The Living Arrangements of Fragile Families over Time: The Impact of Policy and Personal Characteristics

Marah A. Curtis, Columbia University

Longitudinal data from the Fragile Families study is used to estimate the relative likelihood of a mother residing alone, cohabiting, with a roommate or with family relative to marriage three years after a new birth controlling for baseline living arrangements, demographics, local economic conditions, multiple partner fertility and incarceration history. City unemployment rates, sex-ratios, housing costs, availability of subsidized housing, TANF/FS benefit levels and child support enforcement is considered. Subsidized housing has not been considered in previous research. Multinomial logistic results suggest a positive association between the availability of subsidized housing and the likelihood of either living alone or with family relative to marriage. TANF/FS benefits are positively associated with the probability of cohabiting or living alone relative to marriage. Unemployment is positively associated with the likelihood of cohabiting relative to marriage while a history of incarceration and father’s multiple partner fertility significantly decrease the likelihood of marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Union Formation and Dissolution, Fertility, Family and Well-being