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An examination of heterogenity in child outcomes for the intact family group Wood, Jamie Rose 2003

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A N E X A M I N A T I O N OF H E T E R O G E N E I T Y IN C H I L D O U T C O M E S FOR THE INTACT F A M I L Y GROUP by JAMIE ROSE WOOD B.A., University o f British Columbia, 1999 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS hi T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES School o f Social Work and Family Studies Family Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 2003 \  © Jamie Rose Wood, 2003  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or by his or her representatives.  It is understood  that  copying or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department-tJf  XaHnoL  a/= r^mi^  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  DE-6 (2/88)  UJo&kL^  STUD/th  Intact Families ii ABSTRACT  Diversity within the intact family group was explored using National Longitudinal Study o f Children and Youth survey data from a representative sample o f Canadian parents raising children aged 4-11 (N= 14054). This study tests the null hypothesis that children from intact families display positive outcomes, regardless o f within group differences in family life situations.  Differences in parental reports of children's academic, psychosocial and behavioural  outcomes based on within group divisions by blended family status, parental work demands, partner satisfaction and family functioning were examined and compared to differences found between parental reports for children from intact, single-parent and stepparent families. The intact family group exhibited the same range o f experiences and outcomes as the total sample. Both between and within group divisions explained less than 1% df the variance in child outcomes once the effects o f child's gender, family size, income, parental depression and parenting were controlled. These findings bring into question the use o f the intact family group as a benchmark of child adjustment in research and in policy.  Intact Families iii T A B L E OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  ,  T A B L E OF CONTENTS  ii iii  LIST OF T A B L E S  v  LIST OF FIGURES  vi  CHAPTER I  Introduction  1  C H A P T E R II  Literature Review  4  Child Outcomes  4  What is Family Structure ?  6  How are Family Structure and Child Outcomes Related?  7  External Factors that Influence Investments in Children  C H A P T E R III  C H A P T E R IV  9  Internal Family Processes that Affect Children's Outcomes  10  Control Variables  11  Summary of Purpose  11  Methods  12  Sample and Procedure  12  Measures  13  Results  18  Between Group Differences in Child Outcomes  18  Heterogeneity of Experiences Within the Intact Family Group  19  Within Group Differences in Child Outcomes  21  Intact Families iv CHAPTER V  CHAPTER VI  Discussion  27  Limitations  30  Future Research  31  Conclusion  REFERENCES  32 33  APPENDIX A  Measures Used in the N L S C Y  36  APPENDIX B  Descriptive Statistics for the Entire Sample  44  APPENDIX C  Descriptive Statistics for the Intact Family Group  47  Intact Families v LIST OF T A B L E S  Table 1.  A N C O V A s for C h i l d Outcomes by Family Structure Net o f Control Variables  18  Table 2.  Ranges for the Total Sample and for the Intact Family Group  20  Table 3.  A N C O V A s for C h i l d Outcomes by Blended Family Status Net o f Control Variables for the Intact and Stepfamily Groups  Table 4.  A N C O V A s for C h i l d Outcomes by Partner Satisfaction Net o f Control Variables for the Intact Family Group  Table 5.  22  25  A N C O V A s for C h i l d Outcomes by Family Functioning Net o f Control Variables for the Intact Family Group  Table B I . Descriptive Statistics o f the C h i l d Outcome Variables for the Entire Sample  26 44  Table B 2 . Descriptive Statistics o f the Control Variables (Number o f M i n o r Children, Income, Income Adequacy, and P M K Depression) for the Entire Sample  45  Table B 3 . Descriptive Statistics o f the Parenting Control Variables (Positive Interaction, Consistency, Hostile-Ineffective and Aversive) for the Entire Sample  46  Table C l . Descriptive Statistics o f the C h i l d Outcome Variables for the Intact Family Group  47  Table C 2 . Descriptive Statistics o f the Internal Process Variables for the Intact Family Group  48  Table C 3 . Descriptive Statistics o f the Control Variables (Number of M i n o r Children, Income, Income Adequacy and P M K Depression) for the Intact Family Group  49  Table C4. Descriptive Statistics for the Parenting Control Variables (Positive Interaction, Consistency, Hostile-Ineffective and Aversive) for the Intact Family Group  50  Intact Families v i  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1. Family Structure Orientation M o d e l  8  Intact Families 1 CHAPTER 1 Introduction  Children who live with both o f their biological parents in the same household are commonly used as a baseline comparison group in studies that assess the impact o f divorce, remarriage, out o f wedlock birth, adoption and various other family phenomena on children (see, for example, A c o c k & Demo, 1994; Amato, 2001; Amato & Keith, 1991; Biblarz & Gottainer, 2000; Lansford, Ceballo, Abbey & Stewart, 2001). These two-parent biological family households are known as "intact" or "traditional" families. While historically speaking twoparent biological families are not at all traditional, they do represent the model o f "normative" North American family life that researchers, policy makers and laymen have widely identified as a reference point since the 1950s. Though a majority o f Canadian and American children live in intact families (Statistics Canada, 1995; U.S. Bureau o f Census, 1998), public concern and scientific curiosity regarding increases in the number o f North American children who spend at least part o f childhood in single-parent and stepparent families has resulted in a large body o f comparison research. In particular, there has been a great deal o f interest in knowing whether children living in non-intact families exhibit the same academic, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes as children living in intact families.  The controversial assumption underlying much o f this research is that two-  parent biological families, whether it be by virtue o f their configuration, their access to resources, or their internal family processes, are inherently better equipped than other families to promote child well-being. Research over several decades indicates modest support for this assumption. O n average,  Intact Families 2 children living in intact families are less at risk than children living in other family structures, especially those living in single-parent families, to experience poverty, maternal depression, and a variety o f other negative home life conditions (Carlson & Corcoran, 2001). They also tend to display slightly more favourable outcomes than do other children (Acock & Demo, 1994; Amato, 2001; Amato & Keith 1991). However, group averages do not reflect individual realities. B y no means do all children living in intact families exhibit better outcomes than all other children, nor do they all experience better home lives; groups overlap considerably. In fact, a majority o f children from all family types display positive outcomes (Amato, 2001; Amato & Keith, 1991; Lansford et. al., 2001); where differences between groups do occur in children's academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes, they tend to be slight (Acock & Demo, 1994; Amato, 2001; Amato & Keith, 1991). Yet, researchers and policy makers continue to discuss children's health and well-being in the context o f family structure - giving it a prominent place in research and, perhaps more importantly, in policy that some scholars believe to be unsubstantiated and misleading. Even researchers who draw comparisons between family structure groups warn that weak between-group differences disguise considerable heterogeneity within family structure types (Amato, 2001). Yet, little research has been done to explore heterogeneity within the intact family group. This is an important avenue of investigation because it remains unclear whether children from intact families are uniformly buffered from experiencing negative outcomes even under conditions that are typically associated with other family types. If this were not the case, there would be little reason to continue using intact families as a meaningful benchmark in research or in policy. While many critics o f family structure research argue that focusing on group averages unfairly stigmatizes children and parents living in non-traditional families,  Intact Families 3 danger also exists in perpetuating overly optimistic stereotypes about intact family life that may guide policy makers to overlook the needs o f children and parents living in intact families whose difficult realities are not reflected by desirable group averages. Research shows significant differences within family structure types for both singleparent and stepparent families (Amato & Keith, 1991; Biblarz & Gottainer, 2001; Carlson & Corcoran, 2001; Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1995). Given that intact families comprise the largest family structure type in the population, there is reason to believe that this group is at least as economically, socially and structurally diverse as non-intact groups and that the children from these intact families are just as varied in their outcomes. The intact family group may simply be a default classification. After all, at any given point in time, the intact family group not only includes children who w i l l remain in intact families for the duration o f childhood, but also those children whose parents' life trajectories w i l l eventually lead them to be reclassified in at least one non-intact family structure group. The purpose o f this study is to explore diversity within the intact family group based on child outcomes, internal family processes, external factors and household configurations that are widely examined in family structure research. Using a nationally representative sample o f Canadian families raising elementary school-aged children, I w i l l test the null hypothesis that children raised in intact families consistently display positive academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes, regardless o f within intact group differences in family configuration, external factors and internal family processes.  