Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Family structure and children's outcomes : a secondary analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland dataset
Author: Brooks, Anne-Marie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 3146
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
This thesis uses data from the Growing Up in Ireland study to explore the association between family structure and children's outcomes at nine-years old (N=8, 154). The study adopts the following six-fold family structure classificatory measure: (a) intact, married; (b) intact, cohabiting; (c) stable, never married single-mother; (d) unstable, never married single-mother; (e) divorced or separated single-mother and (f) stepfather families. It focuses on children's educational outcomes (reading and math test scores) and children's. socio-emotional outcomes (internalising behavioural problems, externalising behavioural problems and adjustment difficulties), which were captured by the widely used and well validated Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Statistical analyses included a series of multilevel models (multilevel regression and multilevel logistic regression) that used fully imputed weighted data. This led to improved generalisability of the findings, reduced biased estimates and prevented any loss of power. The results of this study revealed that the majority of children had good educational and socio-emotional outcomes irrespective of their family structure. Nevertheless, statistically significant differences between children living in intact, married families and children living in "non-traditional" families were found, with the former group of children consistently outperforming their counterparts across all five outcomes. Various antecedents of, and' burdens associated with, "non-traditional" families were hypothesised to account for these observed differences. Among them were early child bearing, low levels of maternal education, low income, maternal depression, parent-child conflict and less effective parenting. Once these, and characteristics of the child (including gender, birth order, learning difficulty, difficult temperament) were accounted for, family structure differences were no longer observed for any of the educational outcomes and children's internalising behavioural problems. For children's externalising behavioural problems and adjustment difficulties, family structure effects did continue to persist. However, effect sizes were small to modest in magnitude. The theoretical and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available