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Childhood family disruption and outcomes in young adulthood: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study

Childhood family disruption and outcomes in young adulthood: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study
Childhood family disruption and outcomes in young adulthood: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study

This thesis explores the implications of parental divorce, or separation, and stepfamily formation in childhood for a cohort of young adults. It uses the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has followed up since those born in British in a week in April 1970. The age 26 survey is used to examine outcomes according to the number, type and timing of family transitions up to age 16. A regression based weighting scheme compensates for the effects of differential non-response at later stages of the study and the potential for bias in the reported date of parental separation is addressed.

Over one in four of the cohort members experienced family disruption. Using discrete-time logistic regression hazards models, the research identifies the characteristics of families more likely to undergo transitions by the time the cohort member is 16. The thesis then focuses on three outcomes: achieving fewer than five Ordinary Level examination passes; experiencing unemployment; and, for women, teenage or young motherhood. In the chapters examining educational attainment and early childbearing, the analysis controls for family characteristics from birth onwards to examine whether associations between family disruption and later outcomes are the product of the selection of certain families into disruption, a result of the environment around the time of transitions, or the effect of post disruption circumstances. The chapter considering unemployment evaluates whether certain family transitions continue to be associated with labour market experiences over and above any association with educational attainment.

Outcomes vary according to the sex of the cohort member, the type of disruption and their age at the last transition. Compared to children who grew up living with both natural parents, those who experienced the most common types of family disruption, into a lone mother or stepfather family (without ever living with stepsiblings) are not generally found to have a higher probability of more disadvantaged outcomes after taking early socio-economic circumstances into account. However, late childhood transitions seem to be associated with lower educational attainment for women, while an early move into a lone mother family may place men at a disadvantage in the labour market. Children who experienced less common transitions, such as those who lived in stepfamilies that ever contained stepsiblings or were ever taken into statutory or foster care, have poorer outcomes.

University of Southampton
Cheesbrough, Sarah
6c405375-4fd5-4ee6-ab89-752bfbaff93e
Cheesbrough, Sarah
6c405375-4fd5-4ee6-ab89-752bfbaff93e

Cheesbrough, Sarah (2001) Childhood family disruption and outcomes in young adulthood: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis explores the implications of parental divorce, or separation, and stepfamily formation in childhood for a cohort of young adults. It uses the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has followed up since those born in British in a week in April 1970. The age 26 survey is used to examine outcomes according to the number, type and timing of family transitions up to age 16. A regression based weighting scheme compensates for the effects of differential non-response at later stages of the study and the potential for bias in the reported date of parental separation is addressed.

Over one in four of the cohort members experienced family disruption. Using discrete-time logistic regression hazards models, the research identifies the characteristics of families more likely to undergo transitions by the time the cohort member is 16. The thesis then focuses on three outcomes: achieving fewer than five Ordinary Level examination passes; experiencing unemployment; and, for women, teenage or young motherhood. In the chapters examining educational attainment and early childbearing, the analysis controls for family characteristics from birth onwards to examine whether associations between family disruption and later outcomes are the product of the selection of certain families into disruption, a result of the environment around the time of transitions, or the effect of post disruption circumstances. The chapter considering unemployment evaluates whether certain family transitions continue to be associated with labour market experiences over and above any association with educational attainment.

Outcomes vary according to the sex of the cohort member, the type of disruption and their age at the last transition. Compared to children who grew up living with both natural parents, those who experienced the most common types of family disruption, into a lone mother or stepfather family (without ever living with stepsiblings) are not generally found to have a higher probability of more disadvantaged outcomes after taking early socio-economic circumstances into account. However, late childhood transitions seem to be associated with lower educational attainment for women, while an early move into a lone mother family may place men at a disadvantage in the labour market. Children who experienced less common transitions, such as those who lived in stepfamilies that ever contained stepsiblings or were ever taken into statutory or foster care, have poorer outcomes.

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Published date: 2001

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Local EPrints ID: 464524
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/464524
PURE UUID: 6f3c1129-6f20-4e93-87d8-21066fdb68be

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 23:44
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:13

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Contributors

Author: Sarah Cheesbrough

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