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Familial instability and young children's physical health

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  • Bzostek, Sharon H.
  • Beck, Audrey N.
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    Abstract

    This paper uses recent longitudinal data about a cohort of young children born in the United States to mostly unmarried parents to examine the association between increasingly-complex patterns of family instability and physical health in early childhood. The analyses assess whether, and how, the association between family instability and child health varies across a number of family types. We consider several measures of children's health at age five (overweight/obesity, asthma diagnosis and overall health) and examine to what extent the association between family instability and child health varies across outcomes and depends on the number and timing of any familial transitions. We also explore a number of potential mechanisms through which family instability may affect child health. The results suggest that familial instability is related to worse child health, particularly among children born to coresident (married or cohabiting) biological parents and for children who experience high levels of residential instability.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 282-292

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:2:p:282-292

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    Related research

    Keywords: Children Families Health inequalities Nonmarital childbearing Familial instability Family structure Child health;

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    Cited by:
    1. Schmeer, Kammi K., 2013. "Family structure and child anemia in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 16-23.
    2. Schmeer, Kammi K., 2012. "Early childhood economic disadvantage and the health of Hispanic children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(8), pages 1523-1530.
    3. Turney, Kristin, 2013. "Perceived instrumental support and children's health across the early life course," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 34-42.

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