Married, Cohabiting, Single Parent, Extended and Skipped Generation Families: Family Structure and Children’s Health, Medical Care and Schooling Outcomes in the U.S.

Patrick M. Krueger, University of Colorado at Denver
Douglas Jutte, University of California, Berkeley
Luisa Franzini, University of Texas at Houston
Irma T. Elo, University of Pennsylvania
Mark D. Hayward, University of Texas at Austin

We investigate the relationship between detailed family structure and children’s health care utilization, barriers to health care access, health and medical conditions, and cognitive and schooling outcomes, and then examine whether socioeconomic status explains those disparities. We examine children across nine family structures: (1) nuclear families that include both married parents, (2) cohabiting couple families, (3) single mother families, (4) single father families, (5) extended nuclear families that include married parents and at least one grandparent, (6) extended cohabiting couple families, (7) extended single mother families, (8) extended single father families, and (9) skipped generation families that include children and grandparents, but no parents.Over the past several decades children are increasingly living in cohabiting, single parent, extended, or skipped generation families. But children who live non-nuclear families often have worse health and wellbeing than children who live in nuclear families, and socioeconomic status only partially accounts for those differences.

  See paper

Presented in Session 72: New Approaches to Understanding Child Health: A Closer Look at the Family