I w i l l examine these within-group differences in  child outcomes and compare them to between group differences in academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes for children in intact, stepparent and single-parent families.  Intact Families 4 CHAPTER 2 Literature Review  Child Outcomes Researchers interested in investigating differences between intact and non-intact families invariably pose the question, "What are the implications o f non-intact family life for children?" Though researchers ask this question about children ranging in age from toddlers to young adults (see, for example, A c o c k & Demo, 1994; Carlson & Corcoran, 2001; H i l l , Yeung & Duncan, 2001; Ermisch & Francesconi, 2001; Furstenberg & Kiernan, 2001; Schoppe, Frosch & Mangelsdorf, 2001), primary school children are the most widely studied group (Amato, 2001). In general, family structure effect sizes tend to be largest for this age group (Amato & Keith, 1991). G i v e n family's unique role in nurturing and socializing children, especially young children, it is not surprising that perceived changes to family life are met with concern for children's well being. After all, society has a vested interest in producing healthy, well-adjusted children who grow to be productive, law-abiding adults. But which child outcomes are researchers most interested in analyzing? Amato (2001) conducted a meta-analysis o f 67 studies published in the 1990s that compared children living in intact families to children living in divorced parent families. He found that the outcomes assessed in these studies could be coded in five general categories: academic achievement, conduct, psychological and emotional adjustment, self-concept and social relations (Amato, 2001). O f these outcomes, conduct, psychological and emotional adjustment, and academic achievement had the largest effect-sizes for primary school children  Intact Families 5 (Amato, 2001). This same narrow band o f academic, psychosocial and behavioural child outcomes is repeatedly investigated by researchers who assess the impact o f divorce, remarriage, parental death and adoption on children (Amato & Keith, 1991; Carlson & Corcoran, 2001; Lansford, et al., 2001). Findings reveal that differences between groups based on these outcomes tend to favor children living in intact families; however, effect sizes are small, particularly in methodologically advanced studies that control for economic factors and internal family processes (Amato, 2001; Amato & Keith, 1991). Amato's (2001) meta-analysis revealed that 88% of effect-sizes showed differences between children by family type; however, only about half o f these effect-sizes were statistically significant. The average effect size was .29, indicating that on average, children from intact families scored only about one-quarter o f a standard deviation above children from non-intact families on various outcomes (Amato, 2001). These differences were the same for both boys and girls, though conduct effect sizes tended to be greater for boys than for girls (Amato 2001, Amato & Keith, 1991). However, differences between intact and non-intact family types may be overstated (Furstenberg & Kiernan, 2001). Researchers believe that certain outcome variables, such as academic achievement are less affected by family structure than by economic factors (see, for example, Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997) or by children's continued involvement with noncustodial parents (Lund, 1987). A s well, many o f the effects that are commonly attributed to living in non-intact families may actually emerge due to conditions, such as conflict, that are present in the intact family prior to structural change (see, for example, Amato & Booth, 1997). O n rare occasions, some researchers have even found that children living i n single parent families display slightly more favourable results than do children living in intact families on  Intact Families 6 certain dimensions o f adjustment, such as prosocial behaviour (White, et al., 2002). Hence, due to the complex and multidimensional relationship that exists between child outcomes and family structure, it is important to assess a wide range o f outcomes that tap into the many facets of child well being.  What is Family Structure? Family structure is a widely studied, yet conceptually and theoretically ambiguous construct (White, Marshall, & Wood, 2002). In its purest sense, family structure refers to the number o f members within the family and to the fulfillment o f key roles, such as mother-wife and father-husband, within that family (Parsons & Bales, 1955). However, family researchers operationalize family structure in a number o f ways, from strict dichotomies (one parent or two parent families) to complex divisions based upon the life event histories o f children, or more frequently, upon the marital histories o f parents. Three groups that consistently appear in family structure research are intact, stepparent and single parent families. However, researchers commonly divide stepparent and single parent families into smaller subgroups based on the sex o f the biological parent, or on the life event histories that resulted in the formation o f the non-intact family structure (i.e. widowhood, divorce or never married) (see for example, A c o c k & Demo, 1994; Biblarz & Gottainer, 2000; Lansford etal., 2001). In contrast, the intact family group is typically conceptualized as being structurally homogeneous; yet, the configuration o f intact families can vary on a number o f structural dimensions. While the most obvious is by number o f members, the complexity o f modern  Intact Families 7 family life has led to at least one other possibility. Specifically, a two-parent biological family may also be a stepfamily! Blended families that contain at least one child who is biologically related to both parental figures in the household present a conundrum for traditional family structure divisions. The family's classification would differ depending upon the target child studied. This is problematic from a structural perspective because the family would be predicted to act in two different ways on children, though it is structurally equivalent.  So, do biological children  display the benefits o f residing with two biological parents, or do they display the disadvantages of living in a stepfamily situation? Even stepchildren who live in these family configurations are technically exposed to an intact family environment.  D o they exhibit the benefits o f living in an  intact family situation or the disadvantages o f living in a stepfamily? Researchers argue that differences between children living in intact families and stepfamilies are at least partially due to higher levels of conflict and lower levels o f functioning in these families (Demo & Acock, 1996). A s children living i n blended families are exposed to the same structural family environment, regardless o f biological ties, it can be hypothesized that biological children living in blended intactfamilies have less positive academic, psychosocial and behavioral and outcomes than children living in non-blended intactfamilies. However, these two-parent biological children living in blendedfamilies display the same outcomes as stepchildren living in the same family configuration.  How are Family Structure and Child Outcomes Related? Researchers use a variety o f competing mini-theories and models to explain the relationship between family structure and child outcomes (White et al., 2002). Models that are  Intact Families 8 based solely on structural factors, such as the superiority o f two-parent configurations, receive far less support than those based on mediated or spurious relationships (see, for example, A c o c k & Demo, 1994). Most o f these models imply indirect effects based on "risk factors" that are associated with living in non-intact household configurations such as poverty, maternal depression, low parental investment, high family conflict, and low family functioning (see, for example, Biblarz & Gottainer, 2001; Carlson & Corcoran, 2001; Lansford et al.). These "risk factors" can be grouped in two distinct categories: external factors and internal factors. External factors occur outside o f the family environment but influence children's experiences within the family either directly or indirectly through parental stress; some commonly studied external factors are income and parental work demands. Internal factors occur within the context o f the family environment; these include conflict, family functioning and maternal depression. The effects o f external factors on child outcomes are at least partially mediated by internal family processes. Which is to say that parents who are experiencing stress due to time constraints and financial hardship are less able to provide their children with high quality home environments (Haveman & Wolfe, 1994). M y premise as illustrated in Figure 1 is  that family structure simply provides context for circumstances that could be experienced by children living in a variety of family types.  