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The Consequences of Multi-partnered Fertility for Parental Involvement and Relationships

Author

Listed:
  • Marcia J. Carlson

    (Columbia University)

  • Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr.

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

At the nexus of changing marital and fertility behavior is a new reality of contemporary family life -- the fact that a significant fraction of adults today (will) have biological children by more than one partner, sometimes called "multi-partnered fertility." In this paper, we use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to explore the consequences of multi-partnered fertility for family relationships about three years after a baby's birth. We find that earlier parental obligations are strongly linked to the focal couple's relationship quality and their ability to co-parent effectively. Fathers' having previous children is particularly deleterious -- at least from mothers' perspectives. We discuss the implications of our findings for family roles in childrearing, the organization of kin networks, and current public policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcia J. Carlson & Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., 2007. "The Consequences of Multi-partnered Fertility for Parental Involvement and Relationships," Working Papers 908, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:crcwel:wp06-28-ff.pdf
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    File URL: https://fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/sites/fragilefamilies/files/wp06-28-ff.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Ronald B. Mincy, 2002. "Who Should Marry Whom? : Multiple Partner Fertility Among New Parents," Working Papers 964, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
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