 2011)(Unicef, 2013).
This paper provides a context of Aruban adolescents who live in a two-parent or in a single
female household and their fathers influences wheter at home or not. This research reviews
adolescents differences in psychological adjustment (self esteem and problem behavior), school
performance (school achievement and students grade point average), relationship with parents
and family cohesion . This paper will concentrate on how families are structured, fathers role
that fathers and the effects of the fathers presence on the adolescents.
Family Structure
In the last decades there have been many changes in family structure globally (Yi.,2006 ;
Crosnoe et al., 2014) . The traditional structure of family life was changed to form different
family types in Aruba such as one person-, conjugal nuclear -, extended - , consensual nuclear
family and composite household. The family structure is Matricentric due to Aruban mothers
having more authority than Fathers in the family (Alofs, 1990).
Lamb (2012) describes three dimensions of paternal involvement these include availability
which refers to fathers presence or accessibility to the child; engagement or the fathers direct
contact and shared interaction with the child; and responsibility the father takes in organizing and
planning to make resources available to the child. These three dimensions form the basis for
examining the effects of fathers presence on the adolescents psychological well-being and
academic performance in Aruba.

Effect on psychological well-being

Parental involvement affects several aspects of the psychological well-being, and school
performance of the adolescent. The affected aspects of psychological well-being include
behaviour, relationships with parents and family cohesion. (Kripps, 2009).The quality of
parenting can directly affect the adolescents psychological well-being (Maynard & Harding
2010). The negative effects include patterns of behavior that develop and maintain affectionless
bonding namely anxiety, sadness, depression, subjective well being and anger (Armsden &
Greenberg, 2009). Studies have shown that children who lived in a family with a single, divorced
parent had low scores in a variety of outcomes of wellbeing and a wide range of cognitive,
emotional, and social problems, not only during childhood but also in adulthood, than children
who lived with intact families (Amato, 2005). Another study showed that children who grow up
with both of their biological parents have less emotional or educational problems, have a higher
standard of living, receive more effective parenting, experience more cooperative co-parenting,
are emotionally closer to both parents, and are subjected to fewer stressful events and
circumstances (Amato, 2005).

Children who grow up with an absent father exhibited health- , drug -related and other behavioral
problems (Robinson, 2012). On the other hand, a positive association can be made between the
degree of contact with the father and the well-being of adolescents ( Amato ,Hawkins & King,
2007).
Geary and Flinn (2001) stated that adolescent boys are more sensitive to paternal absence than
adolescent girls. Carlson (2006) refuted this claim. Adam and Chase-Lansdale (2002) stated that
a lack of parental warmth leads to depressive symptoms especially with girls. Despite the
evidence that fathers physical presence and involvement in decisions of the child have positive
effects, still there are some who question the impact of the fathers involvement on the
adolescent.
Effects on Academic Performance

Low academic performance is one of the effects of absent fathers (Amato 2005). Adolescents
with involved fathers performed better academically (Nord , 2001; Alfaro, Umana,Taylor, &
Bamaca, 2006). Problems in different areas in school were associated with parental divorce
(Fagan and Churchill, 2012; Tomcikova, et al, 2006). Miller (1999), however, disagrees that
there is a link between fathers absence and school performance.
Structured empathic positive parenting is associated with positive and healthy outcomes in
Caribbean children. On the other hand boys who do not live with their father have more
problems including; drop - outs , poor grades and are academically challenged by girls in the
Caribbean.. This relationship between academic performance and father involvement requires
further research (Griffith & Grolnick , 2013).
Aruban Situation
The matrifocal extended family and nuclear family are the two most common structures in the
Caribbean and the proportion of female headed household is rising ( Arias, Paloni, 1996,
Zarhani, 2011; Bannon, 2006). According to the latest Census in 2010, there were on Aruba
15,097 married couples with children and 3,159 single-female parent households. Most families
in Aruba are female household families, have low incomes, and an increased amount of
working mothers, in the age between 30 and 44, an increase, from 77.8 % to 83, 6 % from 1999
to 2007 (CBS ,2007; Kock, Felter & Marval, 2010). The family structure in the Caribbean
shows a lack of male models, a large quantity of children born out of wedlock, an unusual
variation in ethnicity and culture, not living at home fathers and a family where the woman is the
head of the family. (Barrow, 2000; Chase - Lansdale , Gordon , Coley , Wakschlag & Brooks Gunn , 2008; Lamb, 2010).

