We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the association between multipartnered fertility (MPF) -- when parents have children with more than one partner -- and depression. Random-effects models suggest that MPF is associated with a greater likelihood of depression, net of family structure and other covariates. However, these associations disappear in more conservative fixed-effects models that estimate changes in MPF as a function of changes in depression. Results also suggest that social selection may account for the link between MPF and depression, as depressed mothers and fathers are more likely to have a child by a new partner. Ultimately, MPF and depression may be reciprocally related and part of broader processes of social disadvantage. (Author abstract)
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