Cohabitation and Children’s Developmental Well-Being in Latino Families

Paula Fomby, Johns Hopkins University
Angela Estacion, Johns Hopkins University

Cohabitation, an increasingly common type of union formation, is often accompanied by the birth of a child among low-income populations. However, studies have only recently considered the well-being of children born into cohabiting unions. Furthermore, fewer studies have considered the situation for Latino families. We propose to evaluate the effect of residing in a cohabiting family on Latino children’s developmental well-being. We focus on children of Latino foreign-born mothers compared to children of Latino U.S.-born mothers to assess whether assimilation over generations to the norms of cohabitation in the U.S. affects children’s developmental trajectories. We compare families of Dominican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican origin, three migrant-sending areas that represent high, moderate, and low levels of cohabitation prevalence. Our analysis draws on three waves of a longitudinal study of low-income families that includes a substantial number of immigrant-headed families and sufficient sample size to consider Latinos by place of origin.

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Presented in Session 152: Immigration and Adolescent Development