Trajectories of Maternal Repartnering and Child Development

Sharon Bzostek, Rutgers University
Lawrence M. Berger, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Maternal repartnering is an increasingly-common experience for young children, yet little is known about how the diverse pathways through which social father families are formed and the different ages at which children experience maternal repartnering may influence children’s subsequent development. This paper uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine associations between maternal repartnering and children’s cognitive and behavioral development during the first nine years of life. We pay close attention to the type and timing of family structure transitions experienced by children, and examine whether the effects of these transitions tend to persist or fade over time. Additional analyses to be added to the paper will focus on potential moderators of the associations between maternal repartnering and child development—including gender, SES, and race/ethnicity.

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Presented in Session 167: Family Instability