Was Cinderella Just a Fairy Tale? Survival Differences Between Step- and Biological Children

Ryan Schacht , East Carolina University
Alison Fraser, University of Utah
Ken R. Smith, University of Utah
Huong Meeks, University of Utah

Parents must make decisions about how to allocate finite resources to their children. Because time and energy are limited, some offspring may garner more resources than their siblings. To better understand how parents make allocation decisions, as well as their consequences, the presence of step-children in a household provides an opportunity to compare how their well-being compares to non-stepchildren. Stepchildren face a number of stressors through parental marital dissolution, parental remarriage, and changes in parenting due to the arrival of step-parents and step/half-siblings in a newly reconstituted family. This analysis targets whether step-children have poorer survival in relation to offspring of intact parental marriages. We first assess the effect of parental death on child survival in the Utah Population Database (UPDB) for individuals born between 1847-1940.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth