Both Counted and Missed: The Economic Condition of All Children in Multigenerational Households

Pamela Davidson, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This study expands on previous research on multigenerational households by providing a detailed account of the effects of multi-generational co-residency on children's economic wellbeing. The research presented here suggests that household composition is a more important correlate of children's economic condition in grandparent households then household headship. Using the 2001 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS), I compile two household composition measures based on the presence and absence (1) of married parents and grandparents and (2) of other children besides grandchildren. These variables are used as independent variables in child-level models with household income as the dependent variable to test for the importance of household structure on children economic wellbeing. Following this, multivariate modeling techniques are used to ascertain the importance of various household members on boosting household income. This analysis points to the importance of pooling in multigenerational households and of supplemental income sources for grandparent households.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Families, Parenting, Adolescents, and Children