Changes in Family Structure: Consequences for Adolescents' Behavior.

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Author (Individual)
Fomby, Paula.
Sennott, Christie A.
Author (Organization)
National Center for Family and Marriage Research.
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Adolescents who experience repeated change in family structure as parents begin and end romantic unions are more likely than adolescents in stable family structures to engage in aggressive, antisocial, or delinquent behavior. This paper examines whether the link between family structure instability and behavior in adolescence may be explained, in part, by the residential and school mobility that are often associated with family structure change. Nationally-representative data from a two-generation study are used to assess the relative effects of instability and mobility on the mother-reported externalizing behavior and self-reported delinquent behavior of adolescents who were 12 to 17 years old in 2006. Results reveal residential and school mobility explain the association of family structure instability with each outcome, and these factors, in turn, are explained by children's exposure to poor peer networks. (Author abstract)

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