Figure L Family Structure Orientation M o d e l  Family Structure  External Factors  Intact Families 9  External Factors that Influence Investments in Children One dominant perspective i n family structure research is that non-intact families lack either the ability or the w i l l to provide their children with the same levels o f economic resources and parental involvement that intact families provide for their children (Haveman & Wolfe, 1994). From this perspective, parents i n a two-parent biological family are best equipped to deal with external stressors, and to complement each other's financial and time contributions to the family, thus optimizing children's outcomes (Carlson & Corcoran, 2001). In contrast, single parents are depicted as being limited by external factors, such as lack o f money and stressful time demands, that make it more difficult for them to provide their children with quality home environments and family lives (Carlson & Corcoran, 2001). Even children living i n two parent stepfamilies are considered to be disadvantaged as a result o f not having biological ties to both parents because parental investments in biological children are thought to be greater and because stepparent roles and obligations are more ambiguous. However, not all intact families have equal ability to invest in children. Clearly, research has revealed that poverty is detrimental to children, regardless o f family type (Duncan & BrooksGunn, 1997). However, the effects of economic factors alone do not account for differences in child outcomes. What about time demands? In a study o f American families, Sandberg and Hofferth (2001) found that mothers i n single parent households spent less time with their children than did parents living i n two parent families. However, children from dual earner two-parent households spent less time with their parents than did children living in two-parent single-earner families (Sandberg & Hofferth, 2001). While quantity and quality are not necessarily equivalent, it is clear that there are differences between these two types of intact families in terms of the amount  Intact Families 10 o f time invested in children. Hence, controlling for economic investment, it can be hypothesized that children living in dual earnerfamilies display less positive outcomes than children living in single earner or no earner families.  Internal Family Processes that Affect Children's Outcomes Children are not only affected by things that "happen to their families" like economics and parental work demands, but also by dynamics that occur within their families. Family structure research has revealed that internal processes have more influence on child outcomes than either structural or economic factors (see for example, A c o c k & Demo, 1994; A c o c k & Booth, 1997; Demo & Cox,;White et al., 2002). Children who are exposed to maternal depression, marital conflict, family dysfunction and, especially, poor parenting are at risk o f experiencing poor outcomes. A t a time i n history when divorce is less about escaping horrible circumstances than about finding a new space for personal growth and development (Amato, 2001; Amato & Booth, 1997), partner satisfaction and family functioning are good indicators o f whether or not an intact family is destined to undergo structural change. D o children from these intact families differ i n their outcomes from children living i n other intact families? Amato & Booth (1997) propose that the two worst situations for children are high conflict marriages that do not end i n divorce and low conflict marriages that do. Hence it can be hypothesized that children living in intact families with low partner satisfaction experience less positive outcomes than children living intactfamilies with high partner satisfaction. Furthermore, children living in intactfamilies with low family functioning experience less positive outcomes than children living in intact families with high family functioning.  Intact Families 11  Control Variables M a n y o f the external and internal factors that I mentioned in the previous discussion need to be controlled for to test the alternative hypotheses that I propose. In particular, income, maternal depression, and parenting are all factors that influence children's outcomes. These variables are peripherally related to the topic o f structure; i f these variables account for more variance than structural factors, they should be addressed in their own right by economic policy, therapy and parenting skills training. Gender o f target child and number o f minor children in the household are also controlled in this study.  Summary of Purpose In summary, this study tests the null hypothesis that children raised in intact families consistently display positive academic, behavioural and psychosocial outcomes, regardless o f within intact group differences in family configuration, external factors and internal family processes. This is achieved by examining ranges o f outcomes and experiences faced by children living in intact families and by examining differences that occur in children's outcomes between intact families who differ in blended family status, in parental work demands, in partner satisfaction and in family functioning. Within group differences in child outcomes are compared to differences in child outcomes found between children living in intact, single parent and stepparent families.  Intact Families 12 CHAPTER 3 Methods  Sample and Procedure  The National Longitudinal Survey o f Children and Youth ( N L S C Y ; 1995) contains data on approximately 22,831 Canadian children aged 0-11 from nearly 13,500 households. Statistics Canada designed and collected this multistage cluster sample. Components o f the survey were from participants in Statistics Canada's monthly Labour Force Survey ( L F S ) and from the National Population Health Survey ( N P H S ) that was conducted by Statistics Canada at the same time as the N L S C Y . The Y u k o n and the Northwest Territories were excluded from the L F S sampling, so a sample of these regions was added by sampling occupied dwellings with at least one child aged 0 to 11 years. Data was collected from households and, for school children, from teachers and principals. Household data collection involved completion o f a general questionnaire, a parent questionnaire and a child questionnaire; the person most knowledgeable ( P M K ) about the child completed computer-assisted interviews and the general, parent and child questionnaires (response rate 81.4%). For this study, only families with a target child between the ages o f 4 and 11 years (mean age = 7.42 years, SD = 2.30) living in a two-parent biological family, a stepfamily or a single parent family were included in the analyses (N= 14054) because data on the dependent variables were limited to this age group. Only 1.3% of families raising children within this age range did not fit in one o f these three family types; these families were excluded from the analyses.  Intact Families 13 Analyses were limited to P M K reports (for a complete list o f survey items included in the present study, see Appendix A ) . P M K s were predominantly female - 91.6% o f P M K s who reported about children i n this age group were female, while 91.5% o f P M K ' s who reported about children from intact families in this age group were female. P M K s predominantly ranged in age from 30-39 years. The largest age group o f P M K s for the entire sample (33.1%) was aged 30-34, while the largest age group of P M K s for the intact family group (35.0%) was aged 35-39, indicating that P M K s from the non-intact family groups were slightly younger than P M K s for the intact family group. P M K reports were almost equally divided between outcome reports for boys (n i samp  7151, 50.9%; n  , = 5542, 50.9%) and outcome reports for girls (n i  inlac  samp  e  =  e  = 6903,49.1%; n  intact  =  5343, 49.1%). For a complete summary o f the descriptive statistics for the variables used in this study, see Appendix B for the entire sample and Appendix C for the intact family group.  Measures  Child Outcomes Academics. Academic outcomes were measured by the P M K ' s response to the question, "Based on your knowledge o f [target child's] school work, including report cards, how is your child doing i n school overall?" Response choices range from 1 (very well) to 5 (very poorly) on a five-point Likert Scale. Emotional disorder. Emotional well being was measured by an eight item Emotional Disorder-Anxiety scale (Statistics Canada, 1995). This instrument measures P M K ' s responses to items such as, " H o w often would you say that [target child's name] cries a lot?" on a three-point  Intact Families 14 Likert scale ranging from "never or not true" to "often or very true." Total scores range from 0 (high emotional well being) to 16 (low emotional well being). The Cronbach's alpha for this scale is .79. Hyperactive inattention. Hyperactive inattention was measured by an eight item Hyperactive-Inattention scale (Statistics Canada, 1995). This instrument measures P M K ' s responses to items such as, " H o w often would you say that [target child's name] cannot settle into anything for more than a few moments?" on a three-point Likert scale ranging from "never or not true" to "often or very true." Total scores range from 0 (low hyperactivity) to 16 (high hyperactivity). The Cronbach's alpha for this scale is .84. Conduct. Physical aggression was measured by a six item Conduct Disorder-Physical Aggression scale (Statistics Canada, 1995). This instrument measures P M K ' s responses to items such as, " H o w often would you say that [target child's name] is cruel, bullies, or is mean to others?" on a three-point Likert scale ranging from "never or not true" to "often or very true." Total scores range from 0 (low aggression) to 12 (high aggression). The Cronbach's alpha for this scale is .77.  