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Relationship Transitions and the Risk for Child Maltreatment

Author

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  • William Schneider

    (Northwestern University)

Abstract

Family structure as a risk for child maltreatment has long been viewed as a static state in the child maltreatment literature. Drawing on data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, the author uses a series of individual fixed-effects models to investigate whether particular types of relationship transitions over children’s first decade of life are associated with increased risk for maternal and paternal child abuse and maternal neglect. Findings question and confirm a number of long-standing theoretical and empirical findings from the child maltreatment literature. Results indicate that transitions to being single are associated with increased risk for maternal child abuse and neglect. In addition, the frequency and severity of paternal harsh parenting may be closely linked with the nature of fathers’ relationship transitions. Last, results largely do not provide support for the theory that the presence of social (nonbiological) fathers increases mothers’ risk for engaging in child abuse or neglect.

Suggested Citation

  • William Schneider, 2016. "Relationship Transitions and the Risk for Child Maltreatment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1771-1800, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:53:y:2016:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-016-0514-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-016-0514-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cynthia Osborne & Lawrence Berger & Katherine Magnuson, 2012. "Family Structure Transitions and Changes in Maternal Resources and Well-being," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 23-47, February.
    2. Christina Paxson & Jane Waldfogel, 2002. "Work, Welfare, and Child Maltreatment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 435-474, July.
    3. Christina Paxson & Jane Waldfogel, 2003. "Welfare reforms, family resources, and child maltreatment," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 85-113.
    4. Cynthia Osborne & Sara McLanahan, 2007. "Partnership Instability and Child Well-being," Working Papers 946, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    5. Laura Tach & Ronald Mincy & Kathryn Edin, 2010. "Parenting as A “package deal”: Relationships, fertility, and nonresident father involvement among unmarried parents," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 181-204, February.
    6. repec:pri:crcwel:wp04-16-ff-osborne is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jane Waldfogel & Christina Paxson, 1999. "Parental Resources and Child Abuse and Neglect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 239-244, May.
    8. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    9. Berger, Lawrence M., 2004. "Income, family structure, and child maltreatment risk," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 725-748, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schneider, William, 2017. "Single mothers, the role of fathers, and the risk for child maltreatment," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 81-93.

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