Effects of Support from Kin and Nonkin on the Well-Being of Children in Single-Parent Households
Esther Friedman, University of California, Los Angeles
About half of U.S. children are exposed to the potentially adverse consequences of living apart from a parent, usually their father. Research has focused on stepfathers, grandmothers, and involvement of nonresident fathers as providers of support to children living with single mothers. Other kin and nonkin, however, both inside and outside of the household, also may affect children’s welfare. Cohabiting stepparents and nonresident members of the family's social network may provide children with social and economic resources. Using data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, we investigate the effects of coresident and non-coresident kin and nonkin on children's welfare. We describe children's ties to coresident and non-coresident kin and nonkin and then compare the effects of each relationship on children's health and well-being. In light of unique aspects of the kinship system of Mexican immigrants, we pay particular attention to how this group differs from non-immigrants.