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Family structure and children’s living conditions: A comparative study of 24 countries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2010 (English)In: Child Indicators Research, ISSN 1874-8988, Vol. 3, no 1, 127-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study uses large-scale cross-national data from 24 countries to describe the living conditions of children residing with a single mother as compared with children who live with two original parents. Three central areas are studied: children’s social support, health, and material resources. The data are derived from the international WHO study Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) of 2001/02. The survey includes nationally representative samples of school pupils of 11, 13, and 15 years of age in countries in Europe and North America and in Israel. After relevant selections, total n=95,335. The general finding is that children in single-mother households have lower social support from parents, poorer health, and smaller material resources than children living with two original parents. The general tendency is rather similar across a large number of countries although more differences are found in some countries and fewer in others. There is no clear pattern in how the association with family type varies between countries, for example, according to the share of single-mother households, by welfare state regime, or in relation to single parents’ employment rates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 3, no 1, 127-147 p.
Keyword [en]
Children, family structure, single-mother household, cross-national
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31624DOI: 10.1007/s12187-009-9059-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-31624DiVA: diva2:277935
Available from: 2009-11-23 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2011-01-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Children's Living Conditions: Studies on Health, Family and School
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Children's Living Conditions: Studies on Health, Family and School
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present dissertation includes four empirical studies, each of which focuses on specific aspects of children’s living conditions.

Study I analyses the association between young people’s social relations and health complaints using Swedish nationally representative survey data on 10- to 18-year-olds. Both relations with parents and with peers are associated with health complaints. Relational content is more strongly associated with health complaints than is relational structure. With regard to relational content, strained relations are more strongly associated with health complaints than are supportive relations.

Study II investigates how effort and reward in school are associated with pupils’ subjective health using data from the Stockholm School Survey. Both effort and reward are shown to be positively associated with subjective health, and in particular pupils who report to put in high effort in school have high levels of subjective health. Contextual variation in health is found for girls but not for boys.

Study III is based on Swedish register data and analyses the association between family type and choice of programme in upper secondary school. Children in single-mother households less often choose the natural science/technology (NT) programme compared with children who live with two original parents. Having a resident or a non-resident parent with NT skills is positively associated with choice of the NT programme.

Study IV analyses the association between family type and social support, health, and material resources in 24 countries. The data are derived from the international Health Behaviour of School-aged Children (HBSC) survey. In a majority of the countries studied, children in single-mother households report smaller resources compared with children living with two original parents. No clear pattern is found with regard to differences between countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University, 2010. 30 p.
Series
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 77
Keyword
Children, living conditions, well-being, family, health, school, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31627 (URN)978-91-7155-978-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-01-27, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 4: Accepted. Available from: 2010-01-03 Created: 2009-11-23 Last updated: 2010-11-24Bibliographically approved

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