Jordan: Overcoming Effects of a Broken Home

Student Testimony

Hi, my name is Jordan.   I am a 10th grader at Aseltine School.  I started at Aseltine when I was a sixth grader. I ended up at Aseltine because I couldn’t handle a public school setting. For example, when I felt angry I would end up destroying classrooms and breaking things. When I would get mad, I would break things instead of talking to the people that would try to help me. Today I can’t even remember why I would get so angry, but I have spent the last four years using coping skills instead of breaking things.

The things that helped me get to where I am today, were being able to feel like I am part of a community, and I learned to express myself and fit in. The teachers here were more understanding than the teachers at the public school. One of the staff who really helped me was Kevin White. He really helped me in school and also we both had a lot in common. Kevin gave me a lot of advice that helped me get through Aseltine. For example, he would talk with me about my frustrations instead of me getting more upset.

In the last four years, I was recognized with some achievements and awards. I earned over 30 awards for work completion, high behavior scores, and attendance.  I was also part of the CAPSES sports league and won championships for softball and basketball. I also accomplished goals in my academics, such as math, science, writing, and history. My biggest accomplishment, however, was earning the Student of the Year Award In the 8th grade.  I earned the award more than a year ago and I thought that was all I could do.

Today as a sophomore in high school, I have a much bigger goal–a goal I never thought possible:  I want to go back to public school. I imagine myself walking down the aisle in front of a big audience, and getting my high school diploma. My journey at Aseltine has had a lot of ups and downs, but one thing I will always remember is to pick myself up each time, even when my best efforts don’t work out as planned. This is what I learned at Aseltine.

Learn how the absence of parents affects social-emotional development in adolescence

A long tradition of sociological research has examined the effects of divorce and father absence on offspring’s economic and social-emotional well-being throughout the life course1 Overall, this work has documented a negative association between living apart from a biological father and multiple domains of offspring well-being, including education, mental health, family relationships, and labor market outcomes. These findings are of interest to family sociologists and family demographers because of what they tell us about family structures and family processes; they are also of interest to scholars of inequality and mobility because of what they tell us about the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

There is strong evidence that father absence negatively affects children’s social-emotional development, particularly by increasing externalizing behavior. These effects may be more pronounced if father absence occurs during early childhood than during middle childhood, and they may be more pronounced for boys than for girls. There is weaker evidence of an effect of father absence on children’s cognitive ability.

Effects on social-emotional development persist into adolescence, for which we find strong evidence that father absence increases adolescents’ risky behavior, such as smoking or early childbearing. The evidence of an effect on adolescent cognitive ability continues to be weaker, but we do find strong and consistent negative effects of father absence on high school graduation. The latter finding suggests that the effects on educational attainment operate by increasing problem behaviors rather than by impairing cognitive ability.


Caring for children with ADHD may be challenging, but it is important to remember that these children can learn successfully. It is critical that parents remember that some of their child’s disruptive behavior is a manifestation of the disability and that the challenge is finding ways to help their child change the inappropriate behavior. Key to this is remembering to focus on the need for structure and routine for your child’s daily schedule and thereby reinforcing the importance of learning self-control and self-regulation.



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