There are questions raised about potential adverse effects of the absence of the father in relation
to the adolescents development (Moore, 2004). Less is known of Caribbean societies where
children grow up in female headed household, and particularly in Aruba, where there is matrifocality. .
Rosenberg & Wilcox (2006) believe that the absence of the father affects the dominance and
competitive behavior of boys. Whereas Belsky, Steinberg & Draper (1991) believe that the
fathers involvement has the most influence on the adolescent girls. Aruban youth (boys and
girls) are affected by the following issues: youth unemployment, crime and violence, school
failure, alcohol and drug abuse , risky sexual behavior and the increase in juvenile delinquency
( Cunningham et al 2008; van der Wal, 2011). Most Aruban youth offenders have a low level of
education (National Security Plan , 2008) . Approximately 35% of the Aruban youth between 12
and 19 have challenges such as obesity and teen pregnancy (Unicef, 2013) . Lack of child care
is a challenge for working mothers in Aruba, with resulting social problems. According to Unicef
(2013) there is a need to involve fathers in the childs education, yet there is no social, economic,
or gender policy which supports mothers and fathers in the education of their child). Another
interesting fact that might question fathers presence and importance in childs and adolescents
life is the high divorce rate in Aruba. 91,2 % of every one hundred marriages in Aruba ends in
divorce and extra marital and premarital relations are common (CBS, 2013).
There is a possible connection between such factors as the divorce rate, the current parents
working situation in the tourist sector, and the original matrifocality cultural aspect of the family
structure and the issues with the adolescents in Aruba. Fathers involvement in the childs life is
an issue when parents get a divorce. It is critical to further investigate the possible effects of the
present family structure on the development of adolescents in Aruba . This study will provide

insights for youth-policy makers to be able to develop and implement policies and programs
that will contribute to positive development of the adolesecents.

Method
Participants
The present study is based on a sample of 241 Aruban adolescents (111 boys and 130 girls) in the
age between 12 and 14 years old (M = 13.31, SD = 0.67). The recruitment of the participants was
done with the help of the board of eight secondary school in Aruba, and with the help of the
population register of Oranjestad (the capital of Aruba). The boards of the school sent a
information letter to parents (n = 324) with a child in year 1 and year 2 to get permission for
participation of their child in our study, and 66.4% (n = 215) of the parent did give permission.
Hundred and fifty households with one or more children in the age of 12 and 14 years old were
drawn from the population register and received a letter sent by the municipal with information
about the study, and 46.7% (n = 70) of these parents contacted the researcher that they wanted to
participate in the study.
Two hundred and eighty-five adolescents filled in the questionnaire; however due to the
focus of the study (a comparison between adolescents who grow up in a single mother household
but who have still contact with their father and those who grow up in a father-mother family) 44
participants were excluded from the analyses because they (a) did not live with their mother but
their father (n = 8), (b) had no contact with their father (n = 11), (c) lived sometimes with their
mother and sometimes with their father (n = 11), and (d) lived in a household from other family
member (n = 14). Therefore the sample of the present study consists of 241 participants. In this
study the following socio-demographic data were asked of the adolescents: age, gender, place of
birth, school, group, doublers, home situation and family composition.