Family Structure Marital status. Family structure was measured by P M K ' s reports o f the P M K ' s marital status, and o f the P M K ' s reports o f the relationship between the adult figures in the household to the target child. Families were grouped in three categories: intact (n = 10885, 77.5%), stepparent (n = 1030, 7.3%) and single parent (n = 2139,15.2%). Blendedfamily. For intact and stepparent families, children were divided into "blended" or "not blended" families based on the P M K ' s i " y « s " or " n o " response to the item, " C h i l d is a  Intact Families 15 member o f a blended family?" Only stepfamilies containing a biological child shared by both partners was classified as "blended" for the purpose o f the analyses. This blended stepfamily group includes stepfamilies that P M K s reported to be " H i s and Theirs," "Hers and Theirs," and "His, Hers and Theirs" families. Four categories emerged intact "not blended" ( « = 10417, 88.3%), "intact blended" (n = 468, 4.0%), "step blended" (n = 404, 3.4%), and "step not blended" (n = 509, 4.3%).  External Factors Time demands. Time demands were based on P M K ' s reports o f parental work commitments. This variable was measured by whether the home was a dual-earner (n = 3505, 45.6%), single earner (n = 3451,44.9%) or no earner household (« = 733, 9.5%).  Internal Processes Partner satisfaction. Partner satisfaction for the intact family group was measured using P M K ' s response to the item, " A l l things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your marriage or relationship with your partner?" Scores range on an 11-point Likert scale from 0 (completely dissatisfied) to 11 (completely satisfied). Results were significantly skewed (see Table C2). This measure was recoded i n four categories for group comparison purposes. Scores ranging from 0-8 on the original scale were recoded as 1 " l o w partner satisfaction" (n = 2222, 20.7%), scores o f 9 were recoded as 2 "mid-low partner satisfaction" (n = 2089, 19.2%), scores o f 10 were recoded as 3 "mid-high partner satisfaction" (n = 2289, 21.4%), and scores o f 11 were recoded as 4 "high partner satisfaction" (n = 4112, 38.4%).  Intact Families 16  Family functioning.  Family functioning was measured by P M K ' s responses to a 12 item  Family Functioning Scale taken from the McMaster Healthy Functioning Family Scale (Epstein, 1993). This instrument measures responses to items such as, " M a k i n g decisions is a problem for our family," and, " W e confide i n each other," on a four-point Likert scale ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree." Scores range from 0 (high functioning) to 36 (low functioning). The Cronbach's alpha for this measure is .88. Results were significantly skewed (see Table C2). This measure was recoded in three categories for group comparison purposes. Scores ranging from 0 to 5 on the original scale were recoded as 3 "high functioning" (n = 3662, 34.2%), scores ranging from 6 t o l 1 were recoded as 2 "medium functioning" (n = 2089, 36.4%), and scores ranging from 12 to 36 were recoded as 1 " l o w functioning" (n = 3146, 28.9%).  Control Variables Child's gender. Child's gender was based on P M K ' s reports o f whether the target child was male or female. Family size. Family size was based on P M K ' s reports o f the number o f minor children present i n the household. The responses ranged from 1 to 4. A l l families with more than 4 minor children were grouped in the " 4 " category. Economic resources. Economic resources were measured by income adequacy. Income adequacy is a five-category instrument that is measured by combining household income with household size. For example, the lowest category o f income adequacy includes households o f 14 members with an income o f less than $10,000 and households o f 5 or more persons with an income o f less than $15,000.  Intact Families 17 Parental depression. Parental depression was measured by P M K ' s responses to a 12 item Depression Scale. This instrument measures responses to items such as, " H o w often have you had crying spells during the past week?" on a four-point Likert scale ranging from "rarely or none of the time (less than one day)" to "most or all o f the time (5-7 Days)." Scores range from 0 (not depressed) to 36(very depressed). Cronbach's alpha for this scale is .82. Parenting. Parenting was measured using four scales. The first three scales, adapted from Stayhorn and Weidman's (1988) Parent Practices Scale, measure positive interaction, consistent parenting and hostile ineffective parenting. The fourth scale measures Aversive Parental Management Techniques (Statistics Canada, 1995). The Positive Interaction Scale ranges from 0 (negative interaction) to 20 (positive interaction). A sample item from this scale is, " H o w often do you and your child laugh together?' Cronbach's alpha is .81. The Consistent parenting scale ranges from 0 (inconsistent) to 20 (consistent). A sample item from this scale is, " H o w often does your child get away with things that you feel should have been punished?" Cronbach's alpha is .66. The hostile ineffective parenting scale ranges from 0 (low hostilityineffectiveness) to 25 (high hostility-ineffectiveness). A sample item is, " H o w often do you think that the kind o f punishment you give your child depends on your mood?" Cronbach's alpha is .71. The aversive parent management techniques scale ranges from 0 (not aversive) to 19 (aversive). A sample item is, "When your child breaks the rules, how often do you calmly discuss the problem?" The Cronbach's alpha is .57.  Intact Families 18 CHAPTER 4 Results  Between Group Differences  One-way A N O V A s o f each o f the four child outcomes by family structure type were conducted. A l l four o f these tests were statistically significant: academic [F(2,9908) = 58.64, p<.00\, rf = .012], emotional disorder [F(2,13729) = 155.86,p<.00\, rf = .022], hyperactivityinattention [F(2,13715) = 158.48,p<.001, rf = .023], and aggression [F(2,13694) = 76.79, p<.001, rf = .011]. The follow-up A N C O V A s , which controlled for the effects o f child's gender, number o f minor children in the household, income, parental depression and parenting, are displayed in Table 1. A similar data analysis procedure was used by Lansford et al. (2001) to identify and assess between group differences for children from adoptive, intact, single-parent and stepparent households. A N O V A and A N C O V A were employed in the present study rather than M A N O V A and M A N C O V A because, as stated previously, the relationship between family structure and child outcomes is complex and multi-dimensional. The outcome variables used in the present study are not viewed as dimensions o f the same factor. There were statistically significant differences on all o f the child outcome variables examined; however, the strength o f these relationships decreased sharply once the control variables were entered. The hypothesis that children from intact families display more positive academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes than do children from stepparent and single parent families was supported.  Intact Families 19 Table 1  ANCOVAs for Child Outcomes by Family Structure Net of Control Variables C h i l d outcome  Intact  Step  Single-parent  M(SD)  M(SD)  M(SD)  ANCOVA  df  F  if  Academic  1.74(0.87)  a  1.94 (0.93)  b  1.98 (0.97)  b  2,9609  24.80*** .005  Emotional  2.33 (2.39)  a  3.17 (2.85)  b  3.28 (2.93)  b  2,13342  48.71*** .007  Hyperactive  4.33 (3.43)  a  5.69(3.86)  b  5.60(3.87)  b  2,13331  52.16*** .008  Aggression  1.34 (1.79)  a  1.66(2.06)  b  1.89(2.30)  c  2,13313  22.80*** .003  Note. Means in the same row that do not share subscripts differ atp < .05 in the Dunnet's C significant difference comparison. ***/?< .001. Note. For step and single-parent families, gender o f biological parent is not assessed.  Heterogeneity of Experiences Within the Intact Family Group  A s displayed in Table 2, P M K reports on variables of child outcomes, household configurations and external factors ranged just as much for the intact family group as they did for the total sample o f intact, single-parent and stepparent families. The intact family group also displayed the same ranges as the total sample for 5 o f 7 internal family process variables. The ranges for the intact family group only differed from those o f the total sample on two parenting variables - positive interaction and hostile-ineffective parenting. Specifically, there is a onepoint difference in the response ranges for the intact family group and the total sample on each o f these variables. These slight differences are due to a single non-intact family case that scored below the range reported by P M K s from the intact family group on positive interaction, and to  Intact Families 20 two non-intact family cases that scored above the range reported by P M K s for the intact family group on hostile-ineffective parenting. These findings support the descriptive hypothesis that intact families are as economically, socially and structurally diverse as non-intact groups and that the children from these intact families are just as varied in their outcomes. In fact, P M K reports o f child well being for children from the intact family group ranged from the extreme positive to the extreme negative on all four o f the child outcome variables examined. (For a complete listing o f the descriptive statistics for these variables including variances, see Appendix B for the entire sample and Appendix C for the intact family group).  