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Family structure, gender, and adolescent emotional well-being
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. (Demografiska avdelningen)
2013 (English)In: Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, ISSN 1050-2556, Vol. 54, no 6, 476-504 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on gender differences in emotional well-beingof adolescents in five different family settings. It analyzestwo main mediators—economic deprivation and parental socialization—and is based on unusually rich survey data combiningparental and child reports as well as information from administrativeregisters. The results show lower well-being of childrenin single-mother families and stepfamilies. These associations aremainly mediated through parental socialization rather than economicdeprivation, except for girls in their early to midteens livingwith a single mother. Different patterns of lower well-being levelsfor boys and girls in different family settings are found.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 54, no 6, 476-504 p.
Keyword [en]
child data, child well-being, emotional well-being, family structure, single parents, stepfamily
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93281DOI: 10.1080/10502556.2013.810982OAI: diva2:646077
FAS, Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, 2004-1975
Available from: 2013-09-06 Created: 2013-09-06 Last updated: 2013-09-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Stepfamily Dynamics in Sweden: Essays on family structure and children’s well-being
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stepfamily Dynamics in Sweden: Essays on family structure and children’s well-being
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates different aspects of family structure and children’s well-being in Sweden. Applying a child perspective, it analyzes children’s likelihood of stepfamily entry, their emotional well-being in different family forms and educational outcomes in families with complex sibling structures. Analyses are performed using data from nationally representative surveys of both parents and children as well as from administrative registers.

The results do not show any socioeconomic differences in the process of family reconstitution, although children of parents with low educational attainment are more likely to be in the risk pool for stepfamily formation. There are however differences by gender, with girls having higher likelihood of stepfamily entry than boys, especially in the younger ages. Children are also more likely to experience a stepfamily formation on the paternal side, thus gaining a stepmother. Gender differences can also be found in the association between family type and emotional as well as educational well-being, with girls showing slightly more adverse outcomes than boys. Children of both sexes do however show lower well-being and school outcomes in post-separation family types than in original two-parent families.

Like previous international stepfamily literature the results show that Swedish children in stepfamilies and blended families experience adverse emotional and educational outcomes but that the differences are generally small. The main contrast to previous, mostly American, studies are the lack of socioeconomic differences in stepfamily formation and that adverse emotional outcomes in single parent families as well as stepfamilies seem to be mainly explained by differences in parenting and the parent-child relationship rather than economic deprivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2013. 43 p.
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 8
Stepfamily, family structure, child well-being
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-93284 (URN)978-91-87235-50-4 (ISBN)978-91-87235-49-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-11, Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Familjestruktur, ekonomiska resurser och barns levnadsvillkor
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2004-1975

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-09-19 Created: 2013-09-06 Last updated: 2016-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Turunen, Jani
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