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Family Structure Changes and Children´s Health, Behavior, and Educational Outcomes

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Abstract

More and more children do not grow up in traditional nuclear fam- ilies. Instead, they grow up in single-parent households or in fami- lies with a step-parent. Hence, it is important to improve our under- standing of the impact of "shocks" in family structure due to parental relationship dissolution on children. In this study I empirically test whether children are traumatized both in the short and the long run by shocks in the family structure during childhood. I focus on edu- cational, behavioral, and health outcomes. A population sample of Danish children born in January to May 1985 is used for the analysis. The empirical cross-sectional analysis indicates a negative relation be- tween the number of family structure changes and children’s health, behavior, and educational outcomes. These results are con…rmed by a di¤erences-in-di¤erences analysis of health outcomes. This suggests that there is not only a selection e¤ect, but also a causal e¤ect on children of shocks in the family structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2009. "Family Structure Changes and Children´s Health, Behavior, and Educational Outcomes," Working Papers 09-15, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2009_015
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    File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/09-15_awu.pdf
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    1. repec:zbw:espost:168322 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Peter, Frauke H. & Spieß, C. Katharina, 2016. "Family Instability and Locus of Control in Adolescence," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1439-1471.
    3. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Seiberlich, Ruben R., 2009. "A socio-economic analysis of youth disconnectedness," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-070, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Eva M. Berger & Frauke H. Peter & C. Katharina Spieß, 2010. "Wie hängen familiäre Veränderungen und das mütterliche Wohlbefinden mit der frühkindlichen Entwicklung zusammen?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 79(3), pages 27-44.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family structure; child outcomes; health; crime; education;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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