IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucd/wpaper/201303.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Absent fathers, absent siblings: Two sides of lone parenthood for children

Author

Listed:
  • Tony Fahey

    (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

  • Patricia Keilthy

    (School of Applied Social Science, University College Dublin)

Abstract

Children in lone parent families typically experience not only parental absence but also sibling absence: they are more likely to be sole offspring or to have fewer siblings than children of stable unions. Previous research has looked at these factors separately and suggests that they might work in opposite directions: negative effects on children’s development of parental absence (i.e. reduced supply of parenting) might be counter-balanced by positive effects of having fewer siblings (i.e. reduced demand for parenting). These patterns also have implications for social inequalities: union instability is more common among lower SES families and its fertility-limiting effects are also likely to be similarly stratified. This would tend to modify the historic association between lower SES and higher fertility, with resulting compositional effects on the population of vulnerable children. This paper explores these issues using data on nine year-old children and their families drawn from the Growing Up in Ireland survey. The findings confirm the sibling absence effect of union instability, the social gradient in that effect and tendency of sibling absence to counterbalance the negative parenting effect of union instability. The conclusion reached is that parental absence and lower sibling numbers should be recognised as two sides of lone parenthood for children and should both be taken into account in assessing the impact of lone parenthood on children.

Suggested Citation

  • Tony Fahey & Patricia Keilthy, 2013. "Absent fathers, absent siblings: Two sides of lone parenthood for children," Working Papers 201303, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201303
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201303.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2013
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gary S. Becker & H. Gregg Lewis, 1974. "Interaction between Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 81-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    3. Jui-Chung Allen Li, 2006. "The institutionalization and pace of fertility in American stepfamilies," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 14(12), pages 237-266, March.
    4. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
    5. Lee Lillard & Linda Waite, 1993. "A joint model of marital childbearing and marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(4), pages 653-681, November.
    6. Russell, Helen & Maître, Bertrand & Nolan, Brian, 2010. "Monitoring Poverty Trends in Ireland 2004-2007: Key Issues for Children, People of Working Age and Older People," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS17.
    7. Lucia Coppola & Mariachiara Di Cesare, 2008. "How fertility and union stability interact in shaping new family patterns in Italy and Spain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(4), pages 117-144, March.
    8. Vegard Skirbekk, 2008. "Fertility trends by social status," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(5), pages 145-180, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    lone parenthood; fathers; siblings; children; Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201303. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Geary Tech). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/geucdie.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.