Table 2  Ranges of Variables for the Total Sample andfor the Intact Family Group Variable  Total sample  Intact family group  (#=14054)  («=10885)  (Range)  (Range)  1-5  1-5  Emotional disorder-anxiety  0-16  0-16  Hyperactive-inattention  0-16  0-16  Aggression  0-12  0-12  C h i l d outcomes Academic  (Table 2 continues)  Intact Families 21  (Table 2 continued) Variable  Total sample  Intact family group  (N= 14054)  (n=10885)  (Range)  (Range)  Blended family status  1-2  1-2  Number o f minor children  1-4  1-4  Parental time demands  1-3  1-3  Income  1-6  1-6  Income adequacy  1-5  1-5  Partner satisfaction  1-11  1-11  Family functioning  0-35  0-35  Parental depression  0-35  0-35  Positive interaction  1-20  2-20  Consistency  0-20  0-20  Hostile-ineffective  0-25  0-24  Punitive-aversive  4-19  4-19  Household configuration  External factors  Internal factors  Internal factors Parenting  Intact Families 22 Within Group Differences in Child Outcomes  Effects of Blended Family Status on Child Outcomes for Children from Intact and Step families One-way A N O V A s of each o f the four child outcomes by blended family status were conducted on the intact and stepfamily groups. A l l four o f these tests were statistically significant: academic [F(3,8305) = 15.86, p<.001, r\ = .006], emotional disorder-anxiety 2  [F(3,l 1516) = 44.90, p<.001, n. = .012], hyperactivity-inattention [F(3,l 1511) = 52.72, p<.001, 2  r i = .014], and aggression [F(3,l 1494) = 9.86, p<.001, n. = .003]. The follow-up A N C O V A s , 2  2  which controlled for the effects o f child's gender, number o f minor children in the household, income, parental depression and parenting, are displayed in Table 3.  Table 3 ANCOVAs for Child Outcomes by Blended Family Status Net of Control Variables for the Intact and the Stepfamily Groups Outcome  Intact Not blended M (SD)  Step  Blended  Not blended  M(SD)  M(SD)  ANCOVA Blended M(SD)  df  F  rf  Academic  1.73 (0.87)  a  1.90 (0.92)  b  1.93 (0.92)  b  1.96 (0.93)  b  3, 8046  11.18*** .004  Emotional  2.33 (2.40)  a  2.15 (2.29)  a  3.56 (3.02)  b  3.09 (2.79)  b  3,11183  23.05*** .006  Hyperactive  4.31(3.41)  a  4.77 (3.74)  a  6.14(3.81)  5.54 (3.80)  b  3,11178  36.36*** .010  Aggression  1.34(1.78)  a  1.47 (1.86)  a  1.55 (1.97)  a  3,11165  b  1.81 (2.12)  b  3.86**  Note. Means in the same row that do not share subscripts differ at/> < .05 in the Dunnet's C significant difference comparison. * *p<.01 and ***p< .001.  .001  Intact Families 23 There were statistically significant differences on all o f the child outcome variables examined; however, the strength o f these relationships decreased sharply once the control variables were entered. The hypothesis that children from non-blended intact families display better outcomes than do children from blended intact families is slightly supported. Specifically, P M K reports o f children's academic achievement were more positive for non-blended than blended intact families; however, P M K reports did not statistically differ between blended intact and nonblended intact families at the p < .05 level on the other three outcome variables. The hypothesis that children from blended intact families display the same outcomes as children from biologically blended stepfamilies is weakly supported. Specifically, P M K reports o f children's academic achievement did not statistically differ between the groups at the p< .05 level. However, I can not definitively state that absolutely no difference exists between the two groups (for a discussion o f null hypotheses see Cohen, 1990). Contrary to the hypotheses, P M K reports o f children's emotional anxiety, hyperactive inattention and aggression were more positive for children from blended intact families than for biologically blended stepfamilies.  Effects of Parental Time Demands on Child Outcomes for Children from Intact Families One-way A N O V A s assessing the relationship between parental work demands and grades [F (2,5354) = 1.05,/? > .25, rf = .000], parental work demands and emotional disorderanxiety [F (2,7600) = 0.19,/? > .50, rf = .000], and parental work demands and aggression [F (2,7582) = 1.78,p>.\0,rf  = .000] yielded non-significant results. Only the one-way A N O V A  assessing the relationship between parental work demands and hyperactive-inattention was statistically significant [ F ( 2 , 7592) = 6.36,/? < .01, rf = .002]. However, the follow-up  Intact Families 24 A N C O V A assessing the relationship between parental work demands and hyperactive inattention net o f the effects o f the control variables was not statistically significant [F (2,7417) = 1.07,/? > .25, if = .000]. The hypothesis that children from intact dual earner families display less positive academic, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes than do children from intact singleearner and intact no- earner households was not supported.  Effects of Partner Satisfaction on Child Outcomes for Children from Intact Families One-way A N O V A s o f each o f the four child outcomes by partner satisfaction were conducted on the intact family group. A l l four o f these tests were statistically significant: academic /F(3,7476) = 17.41, /K.001, if = .0077, emotional disorder-anxiety [F(3,10515) = 84.54, p<.001, if = .0247 hyperactivity-inattention /F(3,10510) = 47.72, /K.001, if = .0147 and aggression /F(3,10492) = 65.42, /K.001, rf = .0187  The follow-up A N C O V A s , which  controlled for the effects o f child's gender, number o f minor children in the household, income, parental depression and parenting, are displayed i n Table 4. There were statistically significant differences on all o f the child outcome variables examined; however, the strength o f these relationships decreased sharply once the control variables were entered. The hypothesis that children from intact families with high partner satisfaction display more positive academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes than do those from intact families with low partner satisfaction was supported.  Intact Families 25 Table 4 ANCOVAs for Child Outcomes by Partner Satisfaction Net of Control Variables for the Intact Family Group Outcome  High  Mid-High  Mid-Low  M(SD)  M(SD)  M(SD)  Academic  1.66(0.84)  a  Emotional  1.94(2.19)  Hyperactive  3.89(3.31)  Aggression  1.08(1.60)  1.71 (0.88)  Low  ANCOVA  M (SD)  df  F  rf  1.81 (0.90)  b  1.83 (0.91)  b  3,7309  6.21*** .003  a  2.24 (2.32)„ 2.59 (2.43)  c  2.88 (2.63)  d  3,10300  13.61*** .004  a  4.30 (3.40)  b  4.57 (3.45)  b  4.94 (3.53)  c  3,10295  3.85** .001  a  1.30 (1.73)  b  1.55 (1.89)  c  1.68 (1.98)  c  3,10281  12.03*** .003  a  Note. Means i n the same row that do not share subscripts differ at/? < .05 i n the Dunnet's C significant difference comparison. **/K.01 and ***p < .001.  Effects of Family Functioning on Child Outcomes for Children from Intact Families One-way A N O V A s o f each o f the four child outcomes by family functioning were conducted on the intact family group. A l l four o f these tests were statistically significant: academic [F(2,7477) = 49.10, /K.001, rf = .013], emotional disorder-anxiety [F(2,10517) = 59.07,/K.001, rf = .011], hyperactivity-inattention [F(2,10512) = 45.17,/K.001, rf = .009], and aggression [F(2,10495) = 60.69,/K.001, rf = .011]. The follow-up A N C O V A s , which controlled for the effects o f child's gender, number o f minor children in the household, income, parental depression and parenting, are displayed in Table 5. There were statistically significant differences on 2 o f the 4 child outcome variables examined; however, the strength o f these relationships decreased sharply once the control  Intact Families 26 variables were entered. The hypothesis that children from intact families with high family functioning display more positive academic, psychosocial and behavioural outcomes than do those from intact families with low family functioning was partially supported.  Table 5  ANCOVAs for Child Outcomes by Family Functioning Net of Control Variables for the Intact Family Group C h i l d outcome  High  Medium  Low  M(SD)  M(SD)  M(SD)  Academic  1.60 (0.83)  Emotional  1.99(2.18)  ANCOVA  df  F  1.79 (0.88)  b  1.83 (0.89)  b  2,7309  a  2.42 (2.43)  a  2.61 (2.53)  a  2,10301  1.83  .000  Hyperactive  3.89 (3.35)  4.48 (3.42)  a  4.66(3.48)  a  2,10296  1.80  .000  Aggression  1.09(1.60)  1.42 (1.81)  b  1.54(1.83)  2,10283  4.04*  .001  a  a  a  c  15.69***  rf .004  Note. Means in the same row that do not share subscripts differ atp < .05 i n the Dunnet's C significant difference comparison. */?<.05and ***/?<.001.  Testing the Null Hypothesis Based on the within group differences outlined in the preceding sections, the null hypothesis that children raised in intact families consistently display positive academic, behavioural and psychosocial outcomes, regardless o f within intact group differences in family configuration, external factors and internal family processes is rejected.  Intact Families 27  CHAPTER V Discussion  The purpose o f this study was to examine heterogeneity in child outcomes within the intact family group and to compare these within group differences in child outcomes to between group differences found between children from intact, stepparent and single parent families. The intact family group was parsed into subgroups on the basis o f blended family status, parental time demands, partner satisfaction and family functioning to test the null hypothesis that children from intact families consistently display positive academic, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes regardless o f within group differences in family configurations, external factors and internal family processes. Findings from the present study do not provide strong empirical support for the widespread use o f the intact family group as a benchmark o f child adjustment in research or in policy. While children living in intact families displayed slightly better academic, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes than children living in non-intact family situations, the meaningfulness o f these group-average differences is qualified by a series o f other findings. First, family structure does not appear to be a particularly important predictor o f child well being. The amount o f variance in child adjustment explained by family structure across the four child outcome indicators was extremely small. In fact, family structure's explanatory power ranged from a low o f 1.1% for aggression to a high o f 2.3% for hyperactive-inattention in one-way analyses. Once child's gender, family size, household income, parental depression and parenting were controlled for, the magnitude o f these effect sizes diminished sharply; family  Intact Families 28 structure accounted for less than 1% o f the variance in child well being for each o f the four between group A N C O V A s . These findings are consistent with past research that indicates that many o f the economic and social factors that are spuriously related to family structure reduce or eliminate the effects o f family structure on child outcomes (see, for example, Amato, 2001; Carlson & Corcoran, 2001; White et al., 2002). Controlling additional factors such as partner satisfaction, family functioning and quantity and quality o f parental involvement might even further diminish this relationship. Second, children from intact families experience the same range o f economic and social conditions experienced by children from all family situations and they exhibit the broadest possible range o f academic, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes. Hence, rather than being a golden standard o f advantage and well being, the intact family group is a category comprised of children who experience a variety o f family life circumstances and who ultimately display a diverse range o f outcomes from the most positive to the most negative. Third, factors other than family structure account for similar levels o f variance in child outcomes. While the within group comparisons for the intact family group revealed a mixed tale o f consistency and diversity for intact families, the cumulative evidence suggests that intact families do not uniformly display positive outcomes regardless o f within group differences in family situations. Statistically significant differences between child outcomes for intact family sub-groups were similar in magnitude to between group differences by family structure. In fact, partner satisfaction and family functioning accounted for slightly more variance i n child outcomes than did family structure on certain dimensions o f well being before the effects o f the control variables were added to the analyses.  Intact Families 29 Fourth, comparisons by blended status revealed that for the most part, children living in blended intact families do not display similar outcomes to stepchildren living in the same family configuration. Children from blended intact families displayed more positive outcomes than stepchildren living in biologically blended families on all dimensions o f child well being except academic achievement. N o t only did the biologically blended stepfamily group fare worse than children living in both intact family groups, this group also displayed statistically significant higher levels o f aggression than the non-blended stepfamily group. This suggests that exposure to an intact family environment may not be uniformly beneficial for all children. Factors other than family structure, such as internal processes, work to shape children's experiences, even among children who live in similar family configurations. So, given that family structure does not appear to be a construct o f any particular empirical or, as mentioned earlier, theoretical significance, why does the intact family group persist as a prominent benchmark in research and policy? The answer to this question is that the intact family group is a culturally meaningful classification. Even though the scholarly community recognizes that family structure accounts for very little variance i n child outcomes (Amato, 2001) and that other factors are just as influential, i f not more influential than family structure in shaping child outcomes (see for example White et a l , 2002), family structure continues to be a prominent dimension by which children are divided and compared. This is troubling because it suggests that cultural biases regarding the beneficial effects o f intact family life for children overshadow scientific findings in shaping how research and policy questions are framed and answered. Family structure provides context for circumstances that could be experienced by children living in a variety o f family types; however, cultural expectations o f different contexts  Intact Families 30 shape interpretations o f the same experiences. Hence, when children from single-parent, stepparent or other non-traditional family situations display poor outcomes, researchers and policy makers typically link the presence o f these problems, either directly or indirectly, to family configuration. In contrast, when children from intact families experience difficulties, these problems are attributed to other factors that are unrelated to their families' configurations. Neither researchers, nor policy makers nor laymen would ever suggest that difficulties experienced by children living i n intact families result either directly or indirectly from living with two biological parents because this situation is deemed as the ideal family configuration for nurturing and socializing children i n North American society. Hence, when researchers and policy makers emphasize family structure comparisons o f children, they are at risk o f unfairly minimizing or overlooking problems experienced by children living i n intact family households because the underlying assumption o f their approach dictates that intact families are optimally equipped to foster child well-being and that children from these families experience the best possible outcomes.  Limitations  It is important to note that the present study relies on the subjective reports o f parents, predominantly mothers. I fully recognize that parental reports o f child well being and family situations do not entirely reflect the circumstances o f target children. In addition to a paucity o f data from a child perspective, there are no data in the N L S C Y data set that describe the quality o f the relationship between the P M K ' s partner and the target child. Hence, due to the disproportionate number o f female P M K s , there is very little information in this study that taps  Intact Families 31 into father-child relationship. A s well, there is no information specifically related to the amount o f time that children spent with parents; using parental work commitments as a proxy for parental involvement limits the scope o f understanding about children's family experiences. Further, none of the four child outcome variables assessed were normally distributed (See Tables B I and C l ) . The majority o f P M K reports for children from both the intact group and the larger sample were extremely positive.  Future Research  The primary purpose o f this study was to demonstrate heterogeneity within the intact family group, not to identify an exhaustive list o f ways in which intact families differ internally; hence, this study only samples a small number of ways in which intact families differ in terms o f configuration, external factors and internal family processes. Future studies could explore how other avenues o f diversity within the intact family group, such as sibling relationship quality or commuter relationship status, affect children living in intact families. A s well, future studies could examine whether the within group differences found i n the present study are consistent for children across different age groups. Ultimately, however, I hope that the most influential contribution o f the present study is to help reshape how researchers and policy makers address the problem o f child maladjustment. To this point, a disproportionate amount o f attention has been focused at examining how family structure is tied to poor child outcomes. Future research and policy needs to push beyond this outdated and misleading model to reframe inquiries about poor child outcomes in a manner that is reflective o f the experiences o f all children, regardless o f family type.  