Parents’ Relationship Quality and Children’s Behavior in Married and Cohabiting Families
While an extensive literature has shown that family structure is linked with child wellbeing, less well understood is how the dynamics within families affect children. Family systems theory posits that parents’ couple relationship is important for children’s well-being. In this paper, we use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N = 773) to examine how couple supportiveness in co-resident families is related to children’s externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems from child ages 3 to 9. Using latent growth curve and fixed effects models, we find that parents’ greater supportiveness is modestly associated with lower levels of children’s behavioral problems. Using cross-lagged structural equation models to examine the direction of the association, we find some evidence that relationship quality and children’s behavioral problems are reciprocally related. Overall, our study suggests that more positive couple interactions are beneficial for children residing with both of their biological parents.
|Date of creation:||May 2013|
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- Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012.
"The Economics of Child Well-Being,"
IZA Discussion Papers
6930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Nancy Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan, 2004. "Effects of child health on parents’ relationship status," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 569-584, August.
- Patrick Royston, 2004. "Multiple imputation of missing values," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 227-241, September.
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