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Shifting Childrearing to Single Mothers: Results from 17 Western Countries

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  • Patrick Heuveline
  • Jeffrey M. Timberlake
  • Frank F. Furstenberg
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    Abstract

    We investigate how recent changes in the Western family have affected childhood living arrangements. For 17 developed countries, we use multistate life table techniques to estimate childhood trajectories of coresi-dence with biological fathers versus other maternal partners. In all countries childhood exposure to single parenting is more often caused by parental separation than out-of-partnership childbearing. Both exposure to single parenting and expectancy of childhood spent with a single non-cohabiting mother vary widely across countries, with the United States exhibiting the highest levels of each at early 1990s rates. The greatest international variations concern parental cohabitation-its prevalence, durability, and the degree to which its increase has compensated for a decrease in the expectancy of childhood spent with married parents. Overall, we find little evidence of international convergence in childrearing arrangements, except that in countries where parental marriage has declined over time, childrearing has predominantly shifted to single mothers. Copyright 2003 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 47-71

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:29:y:2003:i:1:p:47-71

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    Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0098-7921

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    Cited by:
    1. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Trude LappegÄrd & Caroline Berghammer & Renske Keizer, 2010. "The educational gradient of nonmarital childbearing in Europe: emergence of a pattern of disadvantage?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Blau, David M. & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2007. "A Demographic Analysis of the Family Structure Experiences of Children in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Patrick Heuveline & Matthew Weinshenker, 2008. "The international child poverty gap: Does Demography matter?," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 173-191, February.
    4. Jenna Nobles, 2013. "Migration and Father Absence: Shifting Family Structure in Mexico," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1303-1314, August.
    5. Ekert-Jaffe, Olivia & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2007. "Does Community Property Discourage Unpartnered Births?," IZA Discussion Papers 2816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Teresa Castro, 2010. "Single motherhood and low birthweight in Spain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(27), pages 863-890, May.
    7. Elizabeth Thomson & Helen Eriksson, 2013. "Register-based estimates of parents' coresidence in Sweden, 1969-2007," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(42), pages 1153-1186, December.
    8. Cosmin Enache, 2013. "Family and Childcare Support Public Expenditures and Short-Term Fertility Dynamics," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 60(3), pages 347-364, May.
    9. Jacinda Dariotis & Joseph Pleck & Nan Astone & Freya Sonenstein, 2011. "Pathways of Early Fatherhood, Marriage, and Employment: A Latent Class Growth Analysis," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 593-623, May.

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