Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Shifting Childrearing to Single Mothers: Results from 17 Western Countries


Author Info

  • Patrick Heuveline
  • Jeffrey M. Timberlake
  • Frank F. Furstenberg
Registered author(s):


    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..

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    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

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:29:y:2003:i:1:p:47-71

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research



    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    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.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:29:y:2003:i:1:p:47-71. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.