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Family Structure and Child Well-Being: Economic Resources vs. Parental Behaviors

Elizabeth Thomson, Thomas L. Hanson and Sara S. McLanahan
Social Forces
Vol. 73, No. 1 (Sep., 1994), pp. 221-242
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2579924
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2579924
Page Count: 22
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Family Structure and Child Well-Being: Economic Resources vs. Parental Behaviors
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Abstract

We used data from the National Survey of Families and Households to investigate economic resources and parental behavior explanations for family structure effects on children. The economic explanation received considerable support in terms of single-mother disadvantage and accounted for a smaller proportion of disadvantage associated with mother-partner families. Parental behaviors, particularly maternal and paternal support, accounted for much smaller proportions of disadvantages found in mother-stepfather as well as mother-partner families. Parental behaviors did not appear to mediate any of the economic resource effects on children.

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