The Kids Are OK: Divorce and Children's Behavior Problems
Social scientists and commentators disagree on how much of the association between parental divorce and child well-being is causal. This paper reexamines the claim that parental divorce is detrimental to children's emotional well-being, measured in terms of behavior problems. The author analyzed panel data from the 1986-2002 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979, and found that parental divorce is associated with a higher level of behavior problems in children. However, after controlling for unobserved factors that are either constant over time or change at a constant rate over time, the effect of parents' divorce substantially declines and its influence on their children's emotional well-being is not statistically significant.
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- Gary Painter & David I. Levine, 2000.
"Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causal?,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 524-549.
- Painter, Gary & Levine, David I., 1999. "Family Structure and Youths' Outcomes: Which Correlations are Causal?," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt3g7899gz, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Linda Waite, 1995. "Does marriage matter?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(4), pages 483-507, November.
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