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Childhood family structure and young adult behaviors

Author

Listed:
  • Wei-Jun J. Yeung

    () (Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, P.O. Box 1248 Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA)

  • Greg J. Duncan

    () (Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, 2040 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60202, USA)

  • Martha S. Hill

    () (Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, P.O. Box 1248 Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248, USA)

Abstract

This paper examines a wide variety of forms, and full histories, of family structure to test existing theories of family influences and identify needs for new theories. The focus is on links between childhood family structure and both completed schooling and risk of a nonmarital birth. Using a 27-year span of panel (PSID) data for U.S. children, we find that: (a) change is stressful, (b) timing during childhood is relevant, (c) adults other than parents are important, and (d) two more recently studied family structures (mother-with-grandparent(s) and mother-with-stepfather) do not fit the molds of existing theories. The findings suggest that new theories should consider allocation of resources and reasons people group into family structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Wei-Jun J. Yeung & Greg J. Duncan & Martha S. Hill, 2001. "Childhood family structure and young adult behaviors," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 271-299.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:14:y:2001:i:2:p:271-299
    Note: Received: 11 September 1998/Accepted: 27 March 2000
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Demographic economics · marital dissolution · family structure;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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