Child Wellbeing in Two-Parent Families: How Do Characteristics and Relationships Matter?
We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the role of individual and family characteristics, as well as mother-father and parent-child relationships, with regard to differences in wellbeing for children living with their biological mother and either their biological father or a social father. We find that accounting for these factors produces a large decrease in the association between two-parent family type and cognitive skills, but does little to explain the association between family type and externalizing behavior problems, given suppressor effects of several of the father characteristics and relationship measures. Furthermore, results from Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions suggest that differences in cognitive skills can largely be explained by differences in the characteristics and behaviors of the individuals comprising biological- and social-father families, whereas differences in externalizing behavior problems predominantly reflect differences in returns to (effects of) these characteristics and behaviors for children in the two family types.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2011|
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600, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
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