Materials and Procedure

Adolescents, who were recruited by means of the board of schools, filled in the paper-pencil
questionnaire at school during a mentor class and in the presence of the teacher and/or a research
assistant. Those who were recruited by means of the population register filled in the
questionnaire at home also in presence of a research assistance.
The questionnaire was in two different languages. The languages were Papiamento and
Dutch. Papiamento is the language in Aruba and Dutch is the official written and language in
Schools. The choice of the language was done by the adolescents self. The majority of
adolescents choose Dutch as the choice of the questionnaire. The adolescent questionnaire
included several (standardized) instruments to measure adolescents psychological adjustment
(self-esteem, and problem behavior), school performance (school achievement and Grade Point
Average), and also their perception of family functioning (quality of the relationship with mother
and father, and family cohesion).
Psychological adjustment. Two aspects regarding to psychological were addressed,
namely self- esteem and problem behavior. To measure the adolescents self-esteem, we
administered the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1979). This scale comprises 10 items
(e.g., I take a positive attitude toward myself: 1= strongly disagree, 4= strongly agree).
Cronbachs alpha was .76.
Problem behavior was measured using the Strength Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ;
Van Widenfelt, Goedhart, Treffers, & Goodman, 2003). The self-report version of the SDQ
consists of 25 items describing positive and negative characteristics of the child. The SDQ is
composed of five subscales: emotional symptoms, behavioral problems, hyperactivityinattention, problems with peers, and a pro social scale. Each item is scored on a 3-point scale
(e.g., I destroy my own things: 1= not at all, 3 = clearly or often). Although the five subscales

of the SDQ (emotional symptoms, behavioral problems, hyperactivity-inattention, problems with


peers, and a pro social scale) is internationally a widely used instrument for children and
adolescents aged between 11 and 16 years old; the internal consistency of the subscales of the
self-report version is influenced by the small number of items in each scale, and therefore in a lot
of studies only a total difficulties score is calculated. Also in our study the internal consistency of
the subscales was low (between .xx and .xx); however, the Cronbachs alpha for the total score
was adequate (.xx), and therefore only this total problem behavior score was used in the analysis.
School performance. Adolescents school performance was determined by the
measurement of two variables, viz. school achievement and the adolescents grade point average.
School achievement was measured with a subscale of the School Experience Questionnaire (van
der Wolf, 1995), which consists of 8 items (e.g., t seems that Im not doing well in school ).
Adolescents were asked to indicate for each statement on a 5-point scale (1 = completely not true,
5 = completely true) how true the statement was true for them. Cronbachs alpha was good ( =
.xx).
To measure the GPA, the average grade for the subjects Dutch, English, French, Biology,
and Mathematics was computed. Adolescents were asked to report these grades in the
questionnaire. Aruba with the Dutch school system utilizes GPA scores on a scale ranging from 0
to 10.
Family functioning.
Family Functioning was measured by adolescents perception towards the quality of the
relationship with parents (for mother and father separately) and their perception towards cohesion
within the family. The quality of the relationship with the mother was measured by the Inventory
of Parent and Peer Attachment (IPPA, Armsden & Greenberg, 1987).

This Instrument consists of 12 items and assessed three broad dimensions: degree of mutual trust
(e.g., I need permission of my father/ mother) , quality of communication (e.g.,who my parents
are) ; and extent of anger and alienation (e.g., my father/mother get angry at each other). Each
item was rated by the adolescent on a 5-point scale (; 1= nearly never; 5 = nearly always).
For the purpose of this study we compute one scale for the quality of the relationship with the
mother based on the abovementioned subscales. Same instrument and procedure was used to
measure the quality of the relationship with the father. Also the adolescents in the single mother
group were asked to fill in this question because all of them still had contact with their father (that
was one of the selection criteria to participate in the present study). Cronbachs alpha for both
scales was good (mother scale: xx, father scale; xx).
Family cohesion was measured by Subscale Parental Dimensions Inventory (PDI, De Bruyn,
Dekovic & Meijnen, 2003). The PDI is The Parental Dimensions Inventory (PDI) assessed
Two dimensions of adolescent reports of parenting behaviors: regularity within the family
and maturity demands. (e.g., regularity within the family is we have a set time for
dinner; 1= totally disagree; 6 = completely agree).
An example of maturity demands( e.g. Is you get punishment at home
if you do something that is not allowed; 1 = yes; 2 = no). Cronbachs alpha for regularity
within the family was xxx and for maturity demands was xxx.

