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Title: Continuity and Change in U.S. Children's Family Composition, 1968–2017
Abstract We document changes in U.S. children's family household composition from 1968 to 2017 with regard to the number and types of kin that children lived with and the frequency of family members' household entrances and departures. Data are from the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics (N = 30,412). Children experienced three decades of increasing instability and diversification in household membership, arriving at a state of “stable complexity” in the most recent decade. Stable complexity is distinguished by a decline in the number of coresident parents; a higher number of stepparents, grandparents, and other relatives in children's households; and less turnover in household membership compared with prior decades, including fewer sibling departures. College-educated households with children were consistently the most stable and least diverse. On several dimensions, household composition has become increasingly similar for non-Hispanic Black and White children. Children in Hispanic households are distinct in having larger family sizes and more expected household entrances and departures by coresident kin.
Award ID(s):
2042875 1623684
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
731 to 760
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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