Families, Relationships and Societies
This study exploits data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a birth cohort study of a diverse sample of children from 20 cities in the United States (N = 3,676), to examine how cognitive, behavioural and health outcomes of five-year-old children differ according to their family structure and family stability. We define three models: one that measures family structure at birth only, a second that measures current family structure at year five conditional on family structure at birth, and a third that measures changes in family structure from birth to age five. We find that while family structure has persistent links to early child outcomes, the effects are significantly altered by stability of the family structure over time. These findings remain robust even after addressing selection.
Behavioural problems, Child health, Cognitive ability, Family stability, Family structure
Craigie, Terry Ann L.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; and Waldfogel, Jane, "Family Structure, Family Stability and Outcomes of Five-year-old Children" (2012). Economics: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.