Disadvantage among Children Born to Single Mothers: Can Coresident Kin Help?

Jennifer M. Augustine, University of Texas at Austin

We investigate whether coresident kin can help limit disadvantages often faced by children born to unmarried mothers and help support their development. Using a nationally representative sample of preschool-aged children born to unmarried mothers (n = 217) and intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we explore five factors associated with disadvantage among single mothers--income, psychological well-being, parenting, routine and stability, and access to center care arrangements--and the link between these factors, kin coresidence, and child outcomes important for school readiness. Findings indicate that coresiding with kin during preschool is associated with greater income (compared to families who never coresided with kin) but less routine. Children coresiding with kin during preschool also had higher verbal skills, but these skills were not due to income differences. There were no significant associations between kin coresidence and psychological well-being, parenting, or child care arrangement, or children’s math skills, cognitive skills, or behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 6