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One Parent or Two? The Intertwining of American Marriage and Fertility Patterns

Citation

Rindfuss, Ronald R. & Jones, Jo Ann (1991). One Parent or Two? The Intertwining of American Marriage and Fertility Patterns. Sociological Forum, 6(2), 311-26.

Abstract

Marriage and fertility in the United States have become less firmly entwined as more women bear children without marrying and more couples with children divorce. Today a sizeable number of children are expected to spend a portion of their childhood in one-parent households. Despite the trends in illegitimacy and divorce, the actual effect of out-of-wedlock childbearing on the living arrangements of children has not been fully explicated. Using the National Survey of Family Growth Cycle III, this paper estimates the probability that children aged 0–13 in 1982 are living in two-parent households, controlling for their mothers' marital statuses at their births. We find that marital status at birth is an important predictor of household structure at later ages for both white and black populations; however, the childhood environment is actually quite elastic as women marry, divorce, remarry, and redivorce.

URL

https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01114395

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Sociological Forum

Author(s)

Rindfuss, Ronald R.
Jones, Jo Ann

Year Published

1991

Volume Number

6

Issue Number

2

Pages

311-26

Reference ID

821