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A Sibling Study of Stepchild Well-being

  • Eirik Evenhouse
  • Siobhan Reilly

Examining 33 indicators of well-being from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we conclude that stepchildren’ s inferior outcomes are not entirely explained by sample selection. Using sibling comparisons to control for unobserved family characteristics, we identify stepparent effects by comparing half-siblings in families in which one child has both parents and the other a parent and stepparent. Most estimated effects retain their sign after differencing across siblings, and a third remain statistically significant. The estimates’ sensitivity to the choice of indicator suggests that studies based on a single measure of child wellbeing may be misleading.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXIX/1/248
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 39 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:1:p248-276
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Anne Case & I-Fen Lin & Sara McLanahan, 1999. "How Hungry is the Selfish Gene?," NBER Working Papers 7401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Greg Duncan & Stephen W. Raudenbush, 1998. "Neighborhoods and Adolescent Development: How Can We Determine the Links?," JCPR Working Papers 59, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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