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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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

Abstract

Diversity within the intact family group was explored using National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth survey data from a representative sample of Canadian parents raising children aged 4-11 (N= 14054). This study tests the null hypothesis that children from intact families display positive outcomes, regardless of 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 of experiences and outcomes as the total sample. Both between and within group divisions explained less than 1% of the variance in child outcomes once the effects of child's gender, family size, income, parental depression and parenting were controlled. These findings bring into question the use of the intact family group as a benchmark of child adjustment in research and in policy.

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