Parents’ Relationship Quality and Children’s Behavior in Married and Cohabiting Families
AbstractWhile an extensive literature has shown that family structure is linked with child wellbeing, less well understood is how the dynamics within families affect children. Family systems theory posits that parents’ couple relationship is important for children’s well-being. In this paper, we use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 773) to examine how couple supportiveness in co-resident families is related to children’s externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems from child ages 3 to 9. Using latent growth curve and fixed effects models, we find that parents’ greater supportiveness is modestly associated with lower levels of children’s behavioral problems. Using cross-lagged structural equation models to examine the direction of the association, we find some evidence that relationship quality and children’s behavioral problems are reciprocally related. Overall, our study suggests that more positive couple interactions are beneficial for children residing with both of their biological parents.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 1463.
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Child Development; Family Process; Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS); Marital Status; Relationship Quality;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012.
"The Economics of Child Well-Being,"
IZA Discussion Papers
6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Patrick Royston, 2004. "Multiple imputation of missing values," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 227-241, September.
- Nancy Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan, 2004. "Effects of child health on parents’ relationship status," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 569-584, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.