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A Research Note on Time With Children in Different- and Same-Sex Two-Parent Families

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  • Kate Prickett
  • Alexa Martin-Storey
  • Robert Crosnoe

Abstract

Public debate on same-sex marriage often focuses on the disadvantages that children raised by same-sex couples may face. On one hand, little evidence suggests any difference in the outcomes of children raised by same-sex parents and different-sex parents. On the other hand, most studies are limited by problems of sample selection and size, and few directly measure the parenting practices thought to influence child development. This research note demonstrates how the 2003–2013 American Time Use Survey (n=44,188) may help to address these limitations. Two-tier Cragg’s Tobit alternative models estimated the amount of time that parents in different-sex and same-sex couples engaged in child-focused time. Women in same-sex couples were more likely than either women or men in different-sex couples to spend such time with children. Overall, women (regardless of the gender of their partners) and men coupled with other men spent significantly more time with children than men coupled with women, conditional on spending any child-focused time. These results support prior research that different-sex couples do not invest in children at appreciably different levels than same-sex couples. We highlight the potential for existing nationally representative data sets to provide preliminary insights into the developmental experiences of children in nontraditional families. Copyright Population Association of America 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Kate Prickett & Alexa Martin-Storey & Robert Crosnoe, 2015. "A Research Note on Time With Children in Different- and Same-Sex Two-Parent Families," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(3), pages 905-918, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:52:y:2015:i:3:p:905-918
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-015-0385-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.
    2. Hofmarcher, Thomas & Plug, Erik, 2021. "Specialization in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 14709, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Thomeer, Mieke Beth & Reczek, Corinne & Umberson, Debra, 2015. "Relationship dynamics around depression in gay and lesbian couples," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 38-46.
    4. Corinne Reczek & Russell Spiker & Hui Liu & Robert Crosnoe, 2016. "Family Structure and Child Health: Does the Sex Composition of Parents Matter?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1605-1630, October.
    5. Katie R. Genadek & Sarah M. Flood & Joan Garcia Roman, 2020. "Same-Sex Couples’ Shared Time in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 475-500, April.
    6. Chen, Shuai, 2019. "Marriage, minorities, and mass movements," Other publications TiSEM 9cb1b11d-12e6-46a8-adca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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