Family Mapping: A Cumulative Measure of Family Structure and Instability

Kate T. Harcourt, Auburn University
Francesca Adler-Baeder, Auburn University
Gregory S. Pettit, Auburn University
Stephen Erath, Auburn University
Amy Rauer, Auburn University

The instability of the family environment and changing family structure are strong focal points for research on adolescent development. The research, however, is limited due to broad definitions of family structure and measurement methods that rely on static measures of family structure instead of cumulative experience and instability. Our goal is to offer a user-friendly implementation procedure and coding system that will efficiently capture a broad range of information. The coding system offered will include multiple levels of detail and categories of information from which a researcher can chose, depending on their specific study questions. Planned results include examinations in which use of standard methods for capturing current static family structure vs. use of the information provided by the family mapping method will be examined to identify misclassifications of young adults in family groups and to uncover within family group differences in outcomes not identifiable with standard static measures.

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Presented in Poster Session 5