Does the Creation of Three-Generation Households Lead Grandmothers to Leave the Work Force?

Peter D. Brandon, Australian National University

Much is known about the consequences of non-marital child bearing on children and mothers. What is less known, however, is the consequences for co-resident grandmothers, many of whom live with adult sole-parent daughters and new grandchildren. Heretofore, little research has identified outcomes for the newly-formed, three-generation household. This study fills part of this gap in our knowledge by investigating a potential consequence of non-marital childbearing on the family of origin, namely, grandmother exits from the labor force. Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation and discrete-time hazard models, I found that non-marital childbearing increases the risk of grandmothers’ leaving work. Family structure also mattered with grandmothers’ risks of leaving jobs being strongest when early childbearing and unmarried parenthood were jointly considered. The findings extend the literature on the consequences of non-marital child bearing and reveal its broader impact on the family of origin.

Presented in Session 125: Living Arrangements and Work