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The Effects of Child Support Payments on Developmental Outcomes for Elementary School-Age Children

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  • Virginia W. Knox

Abstract

Past research suggests that increasing the incomes of single mothers will bring integenerational benefits. However, some sources of income may be more beneficial to children than others. This paper evaluates the effects of child support payments from absent fathers on children's achievement test scores and home environments, using three methods to control for heterogeneity among families. The results provide evidence that increased child support payments may improve the academic achievement of elementary school-age children even more than income from other sources. While overall family income appears to affect levels of cognitive stimulation available in children's homes, child support does not have larger effects than other sources of income. These findings suggest that increasing the financial contributions of absent fathers through improved child support enforcement or other interventions may be a particularly beneficial income support strategy for children in single mother families.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginia W. Knox, 1996. "The Effects of Child Support Payments on Developmental Outcomes for Elementary School-Age Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 816-840.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:31:y:1996:i:4:p:816-840
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chien-Chung Huang, 2001. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Nonmarital and Marital Births: Does It Differ by Racial and Age Groups?," JCPR Working Papers 246, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    2. Irwin Garfinkel & Daniel S. Gaylin & Chien-Chung Huang & Sara McLanahan, 2002. "The Roles of Child Support Enforcement and Welfare In Nonmarital Childbearing," JCPR Working Papers 266, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. Malm, Karin E. & Zielewski, Erica H., 2009. "Nonresident father support and reunification outcomes for children in foster care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1010-1018, September.
    4. Ozturk, Orgul & Chyi, hau, 2006. "The Effects of Single Mothers' Welfare Participation and Work Decisions on Children's Attainments," MPRA Paper 10110, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2008.
    5. Reagan A. Baughman, 2017. "The impact of child support on child health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 69-91, March.
    6. Jennifer Roff, 2010. "Welfare, Child Support, and Strategic Behavior: Do High Orders and Low Disregards Discourage Child Support Awards?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
    7. LaFave, Daniel & Thomas, Duncan, 2017. "Extended families and child well-being," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 52-65.
    8. Laura Argys & H. Peters & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Judith Smith, 1998. "The impact of child support on cognitive outcomes of young children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(2), pages 159-173, May.
    9. Steven Garasky & Susan Stewart & Craig Gundersen & Brenda Lohman, 2010. "Toward a Fuller Understanding of Nonresident Father Involvement: An Examination of Child Support, In-Kind Support, and Visitation," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(3), pages 363-393, June.
    10. Lenna Nepomnyaschy & Irwin Garfinkel, 2010. "Fathers' Involvement with Their Nonresident Children and Material Hardship," Working Papers 1271, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    11. Alison Aughinbaugh & Charles Pierret & Donna Rothstein, 2005. "The impact of family structure transitions on youth achievement: Evidence from the children of the NlSY79," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(3), pages 447-468, August.
    12. Anna Aizer & ASara McLanahan, 2006. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Fertility, Parental Investments, and Child Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
    13. David (David Patrick) Madden, 1999. "The kids are alright? An analysis of child benefit using Irish data," Working Papers 199926, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    14. Hau Chyi, 2013. "The Effects of Single Mothers’Welfare Participation and Work Decisions on Children’s Attainments," WISE Working Papers 2013-10-14, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
    15. Steven Garasky & Susan Stewart, 2007. "Evidence of the Effectiveness of Child Support and Visitation: Examining Food Insecurity among Children with Nonresident Fathers," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 105-121, March.
    16. repec:pri:crcwel:wp10-12-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:cysrev:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:180-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Maureen A. Pirog & Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, 2006. "Child support enforcement: Programs and policies, impacts and questions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 943-990.
    19. Maureen R. Waller & Marianne Bitler, 2007. "The Consequences of Couples' Pregnancy Intentions for Early Parental Behaviors and Infant Health: Does It Matter Who Is Asked?," Working Papers 1013, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..

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