Family Structure and Self-Rated Health in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Family Structure and Self-Rated Health in Adolescence and Young Adulthood While the relationship between family structure and child well-being is well-established, little is known about the specific impact of family structure on health in adolescence and young adulthood. Using data on 12,737 respondents from Waves I and III of Add Health, we examine the association between family structure (two biological/adoptive, stepfather, and single mother families at Wave I) and self-rated health in adolescence (Wave I) and young adulthood (Wave III). We build on previous literature by investigating whether the relationship between family structure and self-rated health is mediated by demographic background, socioeconomic status, parent–child relationships, external social support, and health characteristics and behaviors, and whether the influence of these factors endures into adulthood. Overall, we find that self-rated health is reduced for respondents who lived in stepfather or single mother families during adolescence, although this effect is attenuated in young adulthood. Family structure effects at both waves are explained by socioeconomic status, social support and competence, and health characteristics and behaviors. We find little evidence that demographic background or mother–child relationships mediate the relationship between family structure and self-rated health. By young adulthood, effects of most adolescent predictors are attenuated, but health assessments are largely influenced by changes in health characteristics and behaviors, and in family type. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Family Structure and Self-Rated Health in Adolescence and Young Adulthood

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-008-9090-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

While the relationship between family structure and child well-being is well-established, little is known about the specific impact of family structure on health in adolescence and young adulthood. Using data on 12,737 respondents from Waves I and III of Add Health, we examine the association between family structure (two biological/adoptive, stepfather, and single mother families at Wave I) and self-rated health in adolescence (Wave I) and young adulthood (Wave III). We build on previous literature by investigating whether the relationship between family structure and self-rated health is mediated by demographic background, socioeconomic status, parent–child relationships, external social support, and health characteristics and behaviors, and whether the influence of these factors endures into adulthood. Overall, we find that self-rated health is reduced for respondents who lived in stepfather or single mother families during adolescence, although this effect is attenuated in young adulthood. Family structure effects at both waves are explained by socioeconomic status, social support and competence, and health characteristics and behaviors. We find little evidence that demographic background or mother–child relationships mediate the relationship between family structure and self-rated health. By young adulthood, effects of most adolescent predictors are attenuated, but health assessments are largely influenced by changes in health characteristics and behaviors, and in family type.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 24, 2008

References

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