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Extended Family Households among U.S. Children: Differences by Race/Ethnicity and SES

Sun, August 12, 8:30 to 10:10am, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 2

Abstract

This study uses nationally representative data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N=4,484), to longitudinally examine the prevalence and predictors of extended family households among U.S. children and to explore variation by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES). Overall, 35% of youth experience this family structure before age 18. Racial/ethnic and SES differences are substantial: Fifty-eight percent of Black children and 35% of Hispanic children live with an extended relative, compared to 20% of White children. Further, 47% of children whose parents did not finish high school spend time in an extended family, relative to 17% of children whose parents earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Economic capacities and family needs are key predictors of extended family coresidence. Findings suggest that extended family households are a common living arrangement for children and that the transition into an extended family is largely a response to social and economic need.

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