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This longitudinal study of 110 mother-headed single-parent families examined the influence of parental monitoring, parent-child attachment and observed parent-child relationship quality on the child's academic engagement.Special interest resided in how parent-child relationship quality moderated the relationship between parental monitoring and academic engagement.It is normal to feel sad and lonely if you don’t have a boy- or girlfriend.

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Even if my husband and I didn't get along, we were both still deeply invested in the minutiae of running our family.

Then one day, my best friend and co-parent was gone from my life. Okay, that was an exaggeration -- but it's how it felt at the time, and it prompted me into action.

Analyses indicated that observed relationship quality and parental monitoring predicted children's academic engagement. Parental influences on academic engagement are most prominent in mother-headed families with a female child. These preliminary findings have import for school-family research, policy, and practice.

We thank the Family Studies Center at BYU, the School of Family Life, and the College of Family Home and Social Science at BYU, and we recognize the generous support of the many private donors who provided support for this project.

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