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Growing Up with Single Parents and Stepparents: Long-Term Effects on Family Solidarity

Lynn White
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 56, No. 4 (Nov., 1994), pp. 935-948
DOI: 10.2307/353604
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353604
Page Count: 14
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Growing Up with Single Parents and Stepparents: Long-Term Effects on Family Solidarity
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Abstract

Using data on 3,625 respondents from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households, this analysis examines the long-term consequences of childhood family structure for adult relationships with parents and siblings. Using a broad array of indicators of family solidarity—relationship quality, contact frequency, and perceived and actual social support—this research compares adults raised by single parents with those raised in intact families and compares those who grew up in stepfamilies with those raised by single parents. Results show that divorced single-parent families are associated with reduced solidarity between parents and children. Custodial mothers' remarriages are associated with more parent-child solidarity than single-mother families, but the remarriages of custodial fathers are associated with lower solidarity. Sibling solidarity is not significantly affected by childhood family structure.

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