More and more children do not grow up in traditional nuclear families. Instead they grow up in single parent households or in families with a step-parent. Hence it is important to improve our understanding of the impact of "shocks" in family structure due to parental relationship dissolution on children. In this study I empirically test whether children are traumatized both in the short and the long run by shocks in the family structure during childhood. I focus on educational, behavioral, and health outcomes. A population sample of Danish children born in January to May 1983, 1984, and 1985 is used for the analysis. The empirical cross-sectional analysis indicates a negative relation between the number of family structure changes and children.s educational outcomes. Children experiencing many family structure changes also seem to have worse health outcomes.
Family structure; Child outcomes; Health; Crime; Education
Main Research Area:
Annual Conference of the European Society for Population Economics (ESPE), 2009