Recruitment
The board of eight schools sent a letter to parents (n = 324) with a child in year 1 year 2 of
secondary education in Aruba to get permission for participation of their child in the study. The
parents were asking to send the letter back with their child to give permission. If the parents
didnt give the letter back to school, it means the parents agree to give the child permission for
participation. Adolescents who were recruited with the help of schools filled in the questionnaire

at school in the presence of the teacher and/or a research assistant. The schools were located in
Oranjestad, San Niclolas and other neighborhoods in Aruba. The response rate was 66.4% of the
parents who gave permission for their child to participate.
The Households were drawn from the population register of Oranjestad (capital of Aruba).
Only those families that did met the criteria that there was at least one child in the household
in the age between 12 and 14 years old (n= 150) were contacted by a trained research
assistant to ask for permission for participation at their home by a visit to administer the
questionnaires to the adolescents who were recruited. The adolescents who were recruited
by means of the population register filled in the questionnaire at home in the presence of a
research assistant. The research assistant leaves some times the questionnaires behind at the
home to pick it up later.
The participated adolescent received a gift certificate of AFL 5, - , a table plaything and
some pencils. Sometimes the trained research assistant had to pay a home visit for several
times. The response rate was (n= 70) 46.7% of the contacted families who want to
participate on this study.
Sample
The Sample was conducted by two different groups.

Questionnaire was filled in by 285 adolescents:


Living in: father - mother family 162 adolescents
single mother families

090 adolescents

other family structure* 033 adolescents(excluded from the analyses)


* (adolescents living only with the father = 8, parents divorced and sometimes adolescent in
mother household and sometimes in father household = 11, adolescents living in household from
other family members= 14).
Material
This study was carried out your study in Aruba. The subjects of this study are adolescents in
Aruba of 10-14 year old. Data were drawn from a paper-pencil questionnaires was filled in by

285 Adolescents who were recruited with the help of schools in the presence of the teacher
and/or a research assistant. The sample was filled in by father - mother family (162) and single
mother families (090) and other family structure*( 033) (excluded from the analyses).

Procedure
A hundred and twenty/ 120 question survey was developed to measure self esteem , total
problem, school achievement, Students Grade Point average (GPA), Quality of relationship with
mother, Quality of relationship with father and family cohesion.
All the Adolescents who were recruited with the help of schools filled in the Paper-pencil
questionnaire at school in the presence of the teacher and/or a research assistant; those who were
recruited by means of the population register filled in the questionnaire at home in the presence
of a research assistant. The measured topics were conducted from different scales and
questionnaires.
Analyses
There was a quantitative analyses used to determine significance. The Analyses was done by the
program SPSS
1. Comparisons were made using MANOVA to compare with self-esteem, problem behavior,
school achievement, GPA, quality of relationship with mother/father, and family cohesion of
the adolescents in father-mother and single mother families as dependent variables. Is was
done by 2 (gender: 1= girls, 2 = boys) x 2 (family structure: 1= father - mother family, 2=
single mother family) to investigate whether there are differences between Aruban
adolescents in single mother families (but who still had contact with their father) and fathermother families in: psychological adjustment (self-esteem and problem behavior), school
performance (school achievement and students grade point average), relationship with
parents and family cohesion.

