Why are Children with Married Parents Healthier? The Case of Pediatric Asthma

Why are Children with Married Parents Healthier? The Case of Pediatric Asthma Among a recent birth cohort in U.S. cities, young children were far more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and to experience an asthma-related emergency if their parents were unmarried. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, I find that the child health benefits of marriage seem to stem from the benefits of parental coresidence and the demographic and socioeconomic correlates of marriage. Children whose parents live apart appear to be at heightened risk of asthma even after taking into account demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The child health benefits of marriage are only weakly related to mothers’ health behaviors and are not related to father involvement. An analysis of relationship transitions suggests that marital disruption may be more harmful for children than the disruption of cohabiting unions. The results provide some cautions and considerations for the U.S. government’s Healthy Marriage Initiative. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Why are Children with Married Parents Healthier? The Case of Pediatric Asthma

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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/s11113-008-9102-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Among a recent birth cohort in U.S. cities, young children were far more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and to experience an asthma-related emergency if their parents were unmarried. Using longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, I find that the child health benefits of marriage seem to stem from the benefits of parental coresidence and the demographic and socioeconomic correlates of marriage. Children whose parents live apart appear to be at heightened risk of asthma even after taking into account demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. The child health benefits of marriage are only weakly related to mothers’ health behaviors and are not related to father involvement. An analysis of relationship transitions suggests that marital disruption may be more harmful for children than the disruption of cohabiting unions. The results provide some cautions and considerations for the U.S. government’s Healthy Marriage Initiative.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 15, 2008

References

  • Feminization and juvenilization of poverty: Trends, relative risks, causes, and consequences
    Bianchi, SM
  • Family structure and child well-being: The significance of parental cohabitation
    Brown, SL

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