Cross-National Differences in Early Family Instability By Socioeconomic Status

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 42
Oral Presentation
James RAYMO , Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Marcia CARLSON , University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Alicia VANORMAN , University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
So-jung LIM , Utah State University, Logan, UT
Extensive research has shown that family instability has negative consequences for children’s well-being. At the same time, there is growing evidence that differences in children’s experience of family instability by parental socioeconomic status are growing—at least in the U.S. Less well understood is the extent to which this may also be occurring across industrialized countries more broadly. In this paper, we add to the literature by evaluating the extent to which the gap by education in family instability during childhood appears to be growing in cross-national context, using data for 17 industrialized countries with multi-state life tables and country-specific hazard models. To the extent that our preliminary results hold true, this research suggests that inequality in children’s family experiences may be an important feature of life across the Western industrialized world, and that protecting child wellbeing for those born to less advantaged parents may be a growing concern.