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Publication Detail
Exploring marriage-parenting typologies, their contexual antecedents and development sequalae
Abstract
To identify types of families, latent-class analysis was applied to (reported) marriage and (observed) parenting measures obtained during the infancy, toddler, and/or preschool years for 828 two-parent families participating in the NICHD Study of Child Care. Five types of families were identified: Consistently Supportive (i.e., good parenting, good marriage, 15% of sample), Consistently Moderate (i.e., moderate marriage, moderate parenting, 43%), Consistently Risky (i.e., poor parenting, poor marriage, 16%), Good Parenting/Poor Marriage (19%), and Poor Parenting/Good Marriage (7%). When groups were compared in terms of contextual antecedents (measured at child age 1 month) and child cognitive–academic and socioemotional functioning in first grade, results indicated (a) that contextual risks increased linearly and children's functioning decreased linearly as one moved across the first three aforementioned groups; and after controlling for group differences in background factors (b) that children in the Good-Parenting/Poor-Marriage families outperformed those in the Poor Parenting/Good Marriage; (c) that there was evidence of “added value” developmentally when children experienced two sources of support (i.e., good marriage and good parenting) rather than just one (i.e., good marriage or good parenting); but (d) that there was only modest evidence of protective buffering whereby children experiencing just good parenting (but not just good marriages) outperformed children experiencing poor parenting and poor marriages. Results are discussed in terms of the relative influence of marriage and parenting on child development and the potential benefits of applying typological approaches to the study of marriage–parenting family subsystems
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