Multiple regression analyses was used to examine whether psychological adjustment and
school performance (dependent) are related to relationship with parents and family cohesion
(independent), and assess if these associations are different for those in single mother
families or in father-mother families

Results
There was no significant differences between adolescents in single mother families and fathermother families. The conclusion Most Aruban adolescents who lived in a single mother family
still had contact with their father. Psychological adjustment and school outcomes, were not
associated with whether the Aruban adolescents lived in a single mother family (but still had
contact with their father) or in a father-mother family. However, the quality of the relation with
both parents was better in a father-mother family; and boys in a single mother family showed the
lowest score on family cohesion. For self-esteem, school achievement, and GPA it was found that
regardless of family type, adolescents who reported high scores on family cohesion also scored
high on self-esteem, school achievement and GPA. For self- esteem it was found that especially
adolescents in single mother family did benefit from a high quality of family cohesion.

From the 252 adolescents, 11 had no contact with their father

N for the analyses was 241 (11 who had no contact with their father were excluded from the
analyses): 111 boys and 130 girls (mean age = 13.31, SD = .67)

Manova:
Gender: Wilks = .95, p = .143, Family structure: Wilks = .92, p = .027, Gender *
Family structure: Wilks = .91, p = .009

Self-esteem, total problem behavior, school achievement, and GPA:

No significant differences between adolescents in single mother families and father-mother


families

Quality of relationship with father and mother:


p = .018
3
2.9
p = .001

2.8
2.7
2.6
2.5
2.4
2.3

Quality of the relationship with


father

Quality of the relationship with


mother

Family cohession:
6
5.5
5
4.5
4
3.5
3

p = .008
Boys

p > .05
Girls

2.5
2
1.5
1
Single mother family

Father-mother family

Associations psychological adjustment and school performance and


relationship with parents and family cohesion, and interactions with family
structure:

Selfesteem

Total

School

Proble
m

Achievement

GPA

behavi
or

Family structure

.03***

.03***

-.02***

-.01***

Quality relationship with mother

.12***

-.15***

.04***

.06***

-.02***

-.05***

.08***

-.01***

.46***

-.11***

.29***

.39***

Family structure x Quality relationship with


mother

-.03***

.07***

-.09***

-.10***

Family structure x Quality relationship with


father

.06***

-.09***

.09***

.06***

-.13***

.11***

-.10***

-.04***

.26***

.08***

.13***

17***

Quality relationship with father


Family cohesion

Family structure x Family cohesion


R2

*** p < .001, ** p < .01, * p < .05

Interaction Family structure x family cohesion on self-esteem:


Simple slope tests showed that the correlation between family cohesion and
self-esteem was significant for the adolescents in the single mother families:
Those who reported low scores on family cohesion also showed low scores on
self-esteem (simple slope: .24, p < .0001); this was not significant for
adolescents in father-mother families (simple slope: .10, p = .233)

Associations psychological adjustment and school performance and


relationship with parents and family cohesion, and interactions with family
structure:

Selfesteem

Total
Proble
m

School

GPA

Achievement

behavi
or

Family structure

.03***

.03***

-.02***

-.01***

Quality relationship with mother

.12***

-.15***

.04***

.06***

Quality relationship with father

-.02***

-.05***

.08***

-.01***

Family cohesion

.46***

-.11***

.29***

.39***

Family structure x Quality relationship with


mother

-.03***

.07***

-.09***

-.10***

Family structure x Quality relationship with


father

.06***

-.09***

.09***

.06***

Family structure x Family cohesion

-.13***

.11***

-.10***

-.04***

R2

.26***

.13***

.17***

.08***

*** p < .001, ** p < .01, * p < .05

Interaction Family structure x family cohesion on self-esteem:


Simple slope tests showed that the correlation between family cohesion and
self-esteem was significant for the adolescents in the single mother families:
Those who reported low scores on family cohesion also showed low scores on
self-esteem (simple slope: .24, p < .0001); this was not significant for
adolescents in father-mother families (simple slope: .10, p = .233)

Conclusion and Discussion

This study focused on the differences in adolescents who live in a father-mother-family or in a


single mother family in Aruba with regard to their psychological well-being (self-esteem and
problem behavior) and their academic performance. The conclusion from the study reflects that
the quality of the relationship with both parents is better in a father-mother-family compared to
the relationship in a single parent family. This study also shows the following conclusion that
the male adolescents who live in a single mother family exhibit the lowest score in family
cohesion, compared to girls in a single mother family who exhibit a much higher score for selfesteem. In terms of self-esteem, school achievement and GPA, it was the overall conclusion of
this study that adolescents, regardless of the family type, who have a high score on the family
cohesion, have at the same time a high score on self-esteem school achievement and their GPA.
This study also showed no significant differences in psychological well being and school
performance between adolescents who grow up in single parent families (but who still had
contact with their father) and adolescents who grow up in father-mother families. The data also
show that adolescents who grow up in a single mother family (but who still have contact with
their father) derive benefits from father's involvement despite the fact that the father is not
living in the same home at the adolescent.
The status of the relationship between the parents , Whether the parents in single parent family
were living together, never been married or divorced , has no significant effect on the parentadolescent relationship or on the adolescents wellbeing.

The survey includes questions on various topics such as psychological adjustment (self-esteem
and problem behavior), school performance (school achievement and students ' grade point
average), and relationship with parents and family cohesion.
The analysis in MANOVA was used to examine whether there are differences between Aruban
adolescents in single mother families (but who still had contact with their father) and adolescents
in father-mother families in the dependent variables - psychological adjustment (self-esteem and
problem behavior), school performance (school achievement and students ' grade point average),
relationship with parents and family cohesion.
With MANOVA the following formula was used; " 2 (gender: 1 = girls, 2 = boys) x 2 (family
structure: 1 = father-mother family, 2 = single mother family).
A multiple regression analysis is used to examine psychological adjustment and school
performance as dependent variables related to the relationship with parents and to family
cohesion, as independent variables. The multiple regression analysis also examines if these
former mentioned associations are different for adolescents in single mother families comparing
with these adolescents in father-mother families.
The current findings on this study revealed that there were no significant differences between
adolescents who live in a single parent family and adolescents who live in a father mother
family. However, the quality of the relation with both parents was better in a father-mother
family than in a single mother family. For self-esteem, school achievement, and GPA it was
found that regardless of family type, adolescents who reported high scores on family cohesion
also scored high on self-esteem, school achievement and GPA. For self- esteem it was found that
especially adolescents in single mother family did benefit from a high quality of family cohesion.
The limitations on this study may be that a number of factors that could possibly affect the
relationship between adolescent and the father were not measured. These include1).the extent or quality of the contact between the adolescent and the father , whether it is in
single mother families or father-mother families.
2).The parenting styles or whether there was shared custody.

3). The amount of time the adolescent spent regularly with the father and the amount of
communication between adolescent and father, whether the father lives with the adolescent or
not.
4).The presence or influence of a step father in the home.
These associations might be topics for future research in Aruba. Another possible topic is the
single mother family and the effect of their new partner and his influence on the adolescent (who
still had contact with his biological father). According to Yuan and Hamilton, (2006) a close,
stepfather-stepchild relationship improves adolescent well-being. Also adolescents who have an
intense relationship with the stepfathers or non-resident fathers show optimal academic
performance and behaviors (King, 2006).
Investigations similar to this research are limited in Aruba. As far as we know this study is the
first study conducted in Aruba to research the differences between psychological well being,
school performance and the family structure of Aruban adolescents.
This study can therefore be a starting point to gather data from Aruba and also from the
Caribbean. This research as , can lead to more research comparing differences on other Dutch
Caribbean islands with the rest of the Caribbean. This data filled in the gap in the literature of
the Caribbean and especially in Aruba. This study is different from other studies conducted in
Western societies as there are big differences according to culture, etc. One of the unique aspects
of this study is that adolescents, who lived in a single mother family for what kind of reason, still
had contact with their father. This is different especially in a matrifocale society as in Aruba,
where families are often organized and characterized by a domestic system in which women play
a dominant role. This phenomenon is not just confined to the Caribbean, but is found throughout
the southern United States and Latin America (Otterbein, 2009).
This research is so important because adolescents who live in a single mother family (but who
still had contact with father) has no differences in Psychological adjustment and school
outcomes, in comparison with adolescents who live in a father-mother family. However, the
quality of the relation with both parents was better in a father-mother family; and boys in a single
mother family showed the lowest score on family cohesion. For self-esteem, school achievement,
and GPA it was found that regardless of family type, adolescents who reported high scores on
family cohesion also scored high on self-esteem, school achievement and GPA. For self- esteem