Intact Families 32 C H A P T E R VI Conclusion  In conclusion, this study highlights the importance o f critically examining and rethinking the prominent role that the intact family group has been assigned in research, and perhaps more importantly in policy. Contrary to popular stereotypes about the beneficial effects o f intact family life, children living in intact families are not uniformly buffered from experiencing negative outcomes. While children from these families are typically used as a baseline comparison group to assess how well children living in other family types fare in terms of academic, psychosocial and behavioural adjustment, it is important to note that between group differences in child outcomes are slight, that a majority o f children from all family types display positive outcomes and that between group comparisons disguise considerable internal diversity within the intact family group. Within this group, there are families and children who are experiencing extremely difficult circumstances and who are ultimately displaying tremendously poor outcomes; many o f these children and families are i n critical need o f research and policy attention.  Intact Families 33 REFERENCES Acock, A., & Demo, D. (1994). Family diversity and well-being. Thousand Oaks, C A : Sage Publications. Amato, P.R. (2001). Children o f divorce i n the 1990s: A n update of the Amato and Keith (1991) meta-analysis. Journal of Family Psychology, 15(3), 355-370. Amato, P.R., & Booth, A . (1997/ A generation at risk: Growing up in an era of family upheaval. Cambridge, M A : Harvard University Press. Amato, P.R., & Keith, B. (1991). Parental divorce and the well-being o f children: A metaanalysis. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 26-46. Biblarz, T.J., & Gottainer, G . (2000). Family structure and children's success: A comparison o f widowed and divorced single-mother families. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 533-548. Carlson, M.J., & Corcoran, M.E. (2001). Family structure and children's behavioral and cognitive outcomes. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 779-792. Cohen, J. (1990). Things I have learned (so far). American Psychologist, 45, 1304-1312. Demo, D.H., & Acock, A . C . (1996). Family structure, family process, and adolescent well-being. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 6, 457-488. Demo, D.H., & Cox, M.J. (2000). Families with young children: A review o f research in the 1990s. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 876-895. Duncan, G.J. & Brooks-Gunn, J . (Eds.) (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. N e w York: Russell Sage Foundation Ermisch, J.F. & Francesconi, M . (2001). Family structure and children's achievements. Journal of Population Economics, 14, 249-270.  Intact Families 34 Epstein, N.B., Bishop, D., Ryan, C , Miller, I., & Keitner, G . (1993). The McMaster model view o f healthy family functioning. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Normal Family Processes (pp. 138160). N e w York: The Guildford Press. Furstenberg, F.F., & Kiernan, K.E. (2001). Delayed parental divorce: H o w much do children benefit? Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 446-457. Haveman, R. & Wolfe, B. (1994). Succeeding generations. NY: Russell Sage. Hetherington, E.V., & Stanley-Hagan, M . M . (1995). Parenting in divorced and remarried families. In M . H . Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of Parenting, Vol. 3, Status and Social Conditions of Parenting. Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, Inc. H i l l , M.S., Yeung, W.J., & Duncan, G.J. (2001). Childhood family structure and young adult behaviors. Journal of Population Economics, 14, 271-299. Lansford, J.E., Ceballo, R., Abbey, A., & Steward, A . J . (2001). Does family structure matter? A comparison o f adoptive, two-parent biological, single-mother, stepfather and stepmother households. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 840-851. Lund, M . (1987). The non-custodial father: Common challenges i n parenting after divorce. In C. Lewis & M . O ' B r i e n (Eds.), Reassessing fatherhood: New observations on Fathers and the modern family. Beverly Hills, C A : Sage Publications. Parsons, T. & Bales, R.F. (1955). Family socialization and interaction process. Glencoe, I L : Free Press. Sanford, J.F., & Hofferth, S.L. (2001). Changes i n children's time with parents: United States, 1981-1997Demography, 38(3), 423-436.  Intact Families 35 Schoppe, S.J., Frosch, C.A., & Mangelsdorf, S.C. (2001). Coparenting, family process, and family structure: Implications for preschoolers' externalizing behaviour problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 15(3), 526-545. Statistics Canada (1995). National longitudinal study of children and youth: Wave I. Ottawa, O N : Statistics Canada. U.S. Census Bureau (1998). Household andfamily characteristics: March 1998 (Series P20, No. 515). Washington, D C : U.S. Government Printing Office. White, J.M., Marshall, S.K., & Wood, J.R. (2002). Confusing family structures: The role of family structure in relation to child well-being. Paper presented at the Northwest Council on Family Relations, June, 2002, Vancouver, Canada.  Intact Families 36 APPENDIX A Measures Used i n the N L S C Y  Child Outcomes  Academic Achievement Based on your knowledge o f his/her schoolwork, including his/her report cards, how is your child doing in school overall? Five response categories: 1 "very well," 2 "well," 3 "average," 4 "poorly," 5 "very poorly."  Emotional Disorder-Anxiety Score Eight items each beginning with the phrase, " H o w often do you say that your c h i l d . . . " Three response categories for each item: 1 "never or not true," 2 "sometimes or somewhat true, and 3 "often or very true." 1. Seems unhappy, sad or depressed? 2. Is not as happy as other children? 3. Is too fearful or anxious? 4. Is worried? 5. Cries a lot? 6. Appears miserable, unhappy, tearful, or distressed? 7. Is nervous, high strung or tense? 8. Has trouble enjoying him/her self?  Intact Families 37  Hyperactive-Inattention Score Eight items each beginning with the phrase, " H o w often do you say that your c h i l d . . . " Three response categories for each item: 1 "never or not true," 2 "sometimes or somewhat true," and 3 "often or very true." 1. Can't sit still, is restless or hyperactive? 2. Is distractible, has trouble sticking to any activity? 3.  Fidgets?  4. Can't concentrate, can't pay attention for long? 5. Is impulsive, acts without thinking? 6. Has difficulty waiting turn i n games or groups? 7. Cannot settle to anything for more than a few moments? 8. Is inattentive?  Conduct Disorder - Physical Aggression Score Six items each beginning with the phrase, " H o w often do you say that your c h i l d . . . " Three response categories for each item: 1 "never or not true," 2 "sometimes true," and 3 "often true." 1. Gets into many fights? 2. When another child accidentally hurts him/her (such as by bumping into him/her), assumes that the other child meant to do it, and then reacts with anger and fighting? 3. Physically attacks people? 4. Threatens people? 5. Is cruel, bullies or is mean to others? 6. K i c k s , hits, bites other children?  Intact Families 38 Family Structure  Family Structure Marital Status. Does the P M K have a spouse living in the household? Two Response categories: 1 "yes" or 2 "no." Child's parent status. C h i l d lives with: 11 "both biological parents," 21 "biological mother and stepfather," 22 "biological father and step mother," 51 " biological mother and no father" 61 "biological father and no mother."  Blended Family Status Blended family.  Three Response categories: 1 "child is a member o f a blended family," 2  "child is not a member o f a blended family but is in a couple census family (step or intact)," or 3 "other (child is a member o f a single parent family, is a foster child or does not live with a parent)." Type of stepfamily. Report the biological relationship o f the children living i n the household. Three relevant response categories 13 "hers and theirs," 14 "his and theirs," 16 "his, hers and theirs." External Factors  Parental Time Demands Current working status of PMK. and "not currently working."  Relevant response categories 1 "currently working,"  Intact Families 39 Current working status for PMK's partner. Relevant response categories "currently working," and "not currently working."  Internal Factors  Partner Satisfaction A l l things considered, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your marriage or relationships with your partner? W h i c h number comes the closest to how you feel, where 1 is completely satisfied, 6 is neutral and 11 is completely satisfied?  Family Functioning Scale Twelve items with 4 response categories each: 1 "strongly agree," 2 "agree," 3 "disagree," 4 "strongly disagree." 1. W e express feelings to each other. 2. There are lots o f bad feelings in our family. 3. W e feel accepted for what we are. 4. M a k i n g decisions is a problem for our family. 5. W e are able to make decisions about how to solve problems. 6. W e don't get along well together. 7. W e confide in each other. 8. W e avoid discussing fears or concerns 9. Family members are accepted as who they are 10. W e cannot talk to each other about sadness. 11. W e can turn to each other for support  Intact Families 40 12. Our family misunderstands each other.  Control Variables  Child's Gender Gender o f child: f "female" or m "male" (recoded so m = l and f=2)  Number of Minor Children H o w many children aged 0-17 live i n the household? Four response categories: 1 "one," 2 "two," 3 "three," 4 "four or more."  