New Family Measures: An Examination of Direct Measures of Cohabitation and Parent Pointers

Kelly Balistreri, Bowling Green State University

The share of children residing with two biological, married parents has been steadily declining while the proportions of children residing in stepfamilies or families formed outside of marriage (e.g., single-parent and cohabiting families) are at all-time highs (Casper & Bianchi, 2002). Family structures are now quite diverse not only as a result of the high rate of divorce, but also the proliferation of complex stepfamilies, increasing rates of nonmarital childbearing, and growth in cohabitation (e.g., Bianchi & Casper, 2000). This research uses the 2007/08 CPS ASEC to examine the differences in children’s living arrangements focusing on parental marital and cohabitation status. We examine two questions: 1) what are the living arrangements of children, specifically distinguishing children according to race/ethnicity and nativity status and 2) how do the family circumstances of children contrast when applying the new measures versus the traditional measures with attention to the socio-demographic characteristics of the parent(s).

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Presented in Poster Session 2