Parental marital status and child well-being

Kathleen E. Kiernan, University of York

This study uses the UK Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a sample of 18000 children born in 2001-2 whose parents were interviewed when their baby was 9 months old, to examine the characteristics of parents and children where children are born within a marriage, within a cohabiting union or outside of a co-residential partnership. Sixty per cent were born to married parents, 25 per cent to cohabiting parents and 15 per cent to parent’s who were not living together at the time the baby was born The sample design allowed for over-representation of families living in areas with high rates of child poverty and with high proportions of ethnic minorities. Our analysis focuses on an examination of the health and well-being of children born in different settings; including analyses of the pregnancy, breastfeeding, parental smoking, engagement with the child, as well as the socio-economic well-being of the family.

Presented in Session 18: Family structure and child wellbeing