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Gaydosh, Lauren (2017). Beyond Orphanhood: Parental Nonresidence and Child Well-Being in Tanzania. Journal of Marriage and Family, 79(5), 1369-1387. PMCID: PMC5635828


This article used data from the Rufiji Health and Demographic Surveillance System in Tanzania to examine the influence of parental nonresidence on child survival and school entry. Using survival analysis methods, the article tested variations by parent and by cause, examining parental death, nonresidence because of parental relationship status, and migration. In general, maternal nonresidence was more consequential for child survival, whereas paternal nonresidence influences school entry. This is consistent with gendered parenting patterns in the setting. There was important variation by cause and by outcome, particularly for paternal nonresidence. Paternal nonresidence because of nonmarital birth was associated with increased risk of child death, whereas paternal migration was associated with improved survival. Paternal death and migration were associated with lower odds of school entry. This article moves beyond orphanhood to consider multiple causes of parental nonresidence simultaneously, demonstrating that parental nonresidence is not uniformly deleterious for children.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Journal of Marriage and Family


Gaydosh, Lauren