Dimensions of family disruption: Coincidence, interactions, and impacts on children’s educational attainment
Keywords:education, families, life course study
Household composition, economic resources, and residence are not necessarily stable across childhood. Changes in parental relationship status, parental employment, and residence have been shown to affect children’s educational attainment. Less studied is the fact that these events can occur in combination: families could experience more than one of these disruptive events within the same time period (e.g. year); from a life course perspective, families could experience multiple events throughout their lives. Using linear regression models to analyse data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a longitudinal study of U.S. individuals, I confirmed that the children of parents who experienced employment loss or gain, or partner loss or gain demonstrated lowered odds of high school completion, college attendance, and college completion. Residential moves increased the odds of high school completion but decreased chances of college completion. I then found that experiencing two disruptive events within a given two-year period led to an increased negative effect compared to experiencing only one event. These findings robustly applied to different comparison group specifications. Finally, I showed that, generally, increasing the number of disruptive events decreased the probability of attaining the educational outcomes considered.
Authors who published with Longitudinal and Life Course Studies Volumes 1–9 agreed to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal right of first publication with the work, simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Following first publication in this Journal, Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal, provided always that no charge is made for its use.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their own website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.