The Living Arrangements of New Unmarried Mothers
We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to describe the living arrangements of new, unwed mothers and to examine the determinants of those living arrangements. Our analysis goes beyond previous studies in several ways. First, we examine a wide diversity of living arrangements for a homogenous sample of recent, unwed mothers. Second, our analysis of the determinants of single mothers? living arrangements includes information on fathers? as well as mothers? characteristics. We also have data on the quality of the parents? relationship. Previous studies have lacked information on the characteristics of non-resident fathers and couple relationships, both of which are likely to affect decisions about living arrangements. We find that the characteristics of both partners have significant and, sometimes different, effects on the living arrangements of single mothers. In addition, women who reported being in a high quality, supportive relationship were much more likely to cohabit. These findings highlight the importance of looking beyond strictly human capital explanations of marriage, cohabitation, and living arrangements. Emotional capital may be equally, if not more important, than human capital to the development of successful relationships.
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- Larry Bumpass & R. Raley, 1995. "Redefining single-parent families: Cohabitation and changing family reality," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 97-109, February.
- Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Hillard & Linda Waite, . "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Non-Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
- Pamela Smock & Wendy Manning, 1997. "Cohabiting partners’ economic circumstances and marriage," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 331-341, August.
- Winkler, Anne E., 1992. "The impact of housing costs on the living arrangements of single mothers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 388-403, November.
- Nancy Landale & Renata Forste, 1991. "Patterns of Entry into Cohabitation and Marriage Among Mainland Puerto Rican Women," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 587-607, November.
- Rebecca A London, 2000. "The interaction between single mothers' living arrangements and welfare participation," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 93-117.
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