Shared Physical Custody and Children’s Experience of Stress

Jani Turunen, Stockholm University

This paper studies shared physical custody in Sweden. We ask whether children in shared physical custody settings report higher levels of stress compared to children living with a single parent or with a parent and a stepparent. The analysis uses logistic regression analysis and is based on the Swedish Surveys of Living Conditions (ULF). These are nationally representative rich datasets with information from both parents and children containing a wide variety of relevant control variables such as parental labor market- and occupational status, educational attainment, income and housing status as well as children's social relations, well-being etc. The tentative results show a surprising pattern with children living in a shared physical custody setting with alternating residence between the households of the mother and the father reporting a markedly lower likelihood of feeling stressed. We also see that girls have much higher likelihood of feeling stressed than boys do.

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Presented in Session 192: Family Structure, Parenting and Child Well-Being