Boys with a mother and father behave and perform better in classes than sons with single mothers, according to research.
A study published on the USA’s National Bureau of Economic Research records that boys raised outside of a traditional family fare particularly poorly.
The report found that “single mothers appear especially distant from their sons” and that boys with single mothers were “more disruptive” and “face school suspension”.
Researchers said: “One possibility is that boys raised without a biological father receive especially low levels of parental inputs, parental warmth and emotional supportiveness, or parental expectations.”
The team examined educational statistics, including school suspension tables and parental and teachers’ surveys relating to child development.
Data followed over 20,000 children from the age of five until they were 14.
The research also found that boys raised by teenage mothers were over 20 per cent more likely to be suspended from school than boys with non-teenage mothers.
In the UK in 2010 the Millennium Cohort Study showed that children raised in single parent households are twice as likely to misbehave as those in traditional two-parent families.
It called for more to be done to reduce teenage pregnancies, warning that children with younger mothers had a “much more difficult start in life”.
According to recent figures, one in five British children live with a single mother or father.