Date of Award

Spring 3-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Danny Humble


This study was designed to determine the relationship between the family unit, which was defined as single-parent households and two-parent households, and educational placement. Data were collected from six Southwest Missouri K-8 districts in Region C. Participants reported student enrollment according to categories of single-parent special education, single-parent regular education, two-parent special education, and two-parent regular education. In addition, district special education coordinators were interviewed to gather data on their perspectives and experiences regarding the different household types and educational placement. This mixed methods design revealed students from singleparent households are more likely to be negatively affected by home environment situations and have a higher probability of academic deficits leading to special education placement. The negative effects included lack of stability, lack of organization, lack of availability to assist with academic tasks, lack of attention to diagnoses and treatment, lack of exposure to outside academic influences, increased demands on the student from inside the household, and hunger. These negative effects were attributed to decreased financial security, less stable working hours, and lower education levels of the single parents.


Copyright 2017