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Susan Murphy to speak at U-M kickoff for data science initiative, Oct 6, Rackham

Andrew Goodman-Bacon, former trainee, wins 2015 Nevins Prize for best dissertation in economic history

Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 5 at noon, 6050 ISR
Colter Mitchell: Biological consequences of poverty

Family Boundary Ambiguity And The Measurement Of Family Structure: The Significance Of Cohabitation

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Brown, S.L., and Wendy Manning. 2009. "Family Boundary Ambiguity And The Measurement Of Family Structure: The Significance Of Cohabitation." Demography, 46(1): 85-101.

We used data from the first wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine family boundary ambiguity in adolescent and mother reports of family structure and found that the greater the family complexity, the more likely adolescent and mother reports of family structure were discrepant. This boundary ambiguity in reporting was most pronounced for cohabiting stepfamilies. Among mothers who reported living with a cohabiting partner only one-third of their teenage children also reported residing in a cohabiting stepfamily. Conversely, for those adolescents who reported their family structure as a cohabiting stepfamily just two-thirds of their mothers agreed. Levels of agreement between adolescents and mothers about residing in a two-biological-parent family, single-mother family, or married stepfamily were considerably higher Estimates of the distribution of adolescents across family structures vary according to whether adolescent mother or combined reports are used Moreover the relationship between family structure and family processes differed depending on whose reports of family structure were used and boundary ambiguity was associated with several key family processes. Family boundary ambiguity presents an important measurement challenge for family scholars.

PMCID: PMC2831266. (Pub Med Central)

Country of focus: United States of America.

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