Longitudinal Effects of Growing up with a Nonresident Father

Mindy E. Scott, Child Trends
Fran Goldscheider, University of Maryland
Megan Barry, Child Trends
Nina Chien, Child Trends
Nicole R. Steward-Streng, Child Trends

Prior research suggests that some children with nonresident biological fathers experience lower well-being compared to children with resident biological fathers. However, this body of research tends to focus on well-being during childhood or adolescence. Using data from Waves I, III and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we extend current research by examining trajectories of well-being from adolescence into adulthood. We measure children's depressive symptoms and problem drinking during adolescence, young adulthood and adulthood, and examine whether differences in these outcomes between children growing up with a nonresident father versus those with a resident father persist over time. We also examine whether these differences vary based on the length of time spent without a father in the household, and for sons versus daughters.

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