it was found that especially adolescents in single mother family did benefit from a high quality of
family cohesion. But still there is more cohesion in father-mother families for adolescents; high
family cohesion influences high self esteem and the school performance of adolescents.
Therefore we can suggest more research on adolescents and also on mothers in a matrifocale
society as in Aruba. Mothers are keystones of families and in their principal role they are is the
primary caretaker of the home (Evans, 1996). However, the last decades there is an upcoming
movement in Western societies and the Caribbean that fathers become more involved in the lives
of their children. Children of involved fathers are more likely to demonstrate a greater internal
locus of control (Lamb, 1987; Radin, 1994; Mosley &Thompson, 1995; Williams & Radin,
1999; Ross & Broh, 2000).
Fathers were expected to be more involved in their childs education, also in the Caribbean
(Barrow, 2008) while the focus on different families structures is growing. More attention
started to focus on the role of the father in child development (Lamb, 2010). The purpose of
Lambs research was to study the differences in the behavior of mothers and the role and
contribution of fathers in the education and development of their children. It is likely that fathers
also ' biological and socially reinforced masculine qualities and predispose them to treat their
children differently than mothers do. It has also been noticed that Caribbean fathers are very
much concerned and reflecting on their childrens health and mental health (Williams, 2009;
Williams & Hewison, 2009; Reynolds, 2009). Especially now children and adolescents in the
Caribbean become important for researchers (Barrow, 2008). Researchers should emphasis more
on interactions with, and influences of parents and of adults on children and adolescents in their
daily and cultural context in Caribbean families (Barrow, 2008) . One of the important
conclusions from the study is that family cohesion is the most influential factor in the
adolescents development psychologically, academically and behaviorally. This effect of family
cohesion did not depend much on whether the family was a single-mother or father-mother
family, but it depended more on the amount and quality of time that the father spent with the
adolescent. Therefore it might be useful to further investigate the role the mothers play in
supporting this family cohesion in societies such as Aruba where matrifocality is common.
There is still a need for fathers to be involved in their childrens lives. Young children with
good father-child relationship may protect the child against psychological mal adjustment during

their adolescence (Flouri & Buchanan, 2002). Children show a higher self esteem and are less
depressed when they have a good relationship with their father (Dubowitz et al., 2001). Research
has show that Fathers involvement has enormous value and is determined by the quality
interaction between father and child (Palkovitz, 2002). Involvement of fathers added a foster in
cognitive, social-emotional, language and motor development(Scott and The la Hunt,2011).
Adolescents with good relationship with their father lie less, experience less disrupting behavior,
depression and show more pro-social behavior. Adolescent girls with involved fathers have more
self esteem and adolescent boys show less behavior problems (Rosenberg & Wilcox, 2006). The
influence of a father's involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. (Oliker,
2011).The development of a childs is a part of a complex social system that found its variety
into the family structure. The multiple roles fathers have as a caretaker, educator, economic
provider and as a parent is essential for future studies on fathers involvement and the influence
in their childs development (Lamb, 2010)

Acknowledge
Literature Review (nog niet compleet)
(Dit heb ik in de APA stijl op dit moment maar heb begrepen dat ik dit moet aanpassen
afhankelijk van de Journal. Het zou kunnen dat het in de MLA stijl moet.)