Parental repartnering and child well-being: What role does coresidence play?
Keywords:fixed effects analysis, stepfamilies, family structure
Objective: The paper examines the effects of parental repartnering (including residential and nonresidential partnerships) on children’s well-being.
Background: An increasing number of children experience the repartnering of their parents. While previous research has focused on coresidential repartnering, this paper also considers the transition to a steady nonresidential (living apart together – LAT) partnership of formerly single parents. Specifically, the paper examines whether these transitions differ in their effect on children.
Method: This study uses data from the German Family Panel (pairfam) to analyze the effects of parental repartnering on children’s emotional and behavioral well-being. The children in the sample were seven to 16 years old. Individual fixed effects regressions were estimated for two types of parental partnership transitions: the formation of a LAT partnership and the formation of a coresidential partnership.
Results: The results show that children's emotional symptoms increased in response to both parental LAT repartnering and coresidential repartnering, whereas children’s conduct problems increased only in response to parental coresidential repartnering.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that the formation of a nonresidential partnership by a parent can affect children's emotional well-being, and thus should be considered when analyzing post-separation family development.
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