The Value of Family Routines for the Academic Success of Vulnerable Adolescents

Kathleen M. Roche, Sharon R. Ghazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examined associations between mother reports of family routines and adolescent academic success. The authors used prospective data from "Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three City Study" (N = 1,147), a study of low-income urban youth and mothers. The vast majority of youth were African American (43%) or Latino (47%); youth were an average of 12-years-old at Time 1. Academic success was assessed by youth's self-reported grades, self-reported educational expectations, and standardized achievement scores. Results from structural equation models indicated that Time 1 family routines were associated with better academic success at Time 2, which, in turn, was associated with higher academic achievement and educational expectations at Time 3. Routines were less strongly associated with higher educational expectations and achievement when mothers reported more destabilizing family life events. Moderating effects of family instability varied by youth gender and whether youth were in earlier versus later phases of adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-897
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012


  • academic achievement
  • adolescents
  • family routines
  • low-income urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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