Family structure and child outcomes: a high definition, wide angle “snapshot”
Using data from the National Survey of America’s Families (NSAF), this research investigates the relationships between a highly defined set of family structures and a broad set of child outcomes at a particular point in time in a child’s life. A detailed classification of family structures is constructed that clarifies key differences among various types of diverse families, and facilitates equivalencies testing and pairwise comparisons across nontraditional family structures. The NSAF contains a large number of observations for less common, but growing, family structures such as single-father families, grandparent-headed households and cohabiters, which makes such detailed analyses feasible and allows further stratification by child age, gender and race. The data also contains information on child behavioral, educational and physical health outcomes, as well as extensive household characteristics, economic resources and parental behaviors and inputs. Results suggest that differences across nontraditional family structures are particularly prominent for child health outcomes and that the gender of the resident parent is empirically important, more so than the presence of a cohabiting or married step-parent. Children in single father families have lesser access to health care yet enjoy better health outcomes than those in other families, even after controlling for economic resources (and inputs). In contrast, few differences are found between grandparent-headed families and other non-parent families. While we explore alternative explanations for these results, our cross-sectional data and complex set of family structure variables preclude isolating causal relationships; instead, our analyses yield empirically important distinctions that point to promising avenues for future research. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
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.
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.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Francesconi, Marco & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Siedler, Thomas, 2005.
"Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1837, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Marco Francesconi & Stephen Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Childhood family structure and schooling outcomes: evidence for Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 1073-1103, June.
- Marco Francesconi & Stephen P. Jenkins & Thomas Siedler, 2006. "Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 610, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Francesconi, Marco & Jenkins, Stephen P & Siedler, Thomas, 2005. "Childhood Family Structure and Schooling Outcomes: Evidence for Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 5362, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Charlene Kalenkoski & David Ribar & Leslie Stratton, 2007.
"The effect of family structure on parents’ child care time in the United States and the United Kingdom,"
Review of Economics of the Household,
Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 353-384, December.
- Kalenkoski, Charlene M. & Ribar, David C. & Stratton, Leslie S., 2006. "The Effect of Family Structure on Parents' Child Care Time in the United States and the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 2441, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
- Jane Mauldon, 1990. "The effect of marital disruption on children’s health," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 431-446, August.
- Gorman, Bridget K. & Braverman, Jennifer, 2008. "Family structure differences in health care utilization among U.S. children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(11), pages 1766-1775, December.
- Wei-Jun J. Yeung & Greg J. Duncan & Martha S. Hill, 2001. "Childhood family structure and young adult behaviors," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 271-299.
- Naoko Akashi-Ronquest, 2009. "The impact of biological preferences on parental investments in children and step-children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 59-81, March.
- R. A. Wojtkiewicz, . "Simplicity and complexity in the effects of parental structure on high school graduation," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 993-93, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
- Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
- Roger Wojtkiewicz, 1993. "Simplicity and complexity in the effects of parental structure on high school graduation," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 701-717, November.
- Case, Anne & Paxson, Christina, 2001.
"Mothers and others: who invests in children's health?,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 301-328, May.
- Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Mothers and Others: Who Invests in Children's Health?," NBER Working Papers 7691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kristen Harknett, 2009. "Why are Children with Married Parents Healthier? The Case of Pediatric Asthma," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 347-365, June.
- Nancy Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan, 2004. "Effects of child health on parents’ relationship status," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 569-584, August.
- Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
- Painter, Gary & Levine, David I., 1999.
"Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causal?,"
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series
qt3g7899gz, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Gary Painter & David I. Levine, 2000. "Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causal?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 524-549.
- Hope Corman & Robert Kaestner, 1992. "The effects of child health on marital status and family structure," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 389-408, August.
- John F. Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2001. "Family structure and children's achievements," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 249-270.
- Charlene M. Kalenkoski & David C. Ribar & Leslie S. Stratton, 2005. "Parental Child Care in Single-Parent, Cohabiting, and Married-Couple Families: Time-Diary Evidence from the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 194-198, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:345-374. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
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.