Income Recoded household income. Six response categories: 1 "less than 10,000," 2 " 10,000 to 14,999," 3 "15,000 to 19,999," 4 "20,000 to 29,999," 5 "30,000 to 39,999," and 6 "40,000 or more." Income adequacy. Five response categories: 1 "Lowest: household income is < 10,000 and household size is 1-4 persons; or household income is < 15,000 and household size is 5 or more persons," 2 " Lower middle: household income is 10,000-14,999 and household size is 1-2 persons; or household income is 10,000-19,999 and household size is 3-4 persons; or household income is 15,000-29,999 and household size is 5 or more persons," 3 "Middle: household income is 15,000-29,999 and household size is 1-2 persons; or household income is 20,00039,999 and household size is 3-4 persons; or household income is 30,000-59,999 and household size is 5 or more persons," 4 "Upper middle: household income is 30,000-59,999 and household  Intact Families 41 size is 1-2 persons; or household income is 40,000-79,999 and household size is 3-4 persons; or household income is 60,000-79,999 and household size is 5 or more persons," and 5 "Highest: household income is 60,000 or more and household size is 1-2 persons; or household income is 80,000 or more and household size is 3 or more persons."  Depression Scale Twelve items, each instructing the respondent to indicate, " H o w often you have felt or behaved this way during the past week." Four response categories: 1 "rarely or none o f the time (less than 1 day)," 2 "some or a little o f the time (1-2 days)," 3 "occasionally or a moderate amount (3-4 days)," 4 "most or all o f the time (5-7 days)." 1. I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor. 2. I felt that I could not shake the blues even with help from my family or friends. 3. I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing. 4. I felt depressed. 5. I felt that everything that I did was an effort. 6. I felt hopeful about the future, (reverse code) 7. M y sleep was restless. 8. I was happy, (reverse code) 9. I felt lonely. 10.1 enjoyed life, (reverse code) 11.1 had crying spells. 12.1 felt that people disliked me.  Intact Families 42  Parenting Positive interaction.  Five items, each beginning with the phrase, " H o w often do y o u . . . "  The five response categories are: 1 "never," 2 "about once a week or less," 3 "a few times a week," 4 "one or two times a day," 5 "many times each day." 1. Praise your child by saying something like " G o o d for y o u ! " or "What a nice thing you did!" or "That's good going!"? 2. Talk or play with your child, focusing attention on each other for five minutes or more, just for fun? 3. Laugh with your child? 4. D o something special with your child that he/she enjoys? 5. Play sports, hobbies or games with your child?  Consistency. Five items; the five response categories for each item are: 1 "never," 2 "less than half the time," 3 "about half the time," 4 "more than half the time," 5 "all the time." 1. When you give your child a command or order to do something, what proportion o f the time do you make sure that he/she does it? 2. If you tell your child that he/she w i l l get punished i f he/she doesn't stop doing something, and he/she keeps doing it, how often w i l l you punish him/her? 3. H o w often does he/she get away with things that should have been punished? (reverse). 4. H o w often is he/she able to get out o f punishment when he/she really sets his/her mind to it? (reverse code). 5. H o w often when you discipline him/her, does he/she ignore the punishment? (reverse code).  Intact Families 43  Hostile ineffective. Seven items; the five response categories for each item are: 1 "never," 2 "less than half the time," 3 "about half the time," 4 "more than half the time," 5 "all the time." 1. H o w often do you get annoyed with your child for saying or doing something he/she is not supposed to? 2. O f all the times that you talk to your child about behavior, what proportion is praise? (reverse code) 3. O f all the times that you talk to your child about his/her behaviour, what proportion is disapproval? 4. H o w often do you get angry when you punish your child? 5. H o w often does the kind o f punishment you give your child depends on your mood? 6. H o w often do you feel you are having problems managing your child in general? 7. H o w often do you have to discipline your child repeatedly for the same thing?  Punitive (aversive). Four items starting with the phrase, "When your child breaks the rules or does something that he/she is not supposed to, how often do y o u . . . " The five response categories for each item are: 1 "always," 2 "often," 3 "sometimes," 4 "rarely," 5 "never." 1. Raise your voice, scold or yell at him/her? (reverse code) 2. Calmly discuss the problem? 3. Use physical punishment? (reverse code) 4. Describe alternative ways o f behaving that are acceptable?  Intact Families 44 APPENDIX B Descriptive Statistics for the Entire Sample  Below are the descriptive statistics o f the child outcome variables (See Table B I ) and the control variables (See Tables B 2 and B 3 ) for the entire sample.  Table B I  Descriptive Statistics of the Child Outcomes for the Entire Sample Statistics  C h i l d outcomes  Academics  Emotional  Hyperactive  Aggression  N  9911  13732  13718  13697  Mean  1.79  2.53  4.61  1.44  SE mean  .01  .02  .03  .02  Median  2  2  4  1  Mode  1  0  1  0  SD  .90  2.55  3.57  1.90  Variance  .80  6.49  12.74  3.61  Skewness  .78  1.24  .74  1.79  SE skewness  .03  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.40  1.55  .05  3.55  SE kurtosis  .05  .04  .04  .04  1-5  0-16  0-16  0-12  Range  Intact Families 45  Table B 2 Descriptive Statistics of the Control Variables (Number of Minor Children, Income, Income Adequacy, and PMK Depression) for the Entire Sample Statistics  Control variables  Number o f Minors  Income  Income Adequacy  Depression  14054  14054  14054  13710  2.44  5.04  3.33  4.77  .01  .01  .01  .05  Median  2  6  3  3  Mode  2  6  3  0  SD  .86  1.35  1.00  5.40  Variance  .74  1.82  .99  29.16  Skewness  .27  -1.28  -.14  1.90  SE skewness  .02  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.58  .57  -.51  4.29  SE kurtosis  .04  .04  .04  .04  1-4  1-6  1-5  0-35  N Mean SE mean  Range  Intact Families 46  Table B 3  Descriptive Statistics of the Parenting Control Variables (Positive Interaction, Consistency, Hostile-Ineffective and Aversive) for the Entire Sample Statistics  Parenting control variables  Positive  Consistent  Hostile  Aversive  N  13763  13677  13711  13719  Mean  12.82  14.87  8.90  8.99  SE mean  .03  .03  .03  .02  Median  13  15  9  9  Mode  13  16  8  9  SD  3.01  3.44  3.77  2.02  Variance  9.08  11.86  14.25  4.07  Skewness  -.07  -.67  .53  .07  SE skewness  .02  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.27  .26  .30  .06  SE kurtosis  •04  .04  .04  .04  1-20  0-20  0-25  4-19  Range  Intact Families 47 APPENDIX C Descriptive Statistics for the Intact Family Group  B e l o w are the descriptive statistics o f the child outcome variables (See Table C l ) , the internal process variables (See Table C2) and the control variables (see Tables C3 and C4) for the intact family group. Table C l  Descriptive Statistics of the Child Outcomes for the Intact Family Group Statistics  C h i l d outcomes  Academics  Emotional  Hyperactive  Aggression  N  7569  10636  10629  10611  Mean  1.73  2.32  4.32  1.34  SE mean  .01  .02  .03  .02  Median  1  2  4  1  Mode  1  0  1  0  SD  .87  2.40  3.43  1.78  Variance  .76  5.74  11.73  3.18  Skewness  .85  1.25  .79  1.79  Sis skewness  .03  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.30  1.49  .17  3.60  SE kurtosis  .06  .05  .05  .05  1-5  0-16  0-16  0-12  Range  Intact Families 48  Table C 2 Descriptive Statistics of the Internal Process Variables for the Intact Family Group Statistics  Internal process variables  Partner satisfaction  Family Functioning  Original N L S C Y  Recode  Original N L S C Y  Recode  10712  10712  10709  10709  9.47  2.77  7.93  2.05  SE mean  .02  M  .05  .01  Median  10  3  8  2  Mode  11  4  12  2  SD  1.89  1.17  5.00  .80  Variance  3.56  1.36  25.03  .63  Skewness  -1.95  -.34  .245  -.09  .02  .02  .02  .02  4.83  -1.376  .06  -1.42  .05  .05  .05  .05  1-11  1-4  0-35  1-3  N Mean  SE skewness Kurtosis SE kurtosis Range  Intact Families 49  Table C 3 Descriptive Statistics of the Control Variables (Number of Minor Children, Income, Income Adequacy, and PMK Depression) for the Intact Family Group Statistics  Control variables  Number o f Minors  Income  Income Adequacy  Depression  10885  10885  10885  10615  2.49  5.37  3.50  4.10  .01  .01  .01  .05  Median  2  6  4  3  Mode  2  6  3  0  SD  .82  1.04  .92  4.72  Variance  .68  1.09  .85  22.32  Skewness  .31  -1.79  -.182  2.03  SE skewness  .02  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.52  2.82  -.321  5.24  SE kurtosis  .05  .05  .05  .05  1-4  1-6  1-5  0-35  N Mean SE mean  Range  Intact Families 50  Table C 4  Descriptive Statistics of the Parenting Control Variables (Positive Interaction, Consistency, Hostile-Ineffective and Aversive) for the Intact Family Group Statistics  Parenting control variables  Positive  Consistent  Hostile  Aversive  N  10657  10590  10621  10625  Mean  12.89  15.00  8.75  8.98  SE mean  .03  .03  .04  .02  Median  13  15  8  9  Mode  13  16  8  9  SD  2.98  3.34  3.65  2.00  Variance  8.87  11.14  13.36  4.00  Skewness  -.05  -.67  .50  .05  SE skewness  .02  .02  .02  .02  Kurtosis  -.29  .31  .27  .02  SE kurtosis  .05  .05  .05  .05  2-20  0-20  0-24  4-19  Range  

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