Family Structure and Wellbeing of Out-of-Wedlock Children: The Significance of the Biological Parents' Relationship
This study examines the effects of the relationship structure between biological parents on infant health and behavior using a sample of children born to unmarried parents in the United States. Using descriptive and multivariate analysis, we find that: (1) There is no difference in child wellbeing measured at age one between children whose biological parents marry within the first year after childbirth, and children whose biological parents remain in a cohabiting union; (2) The relationship structure of the biological parents matters most at childbirth with children born to cohabiting biological parents realizing better outcomes, on average, than those born to mothers who are less involved with the child’s father; and (3) Children born to cohabiting or visiting parents who end their relationship within the first year of the child’s life are up to 9 percent more likely to have asthma compared to children of continuously cohabiting, continuously visiting, cohabiting-at-birth or visiting at-birth and married-subsequently biological parents.
|Date of creation:||30 Oct 2005|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2006|
|Publication status:||Published in Demographic Research, Vol. 15, Article 4, pages 61 - 104|
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- Ribar, David C., 2004. "What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies," IZA Discussion Papers 998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Björklund, Anders & Ginther, Donna K. & Sundström, Marianne, 2004. "Family Structure and Child Outcomes in the United States and Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 1259, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Thomas Deleire & Ariel Kalil, 2002.
"Good things come in threes: Single-parent multigenerational family structure and adolescent adjustment,"
Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 393-413, May.
- Thomas DeLeire & Ariel Kalil, 2001. "Good Things Come in Threes: Single-parent Multigenerational Family Structure and Adolescent Adjustment," JCPR Working Papers 242, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Anne Winkler, 1997. "Economic decision-making by cohabitors: findings regarding income pooling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(8), pages 1079-1090.
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