alexa Double impact: what sibling data can tell us about the long-term negative effects of parental divorce.


Journal of Clinical & Medical Genomics

Author(s): Wolfinger NH, KowaleskiJones L, Smith KR

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Abstract Most prior research on the adverse consequences of parental divorce has analyzed only one child per family. As a result, it is not known whether the same divorce affects siblings differently. We address this issue by analyzing paired sibling data from the 1994 General Social Survey (GSS) and 1994 Survey of American Families (SAF). Both seemingly unrelated regressions and random effects models are used to study the effect of family background on offspring's educational attainment and marital stability. Parental divorce adversely affects the educational attainment and the probability of divorce of both children within a sibship; in other words, siblings tend to experience the same divorce the same way. However, family structure of origin only accounts for a trivial portion of the shared variance in offspring's educational attainment and marital stability, so parental divorce is only one of many factors determining how offspring fare. These findings were unchanged when controlling for a number of differences both between and within sibships. Also, the negative effects of parental divorce largely do not vary according to respondent characteristics.
This article was published in Soc Biol and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Medical Genomics

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