While much of the literature has stressed the importance of complexity and diversity to understand how families shape child outcomes, most studies on the impact of separation on children cannot distinguish between various post-separation living arrangements. We ask whether post-separation living arrangements (including a relatively new but growing living arrangement: shared custody) can have a differential impact on children’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills in adolescence. To do so, we perform random and fixed effect regressions on a nationally-representative panel of pupils entering secondary school in 2007 in France. Results show that the initial advantage of shared custody and disadvantage of single motherhood on cognitive skills, relative to children living with both parents, are almost entirely explained by compositional and selection effects. However, a smaller negative effect on non-cognitive outcomes remains: children living with a single mother or in shared custody have significant less self-confidence in their school abilities.
Presented in Session 122. Family Contexts and Child Well-being